Anderson, an oldtime Washington correspondent (for the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times Magazine, among others) here presents dossiers of the hired advisers of FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson. Usually men and women politically on the make, these paid ""insiders"" have replaced distinguished dollar-a-year-men (and cabinet members) as top Presidential troubleshooters, primarily, Anderson believes, because the swollen Executive branch now requires men who have mastered the ""endless details of state"" far more than those with mastery of affairs of state: ""To have a continuing impact, the adviser needs to be on the scene twelve hours a day, reading the cables, studying intelligence documents, sounding out the bureaucracy, digging deeply into the facts and figures a hard-pressed modern President needs."" Anderson shows how each of the top White House staffers personally executed his professional role. The roster includes Hopkins and Missy Leband, Harry Vaughan and Clark Clifford, Adams, Haggerty, McGeorge Bundy, Sorensen, Evelyn Lincoln, Moyers and Joseph Califano. There is an informal rank ordering of the principals, along with a coherent, very well researched chronological account of the administrations. Anderson compares men, staffs, personal versus professional relationships, and inserts a provocative prediction or two. The book is too long but has much to say.