What happens when a conservative president makes a liberal professor his top urban affairs adviser? The president is Richard Nixon, the liberal professor is Harvard's Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Of all the odd couples in American public life, they are probably the oddest. Add another Ivy League professor to the White House staff when Nixon appoints Columbia's Arthur Burns, a conservative economist, as domestic policy adviser. The year is 1969, and what follows behind closed doors was a passionate debate of conflicting ideologies and personalities.Who won? How? Why?Now nearly a half-century later, Stephen Hess, who was Nixon's biographer and Moynihan's deputy, recounts this story as if from his office in the West Wing.
Stephen Hess, one of the foremost authorities on media and government in the United States, is a senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He first joined Brookings in 1972 and was distinguished research professor of media and public affairs at the George Washington University, USA (2004-09). Hess served on White House staff during the Eisenhower and Nixon presidencies and as adviser to Presidents Ford and Carter.