Stillman finds that the basis for our current administrative state lies in the lives of the seven individuals who, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, invented its various elements. Furthermore, he finds that although they lived at different times, these seven founders had much in common: all were products of intensely Protestant, small-town America, and all were motivated by strong moral idealism. All were rooted in the cultural and moral values peculiar to the United States in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, Stillman finds that state making in the United States has been a continuation of the Protestant goal to "protest and purify." George William Curtis led the fight for civil service reform. Charles Francis Adams, Jr., created the "sunshine commission" whereby previously hidden public issues would now be aired for all citizens to discuss. Emory Upton, known primarily in military circles, constructed the key elements of professionalism now adopted by both military and civilian worlds. Jane Addams pioneered the current methods for delivering human services. Frederick W. Taylor's innovative scientific management doctrines for the private sector form the nexus of civil service and personnel administration today. Richard Childs, through his invention of the council-manager form of government, fundamentally changed the landscape of municipal governance. Louis Brownlow refashioned the American presidency from a weak office to one of the most powerful chief executive positions in the world. By looking at the lives of these seven individuals, Stillman argues, we can understand and appreciate more fully the foundation from which we all operate today.