The title begins in 1947 but the story starts with the congressional investigations of the mid-1970s. Smist makes good use of his wide-ranging interviews. The result is the most thorough review of oversight yet done. It is strongest in describing the tension between the executive and Congress, but also good at portraying the effect of the different personalities and styles of those who chaired the oversight committees. What remains less well understood is the political dynamics surrounding the oversight process within each house of Congress.