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Publishers Weekly, 1992-04-13 The adoption of public relations techniques by the White House, particularly during the Reagan administration, corresponded to its increasing dependence on public support as it tries to implement policy, argues the author. He describes the origin of the Office of Communications under Richard Nixon, the introduction of the ``spin doctor'' under Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter's growing image problems. With the advent of the Great Communicator in 1980, the emphasis shifted from print media to pictures and sound bites--quotable bits that Maltese shows as being deliberately inserted into Reagan's speeches in an effort to control which excerpts would appear on the nightly news. A postscript dubs Operation Desert Storm ``the classic example of government and media collaborating to manipulate popular passions and shape our nation's political discourse.'' The author, who teaches political science at the University of Georgia, has written a timely history of an office now indispensable to the presidency's planning and execution of strategy. Photos. ( May )
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