Twombly Publishes Fifth Book

Dr. Jim Twombly published his fifth book, "Directing the Whirlwind: Deconstruction, Distrust, and the Future of American Democracy," in winter 2022.

Co-authored with Dr. Lisa K. Parshall, Professor of Political Science at Daemen University in Amherst, New York, the book is a second edition or continuation of what Twombly and Parshall started in their 2020 work, "Directing the Whirlwind: The Trump Presidency and the Deconstruction of the Administrative State."

In this edition, Twombly and Parshall extend their work to cover events at the end of the Trump Presidency, including the events of January 6, 2021, and the efforts by the early Biden Administration to change course.

“Our view is that the Trump administration, regardless of your opinion of Trump, brought together many of the strategies and tactics recognized by scholars as those available to any president attempting to control the bureaucracy,” said Twombly. The difference, he noted, is the wider range and greater intensity of their application. “Our main argument is that the more traditional aspects of the federal bureaucracy and our federal structure played an important role in preserving much of what most Americans have come to rely on.”

The book has earned early praise from noted scholars in the fields of American politics and public administration. Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, wrote, “A powerful defense of the administrative state and equally powerful indictment of the attempts … to deconstruct it.”

Alasdair Roberts, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, called it, “an essential guide for scholars in public administration and political science, as well as students of American history.”

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