Shrouded in anonymity, protected by executive privilege, but with no legal or constitutional authority of their own, the 5,900 people in 125 offices collectively known as the White House staff assist the chief executive by shaping, focusing, and amplifying presidential policy. Why is the staff so large? How is it organized and what do those 125 offices actually do? In this sequel to his critically appraised 1988 book, Ring of Power, Bradley H. Patterson Jr.a veteran of three presidential administrationstakes us inside the closely guarded turf of the White House. In a straightforward narrative free of partisan or personal agendas, Patterson provides an encyclopedic description of the contemporary White House staff and its operations. He illustrates the gradual shift in power from the cabinet departments to the staff and, for the first time in presidential literature, presents an accounting for the total budget of the modern White House. White House staff members control everything from the monumental to the mundane. They prepare the president for summit conferences, but also specify who sits on Air Force One. They craft the language for the president to use on public occasionsfrom a State of the Union Address to such " Rose Garden rubbish" as the pre-Thanksgiving pardon for the First Turkey. The author provides an entertaining yet in-depth overview of these responsibilities. Patterson also illuminates the astounding degree to which presidents personally conduct American diplomacy and personally supervise U.S. military actions. The text is punctuated with comments by senior White House aides and by old Washington hands whose careers go back more than half a century. The bookprovides not only a comprehensive key to the offices and activities that make the White House work, but also the feeling of belonging to that exclusive membership inside the West Wing.
"This is a book for anyone interested in how the White House works." -- NationalJournal.com, 11/16/2000 "Should be required reading for any transition team." --Alan Krueger, New York Times, 11/10/2000 "[Patterson] interviewed 130 former and current staffers to provide summaries of the 125 offices... that comprise the White House staff... The office descriptions are made interesting by hundreds of anecdotes from people who held staff positions mo" --Karl Helicher, Library Journal, 9/24/2001 "This book will be useful to anyone wishing to work in, or write about, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue... [Patterson's] long experience is evident, both in his patient fact-compiling and in his exuberant descriptions." --James P. Pinkerton, Washington Post, Book World, 9/24/2001 "A useful tool for students of the presidency." -- Booklist, 9/24/2001 "* Listed as A spring reading list for political junkies" -- Hill (The) "In sum, this is an extraordinary book that tremendously enhances the literature on presidential decision making and on White House staffing and organizational behavior. It is difficult to find fault with this work, given the author's attention to detail throughout the fifty years that the White House staff has developed." --Shirley Anne Warshaw, Gettsyburg College, Political Science Quarterly, 6/1/2001 "What it does give the reader is the benefit of the author's lifetime of public service and thoughtful consideration of a major and influential component of the institution of the American presidency." --Rebecca E. Deen, The University of Texas at Arlington, The Journal of Politics, 8/1/2001 "Patterson has combined his extensive knowledge and sage advice about the routines of the White House with a lively and engaging writing style that makes the book accessible to nonspecialists and nonpractitioners." --John Hart, Australian National University, Presidential Studies Quarterly, 6/1/2001 "Well-constructed to educate future presidents." --Douglas M. Brattebo, U.S. Naval Academy, National Security Law Report, 5/1/2002 "Plainly and simply said, 'The White House Staff' is the definitive source in print on the topic... The result is a worthy sequel to Patterson's well-regarded earlier book, 'Ring of Power' (1988)... Patterson also manages to find the perfect balance in his writing style and tone in producing a scholarly yet highly readable book, and one from which everyone including presidential scholars, presidential aides, and even the general public should not only enjoy but benefit... 'The White House Staff' is well researched and offers a probing exploration of the work of White House staffers... A must read for any political scientist and presidential scholar. The book comes highly recommended and would make an outstanding supplemental text for graduate students in presidency courses." --Robert P. Watson, Florida Atlantic University, White House Studies "Brad Patterson has written a penetrating analysis of how the expanding White House has been managed and mismanaged. It should be required reading for past, present, and future White House staffers." --Lloyd N. Cutler, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton "Brad Patterson has done a superb job of capturing the essence of White House operations. His knowledge of presidents, their staffs, and the challenges they face sheds new light on one of our most important institutions--the modern Presidency." --Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States