In This Review

Advising The Rulers
Advising The Rulers
Edited by William Plowden
Basil Blackwell, 1987, 222 pp

Explorations of this interesting matter by individuals with first-hand experience in advising presidents and prime ministers, and by others who have made a specialized study of the institutions through which such advice is conceived, sifted and transmitted. Individual case studies tell how the system has worked in Britain, France, West Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia; more general chapters deal across the board with "systems of advice," particularly in the key fields of economics and foreign policy. The authors name names, but the book would pique the reader's interest more if the descriptions of planning boards, advisory staffs, ministries and éminences grises were enlivened by examples of vital decisions brilliantly made or badly bungled.