Review by Choice Review
Pfiffner has previously authored a handful of books on the presidency. This general view of that office is important as well as useful because it analyzes the presidency of the 1990s by surveying the changes in the office since the New Deal days of Franklin Roosevelt. The "modern presidency" as Pfiffner calls it, is examined first from the perspective of the president and the people. The changes in the nomination process; the daily familiarity of the people's president courtesy of television; and White House efforts to appeal directly to the public as well as making direct appeals to relevant special interests all demonstrate the modern presidency "going public." The book then turns to a detailed exploration of the institutionalization of the office, especially the explosive growth in the presidential support bureaucracies. Finally, Pfiffner takes an insightful look at this "modern presidency" and the effects of the many changes on the relationship between the presidency and Congress in terms of their battles over the making of public policy and controlling the national agenda. Pfiffner ends his study of the newly strengthened and centralized presidency with two examples of presidential corruption--Watergate and Iran-gate. An excellent overview of the presidency--as good as any currently in print! General; undergraduate. W. K. Hall; Bradley University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.