The first of a trilogy on the three branches of government, this is a concise and timely overview of the Executive which few young Americans can afford to miss. Mr. Johnson has selected wisely from a spate of detail on the subject concentrating on what the President does, how his office has changed and which Presidents in particular were responsible for these changes. It is interesting to compare the duties of the Presidency as outlined in the Constitution to the reality of the office today. Yet it is not a branch of government that has grown steadily or evenly. Rather it has provided our greatest leaders with enough leeway to exercise their initiative, a tribute in itself to its flexibility. Our system of checks and balances which most high school students memorize from numbered lists, is described in a meaningful context here. There is an excellent chapter on our ""strong Presidents"", summing up the major issues and ideals that influenced their decisions. But most important -- the reader is instilled with the responsibility of his own citizenship, a crucial antidote to the dangers of apathy. Handsome woodcuts by Leonard Everett Fisher.