In this volume, Bruce Montgomery addresses the flurry of post-Watergate legislative measures passed by Congress to assure a more open and accountable government after the enormous abuses of power and secrecy of the Nixon era under various presidential administrations starting with the Reagan years and continuing through the Bush administration. The essays address the themes of publicity and secrecy, legislative and executive branch conflict over presidential materials, historical legacy versus open government, and the ramifications of Nixon's inadvertent legacy concerning the presidential prerogative of executive privilege and the disposition of presidential communications.
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 313 g
Dimensions: 214 x 176 x 18 mm
Montgomery, director of the University of Colorado archives, addresses the ongoing dispute over public access to presidential papers and recordings, beginning with the controversies unleashed by Richard Nixon's claim that executive privilege entitled him to refuse disclosure of his White House tapes. The author explains the US v. Nixon (1974) case and its aftermath, but many readers will be surprised to learn that the issue of public access to presidential records remains unsettled today. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 attempted to resolve some ambiguities regarding public access, but the issue emerged again that the problem may become even more controversial than it was at the end of the Nixon era. This volume does an admirable job of covering the relevant legal issues and cases as they have evolved since the early 1970s. Highly recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *
The founding director of the Human Rights Initiative, Montgomery (U. of Colorado-Boulder) explores attempts by the US executive to govern in secret, primarily during the administration of Richard Nixon, but also in the case of current vice president Dick Cheney and the Energy Task Force records. He describes how the abuses of Nixon and Henry Kissinger led to legal and legislative reforms, and how those have been both legally countered and simply violated. * Reference and Research Book News *