The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly

White House operations .. ." (p. 8), though they concede that in doing
so they wish to dispel the "dominant view" of a Johnson White House
plagued by "instability, ineffectuality, and internal conflict" (p. 7). A
second purpose is to present an account of what White House aides ac-
tually do to "provide a useful empirical foundation" for those who seek
reform. Too many such proposals, they conclude, are unrealistic be-
cause they fail to understand "the political character of the modern
presidency" (p. 197).
The book begins with a definitive profile of the president's advisers,
an overview of the organization Johnson inherited from John F. Ken-
nedy, and an examination of Johnson's "management style." The next
four chapters divide the work of the White House staff into functional
divisions: developing the legislative program, developing executive
policy, directing the executive branch, and representing the president.
The latter includes congressional relations, speechwriting, and public
relations.
Although the authors offer few original conclusions, the book is a
thorough and orderly account of how presidential aides really spend
their time-too orderly, perhaps. Those who have researched the
Johnson presidency will search in vain for the phrenetic character of
that administration so evident in the frantic pace of Johnson's daily
schedule, the stacks of memos to and from Joseph Califano, and the
obsessive preoccupation with image that grows along with the intensity
of the Vietnam War.
Given the fascination with the modern presidency, it is no surprise
that books and articles on organizing the White House have prolifer-
ated in recent years. Some are "inside stories." Others reflect the more
theoretical work of outsiders. Aside from its concentration on one ad-
ministration, what sets this book apart is that it combines the objectivity
of the "outsiders" with the documentation and information provided by
the "insiders." This is a book that should be on the reading list of every
presidential transition team. Unfortunately, one hallmark of the mod-
ern presidency seems to be an unwillingness to learn from the past.
Tulane University ANNA KASTEN NELSON
The North American Sketches of R. B. Cunninghame Graham. Edited by
John Walker. (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1986. Pp.
x+145. Editor's foreword, introduction, map, illustrations, pref-
ace, glossary, bibliography. $20.95.)
Most enthusiasts of the American West will not be familiar with R. B.
Cunninghame Graham. The adventurous Scot, who spent most of the

492

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed August 20, 2014.