Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News / Edition 2

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Overview

Spin Control, originally published in 1992, chronicles the development of the powerful White House Office of Communications and its pivotal role in molding our perception of the modern presidency. In this new edition, John Maltese brings his analysis up to date with a chapter detailing the media techniques of the Bush administration, the 1992 presidential campaign (including the use of talk shows like 'Larry King Live'), and the early Clinton administration.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Valuable glimpses of the cooks at work preparing the fast food of public opinion.

Todd Gitlin, Washington Post

Well-researched.

Sam Donaldson, Washington Monthly

A timely history of an office now indispensable to the presidency's planning and execution of strategy.

Publishers Weekly

Far from being a dry, scholarly narrative, this is sparked by intrigue and conflicts.

Booklist

Makes an important contribution to the scholarly study of political communication.

Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The adoption of public relations techniques by the White House, particularly during the Reagan administration, corresponded to its increasing dependence on public support as it tries to implement policy, argues the author. He describes the origin of the Office of Communications under Richard Nixon, the introduction of the ``spin doctor'' under Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter's growing image problems. With the advent of the Great Communicator in 1980, the emphasis shifted from print media to pictures and sound bites--quotable bits that Maltese shows as being deliberately inserted into Reagan's speeches in an effort to control which excerpts would appear on the nightly news. A postscript dubs Operation Desert Storm ``the classic example of government and media collaborating to manipulate popular passions and shape our nation's political discourse.'' The author, who teaches political science at the University of Georgia, has written a timely history of an office now indispensable to the presidency's planning and execution of strategy. Photos. ( May )
Library Journal
From its promulgation of the executive branch ``line-of-the-day'' to its distribution of ``sound bytes,'' the White House Office of Communications controls presidential news and is a powerful player in contemporary politics. Maltese uses presidential archives and personal interviews to trace the historical development of the office from its creation by Richard Nixon through each successive presidential administration, with a postscript on the Bush administration. The communication techniques developed by this office were perfected under Reagan, allowing the administration to control the agenda, access, sound bytes, and visual image. This book, with its quotes from White House internal memos and named sources, will be a real joy for readers fascinated by the inside workings of the White House staff. It also makes an important contribution to the scholarly study of political communication and is recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with large contemporary politics collections. Previewed in ``On the Campaign Book Trail,'' LJ 3/15/92, p. 110-12.-- Judy Solberg, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807844526
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/1994
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 335
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 0.75 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Anthony Maltese is assistant professor of political science at the University of Georgia.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Origins of the Office of Communications 13
Ch. 3 The Nixon Years: Beginnings and Evolution 28
Ch. 4 The Nixon Years: A House Divided 75
Ch. 5 The Ford Years: Decline and Resurgence 111
Ch. 6 The Carter Years: Getting Control 149
Ch. 7 The Reagan Years: Perfecting the Art of Communication 119
Ch. 8 The Bush and Clinton Years: Postscript 215
Appendix 241
Notes 255
Bibliography 289
Index 305
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