Stephen Hessis senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and Distinguished Research Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. He has been engaged in presidential transitions since he was a young speechwriter in the EisenhowerWhite House. He returned to the White House with President Richard Nixon, helped Jimmy Carter reorganize the Executive Office and advised the presidential transition teams of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and GeorgeW. Bush. His numerous books include Through Their Eyes: Foreign Correspondents in the United States(Brookings, 2005) and Organizing the Presidency(Brookings, 3rd ed in 2002 with James Pfiffner).
Who won? How? Why? Now nearly a half-century later, Stephen Hess, who was Nixon's biographer and Moynihan's deputy, recounts this fascinating story as if from his office in the West Wing.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927–2003) described in the Almanac of American Politics as "the nation's best thinker among politicians since Lincoln and its best politician among thinkers since Jefferson", served in the administrations of four presidents, was ambassador to India, and U.S. representative to the United Nations, and was four times elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.
Praise for the works of Stephen Hess
Organzing the Presidency
Any president would benefit from reading Mr. Hess's analysis and any reader will enjoy the elegance with which it is written and the author's wide knowledge and good sense. -The Economist
The Presidential Campaign
Hess brings not only first-rate credentials, but a cool, dispassionate perspective, an incisive analytical approach, and a willingness to stick his neck out in making judgments. -American Political Science Review
From the Newswork Series
It is not much in vogue to speak of things like the public trust, but thankfully Stephen Hess is old fashioned. He reminds us in this valuable and provocative book that journalism is a public trust, providing the basic information on which citizens in a democracy vote, or tune out. — Ken Auletta, The New Yorker
America was founded in rebellion against nobility and inherited status. Yet from the start, dynastic families have been conspicuous in national politics. The Adamses. The Lodges. The Tafts. The Roosevelts. The Kennedys. And today the Bushes and the Clintons.
Longtime presidential historian Stephen Hess offers an encyclopedic tour of the families that have loomed large over America's political history.
Starting with John Adams, who served as the young nation's first vice president and earned the nickname "His Rotundity," Hess paints the portraits of the men and women who, by coincidence, connivance, or sheer sense of duty, have made up America's political elite. There are the well-known dynasties such as the Roosevelts and the Kennedys, and the names that live on only in history books, such as the Bayards (six generations of U.S. senators) and the Breckinridges (a vice president, two senators, and six representatives).
Hess fills the pages of America's Political Dynasties with anecdotes and personality-filled stories of the families who have given the United States more than a fair share of its presidents, senators, governors, ambassadors, and cabinet members.
This book also tells us the stories of the Bushes and what looks to be a political dynasty in waiting, the Clintons. Emblematic of America's growing diversity, Hess also examines how women, along with ethnic and racial minorities, have joined the ranks of dynastic political families.
The book includes:
•"Presidential Qualities," originally published when Richard Nixon was president, addresses the characteristics we should want in a chief executive regardless of whether or not we agree with him.
•"Why Great Men Are Not Chosen Presidents: Lord Bryce Revisited" asks whether changes in the process by which we select presidential candidates would result in different kinds of people seeking office.
•"Toward a More Functional Presidency," written after Watergate, rethinks the appropriate role of the president and offers a job description.