Making the Managerial Presidency

Comprehensive Reorganization Planning, 1905-1996

Second Edition, Revised

Peri E. Arnold

In 1987 the National Academy of Public Administration bestowed upon Peri Arnold the prestigious Louis Brownlow Award for Making the Managerial Presidency. Since then, his book has acquired the status of a classic in the fields of both public administration and the presidency. With the publication of this revised and expanded edition, Arnold now provides a comprehensive history of presidential reorganization planning for the entire twentieth-century-from Theodore Roosevelt through Bill Clinton.

Frequently cited by scholars, the first edition drew praise from many quarters. The Political Science Quarterly called it "definitive." The American Political Science Review declared it "required reading . . . for students of American politics." And Alonzo Hamby, writing in the American Historical Review, praised it as "a substantial contribution to the history of the American presidency."

“This important book merits a wide audience.”

American Political Science Review

“The definitive analytical history of comprehensive reorganization planning of the national executive branch.”

Political Science Quarterly
See all reviews...

While the previous edition essentially stopped at the Carter administration, the new edition includes a broad treatment of administrative reform initiatives since 1981, including Ronald Reagan's Grace Commission and Bill Clinton's National Performance Review. Arnold shows how the search for administrative efficiency during the past two decades further underscores the century-long efforts of presidents to consolidate and expand their roles and powers within American government.

Arnold's incisive and insightful study of the National Performance Review is especially timely and instructive. Reflecting and extending the recent literature on "the isolated presidency," his critique of Clinton's reorganization efforts reveals the president's increasing reliance on rhetorical and campaign-like strategies as a means to sustain popular support and expand his administrative power.

Most important, the new edition is available (for the first time) in paperback, thus making it ideal for use in courses on the presidency, American government, and public administration.

About the Author

Peri E. Arnold, former chair of the political science department, is professor of government and director of the Hesburgh Program for Public Service at Notre Dame University.

Additional Titles in the Studies in Government and Public Policy Series