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 (see bottom of page). 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Reporting in Texas State Administration, master’s thesis in political science, University of Texas-Austin, 1932, unpublished.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). See bottom of page.
  • “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, the section of his Instructor’s Manual on Chapter 20 is available online as well.
  • 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.

I have donated this inscribed book to the History of PR & Advertising archive in the Special Collections of the Bournemouth University library (UK).