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PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONS Eisenhower Through Reagan by Carl M. Brauer (Oxford University Press: $9.95)

January 15, 1989|ELENA BRUNET

"In reaction to Truman, Eisenhower was too anti-political. In reaction to Eisenhower, Kennedy was too anti-organizational. In reaction to Nixon, Carter was too 'anti-imperial.' In reaction to Carter, Reagan was too ideological." So argues Carl Brauer in this informative study of the transfer of presidential power in the years since Eisenhower.

Further, Brauer writes, Kennedy's lack of executive experience damaged him, particularly at the Bay of Pigs; Nixon's eight years as vice president "fostered a certain overconfidence," while Reagan's ideology "blinded him at times to economic and international realities." In fairness, Presidents' strengths and successes are equally meted out.

As a work of thorough scholarship, "Presidential Transitions" will be of particular interest to presidential aspirants, the press, political science majors, though quite accessible to the public.

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