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Encyclopedia of the United States Cabinet: 1789-2019


This authoritative, two-volume work showcases the cabinets of all 45 presidential administrations, from George Washington to Donald J. Trump. With its unique arrangement by administration and thoughtful presentation of information, no other source provides such insight into this important political body.

This edition is divided into 6 sections to make research for the user easier and more accessible.

Section I: Front Matter begins with an author’s preface that details the developments of the U.S. Cabinet, quoting from the Constitution itself. This section also features an Introduction that chronicles the layout of the book, as well as two essays about the first mention of a ‘cabinet council’ and the development of each presidential cabinet: The History of the Cabinet System, and Origins of the Cabinet Departments.

Section II: Cabinet Chapters provides a detailed account of each administration. Each chapter begins with a Table of Contents followed by Historical Snapshots that offer interesting facts and figures that add historical context to each chapter. Following this are the essays on the cabinet—each 1-2 pages—offering insight into the formation of the president’s cabinet as well as a brief survey of the challenges they faced. Cabinet Member Biographies are arranged first by department, then chronologically. Each biography follows a predictable format: Early Years, with some family history; how he or she came to be named to the Cabinet, with a record of successes and failures; and After Leaving Office, including post-cabinet positions and accomplishments.

Section III: Primary Documents includes thirteen Primary Documents written by newspaper correspondents, presidents, or cabinet members themselves. These documents span hundreds of years, from the letter written by Thomas Jefferson to his cabinet to the resignation letter of James Mattis, addressed to Donald Trump. New primary documents to this edition are the Mattis letter, widely studied for its rebuke to the president; a selection from the National Strategy for Homeland Security (2002), in which the need for a Department of Homeland Security is outlined; and two documents of historical importance that pertain to the president’s authority to select his cabinet.

Section IV: Appendixes highlights fifteen appendixes which show, at a glance, facts such as which cabinet members held more than one position, who crossed party lines, and who won a Nobel Prize. The fifteen appendixes are as follows:

  • Appendix A: Those Who Held More Than One Post in the Cabinet
  • Appendix B: Cross-Party Nominations for Cabinet Positions
  • Appendix C: Cabinet Secretaries Who Have Been Awarded the Nobel Prize
  • Appendix D: Members of Congress Selected by Recent Presidents
  • Appendix E: Female Cabinet Secretaries
  • Appendix F: African-American Cabinet Secretaries
  • Appendix G: Latino Cabinet Secretaries
  • Appendix H: Asian-American Cabinet Secretaries
  • Appendix I: Notable Facts on the Cabinet
  • Appendix J: Cabinet Post Timeline
  • Appendix K: Failed Nominations
  • Appendix L: Withdrawn Nominations
  • Appendix M: Members Who Died in Office
  • Appendix N: Alphabetical List of Members
  • Appendix O: Chronological List of Members, sorted by department

Section V: Bibliography and Section VI: Subject Index close out this two-volume reference work.

With coverage of current events of the time of each cabinet, the formation of each group, their successes, failures, and legacy, this resource provides a look at this political body that is available nowhere else. This new edition is a must for public libraries, university libraries, and all political science collections.


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Pub. Date: September 2019
Hardcover: 800 pages
ISBN: 978-1-64265-099-0
Price: $275
Includes Free Online Access on the Salem Press Platform
e-ISBN: 978-1-64265-100-3
eBook User Price: $344