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

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $33.80   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   


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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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

Todd Gitlin, Washington Post


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.


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
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807844526
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/1994
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Revised
  • 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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)