Preparing to Be President: The Memos of Richard E. Neustadt

Overview

Shortly after the publication of Presidential Power& #151;the most influential modern book on the Presidency& #151;in 1960, then Senator John F. Kennedy asked author Richard E. Neustadt to write a series of memos to plan for the transition into office. Neustadt obliged the request and later prepared transition memos for Ronald Regan, Michael Dukakis, and Bill Clinton. Preparing to Be President presents the previously unpublished memos of the man Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., calls "our most brilliant ...

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Overview

Shortly after the publication of Presidential Power& #151;the most influential modern book on the Presidency& #151;in 1960, then Senator John F. Kennedy asked author Richard E. Neustadt to write a series of memos to plan for the transition into office. Neustadt obliged the request and later prepared transition memos for Ronald Regan, Michael Dukakis, and Bill Clinton. Preparing to Be President presents the previously unpublished memos of the man Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., calls "our most brilliant commentator on the Presidency" along with new essays by Neustadt and volume editor Charles O. Jones.

Neustadt's historically important memos provide new information about the workings of several presidential campaigns and administrations. Neustadt addresses such questions as how to organize a transition team, how to staff the President-elect and then the White House, whether cabinet government has value, and what the roles of the Vice President and first lady should be.

In addition to the memos, Preparing to be President features substantial original scholarship by Neustadt. He reveals for the first time how he came to advise the various Presidents-elect and candidates and the thinking behind the recommendations he made in his memos. He also offers reflections on how the role of the transition adviser has changed over the years and what is relevant for transitions today. Jones contributes to the volume an analysis of the memos and a bibliographical essay looking at the relationship between the Neustadt memos and transisiton memos that others have written.

Preparing to be President provides interesting historical accounts and critical insights for anyone who wants to understand how a new administration takes shape& #151;and what takes place between Election Day and the inaguration.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In 1960, then-Senator John F. Kennedy asked author Richard Neustadt to write a series of memos to plan for the transition into office. Neustadt later also prepared transition memos for Reagan, Dukakis, and Clinton. This work presents these previously unpublished memos, along with new essays by Neustadt and volume editor Jones. The memos provide new information on the workings of several presidential campaigns and administrations, addressing questions on organizing the transition team, staffing, and the roles of the vice president and first lady. Neustadt reveals how he came to advise the presidents-elect and candidates and the thinking behind recommendations he made. Neustadt is affiliated with Harvard University. Jones is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Brookings Institute. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780844741390
  • Publisher: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Pages: 250
  • Lexile: 1310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles O. Jones is a nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, the Hawkins Professor of Political Science (emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin, and a former president of the American Political Science Association. His books include Clinton and Congress, 1993-96 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1999) and Passages to the Presidency (Brookings, 1998).

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