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What Do We Do Now?: A Workbook for the President-Elect Paperback – October 10, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"The book is really, as the subtitle suggests, "A Workbook for the President-Elect," complete with exercises to fill in and boxes to tick off; but it is also a compelling primer for the average citizen." —Frank Gannon, Wall Street Journal

"Hess's workbook is a must for the incoming administration. He touches on everything from decorating the Oval Office, dodging Cabinet nomination fights, and penning a memorable inaugural address to firing bumbling aides."" —Paul Bedard, U.S. News & World Report

"Magically combines expertise, charm, and implicit wit." — Library Journal

"Mr. Hess' book is also fun and reader-friendly: It is packed with illustrations, charts, jokes, anecdotes, gossip and even cartoons. It should be essential reading in public affairs and political science classes in high school and college across the nation." —Martin Sieff, Washington Times

"Wise and accessible." — Huffington Post

"A remarkably readable, eminently utilitarian, and uncommonly unpretentious book.... What Do We Do Now? is a book every serious political junkie ought to own....[Hess] makes serious subject matter accessible--easy but never breezy--and in doing so, he's given interested observers an opportunity to evaluate this presidential transition" — Mitchell Report

" What Do We Do Now? is a perfect combination of insider esoterica and trivia-friendly miscellany; it is written with the grace and wit of a natural writer and informed by the insight and wisdom of a man who has practiced what he now preaches." —Frank Gannon, The New Nixon blog

"A short paperback most helpful to the incomers." —William Safire, New York Times

"For every president-elect who wished there was a how-to guide for the transition period, Stephen Hess has written a book just for them." —Daniel Strauss, Roll Call

"Few individuals are more qualified to examine presidential transitions than Hess" — CHOICE

About the Author

Stephen Hess is 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 Eisenhower White 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).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (October 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081573655X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815736554
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Hess, one of the foremost authorities on media and government in the United States, is a senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. He first joined Brookings in 1972 and was distinguished research professor of media and public affairs at the George Washington University (2004-2009). Served on White House staff during Eisenhower and Nixon presidencies and as advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Future Watch Writer on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for this time in American history. Stephen Hess is one of the leading experts on American government. This book is a worthy successor to his book, Organizing the Presidency

A lot of people don't realize the massive nature of the process of the Presidential transition in America. There is far more a change, for example, than in most other world governments. The end result, sadly is that some agencies may not get fully staffed for a long time.

Contrary to what you might have heard, experience matters. People who are clueless about the ways of Washington are not likely to be very effective although there are certainly roles for them. "Not from Washington" may be a great campaign slogan but it can be a major liability in the real world of politics. It is interesting that President Obama has probably picked more Washington insiders for his cabinet than any other President in spite of running against the Washington establishment.

For more on the subject of government management check out my Listmania List on my profile, Public Service and Government Management.

This book will help you monitor how well America's new President gets started. You may not agree with everything in the book but in my view this is one of the best if not the best book on the subject it covers.
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