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Today's burgeoning variety of news sources poses a real challenge for any political administration wishing to communicate agendas, priorities, and policy initiatives to the public. Kumar (political science, Towson Univ.) examines the White House Office of Communications (which began in the Nixon administration), with particularly detailed analysis of the Clinton and George W. Bush terms. She looks at the delicate balance between Presidents, who must use the press to communicate, and the media, which can play an adversarial role in covering them. She defines the White House's communications role as advocating for policies, defending the President from critics, and coordinating government-wide publicity. Having been a regular in the White House Press Room since the early years of the Clinton administration, Kumar can offer an insider's view. Her interviews with Communications Office staff from earlier administrations, such as Ford's and Reagan's, offer a rare look at day-to-day operations and strategies. For example, Dan Bartlett, White House communications director from 2001 to 2005, explains how his office reached out to unconventional media and sponsored a White House roundtable for George W. Bush to meet with correspondents from hunting, fishing, and wilderness magazines. Kumar notes that even as communications strategies vary, there is stability in the system across administrations. Political science and journalism scholars will appreciate the rich detail and scholarship here. Appropriate for most academic libraries.