In This Review

Shaping and Signaling Presidential Policy: The National Security Decision Making of Eisenhower and Kennedy
Shaping and Signaling Presidential Policy: The National Security Decision Making of Eisenhower and Kennedy
By Meena Bose
Texas A&M University Press, 1998, 224 pp

In this slim volume, Bose contrasts Eisenhower's structured analytical process with Kennedy's informal style by studying how they developed and communicated their national security strategies at the outset of their administrations. Her knowledge of the history is sound, and her narrative is concise and smooth. Testing political scientist Alexander George's "multiple advocacy" model for managing a decision-making process, she reaches three conclusions. First, such political science classifications do not fit well with complex reality. Second, Eisenhower's approach really did produce a higher quality of analysis and more-informed judgment. Third, it nonetheless is hard to make any president change acquired habits for getting information and making decisions.