A Tribute to James McCamy

James L. McCamy (1906-1995) was a professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my undergraduate adviser when I was a senior (1969-1970). Jim introduced me both to the field of public administration and the topic of government public relations, the latter the subject of his dissertation and first book. The more I heard, the more interested I became. Thanks to his excellent advice, I applied to do graduate work at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. I earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration and wrote my dissertation on government PR (and Congressional efforts to control it). Jim was the best mentor a person could wish for. He showed me two scholarly paths that I otherwise would never had known about. For me, both subjects became lifelong interests. I am eternally indebted to him.

For those interested in government public relations, I have compiled a bibliography of his writings on that subject (in chronological order):

  • Governmental Reporting in Texas State Administration, master’s thesis in political science, University of Texas-Austin, 1932, unpublished. Excerpts online.
  • Government Publicity: Its Practice in Federal Administration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939).
  • “Public Relations in Public Administration,” in Carleton B. Joeckel (ed.), Current Issues in Library Administration: Papers Presented Before the Library Institute of the University of Chicago, August 1-12, 1938 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939) 301-21, 383. Available online.
  • “Variety in the Growth of Federal Publicity,” Public Opinion Quarterly 3:2 (April 1939) 285-92.
  • “Measuring Federal Publicity,” Public Opinion Quarterly 3:3 (July 1939) 473-75.
  • “Straw Polls and Public Administration,” co-authored with Henry A. Wallace, Public Opinion Quarterly 4:2 (June 1940) 221-23.
  • “A Word to Personnel Administrators,” Personnel Administration 4:5 (January 1942) 4-5.
  • Government Publications for the Citizen, with the assistance of Julia B. McCamy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949).
  • “Reply to the Discussants,” in Lester Asheim (ed.), A Forum on the Public Library Inquiry: The Conference at the University of Chicago Graduate Library School, August 8-13, 1949 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950) 191-98. Available online.
  • “The Role of the Public and Congress” (Chapter 14), The Administration of American Foreign Affairs (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1950). Available online.
  • Section on public opinion and administrative publicity in “We Need More Personalized Administration,” in Felix A. Nigro (ed.), Public Administration Readings and Documents (New York: Rinehart, 1951) 474-77. Available online.
  • Book review of J.A.R. Pimlott, Public Relations and American Democracy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951). In American Political Science Review 45:4 (December 1951) 1193-94.
  • “Public Opinion” (Chapter 20), American Government (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1957). Available online. Also Instructor’s Manual section for Chapter 20. Available online.
  • Section on propaganda (Section 7 of Chapter 11), Conduct of the New Diplomacy (New York: Harper & Row, 1964).
  • “Administration and Public Opinion,” in Scott M. Cutlip (ed.), Public Opinion and Public Administration: A Symposium Based on Papers Presented at the 1964 National Conference on Public Administration (University [Tuscaloosa]: University of Alabama Bureau of Public Administration for the American Society for Public Administration, 1965) 3-9. Available online.
  • Book review of Donald C. Rowat (ed.), The Ombudsman, Citizen’s Defender (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965). In Midwest Journal of Political Science 11:2 (May 1967) 280-82.
  • “Politics and Propaganda” (Chapter 8), The Quality of the Environment (New York: Free Press, 1972). Available online.
  • “Government Publicity, 1972,” guest lecture at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, October 11, 1972, unpublished. Available online.

Perhaps my own writings on government public relations might be viewed as a continuation of his oeuvre, albeit in a minor key.