by Emmette S. Redford and Richard T. McCulley
University of Texas Press, 1986
Cloth: 978-0-292-79033-9 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-0475-4 | Paper: 978-1-4773-0473-0
Library of Congress Classification JK518.R43 1986
Dewey Decimal Classification 353.0310924


The relation of White House assistants to the president, their appropriate role in the governmental process, and the most effective means for organizing and managing the White House have been subjects of both public concern and academic dispute. White House Operations addresses these and related questions by providing the first thorough analysis of how the thirty-sixth president managed his staff. By grounding their study in original documents from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the authors lift the veil of secrecy that clouds the inner workings of the White House. The result is an insightful elaboration of the complex, extensive, and diverse roles of White House aides—and av fascinating look at such key White House figures as McGeorge Bundy, Joseph Califano, Bill Moyers, George Reedy, Walt Rostow, Lawrence O’Brien, and Johnson himself.

This exploration of Johnson’s highly personalized White House operations provides far-reaching implications for the nature of effective presidential management. The comprehensive analysis of the range of work done under Johnson and the unique nature of White House assistance leads the authors to a strong and vigorous assertion for a positive role for the White House staff that clashes sharply with the thrust of many recommendations for reorganizing the presidency. Redford and McCulley convincingly demonstrate that management of the White House staff and other parts of the president’s advisory system will remain crucial for successful presidential performance.

The book is the fifth volume in a series designed to provide a comprehensive administrative history of the Johnson presidency. The book will be of interest to the informed general reader, presidential scholars, political scientists, U.S. historians, and students of public management and will be an important addition to academic library collections.