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Public Servants Studied in Image and Essay

Public Servants Studied in Image and Essay
A Fanfare for the Common Bureaucrat

First Edition

July 2018 | 136 pages | CQ Press
“This book is a great resource to introduce the field to those who are just thinking of becoming public administrators…The first book of its kind to focus not on managers but on the front-line employees themselves.”
—Russell W. Mills, Bowling Green State University

This latest work by highly regarded scholar of bureaucracy Charles T. Goodsell uses narrative essays and accompanying video profiles to bring to life the work and careers of individuals working for the common good in 12 essential jobs at all three levels of American government. The first book to explicitly encourage undergraduates to consider the public service as a career, Public Servants Studied in Image and Essay offers an on-the-ground look at some of the careers available to them after graduation. It showcases the hard work and dedication of ordinary bureaucrats—rather than administrative leaders—to help students appreciate the nature and achievements of American bureaucracy. The book’s narratives are framed by an introduction and conclusion by Goodsell to provide context and to place them within the research on bureaucracy and public administration. 

Bundle Goodsell’s texts and save! 
We’ve made it easy for students to get The New Case for Bureaucracy all in one convenient package at a student-friendly price. When bundled with Public Servants Studied in Image and Essay, students receive a 20% discount. 
Use ISBN: 978-1-5443-4166-8 
Exclusive! Video Interviews
The following video interviews, conducted by the author, connect the content from the book to real stories about public service.  

Essay 1: Adam R. Price, ATF Special Agent

Essay 2: Michael J. Bender, Police Captain

Essay 3: Stephanie F. Pechura, Felon Rehabilitator

Essay 4: Cindy M. Berndt, Regulation Expert

Essay 5: Karen L. Wilson, Energy Advisor

Essay 6: Howard Glenn, Drainage Master

Essay 7: Daniel W. McKeague, Forest Ranger

Essay 8: Daniel M. Riccio, Livability Director

Essay 9: Keith T. Grupposo, Probation Officer

Essay 10: Kathy D. Robertson, Homelessness Combatant

Essay 11: Carla D. Holloman, Social Worker

Essay 12: Jeffrey B. Richardson, County Manager

Introductory Remarks
Part One: Public Safety
Ch. 1: Adam Price, ATF Special Agent
A Firearms Agency Under Fire

Ch. 2: Michael Bender, Police Captain
Cops Doing Mental Health

Ch. 3: Stephanie Pechura, Felon Rehabilitator
Tough Love in Action

Part Two: Public Environment
Ch. 4: Cindy Berndt, Regulation Expert
Unsung Heroine of Process

Ch. 5: Karen Wilson, Energy Advisor
The Public Policy Professional

Ch. 6: Howard Glenn, Drainage Master
Coaching a Team That Must Win

Part Three: Public Conservation
Ch. 7: Daniel McKeague, Forest Ranger
In the Habit of Change

Ch. 8: Dan Riccio, Livability Director
A Beautiful Place Kept That Way

Ch. 9: Keith Grupposo, Probation Officer
Giving Second Chances When Possible

Part Four: Public Well-Being
Ch. 10: Kathy Robertson, Homelessness Combatant
Making Homeless Programs Work

Ch. 11: Carla Holloman, Social Worker
Matured Professional Caretaking

Ch. 12: Jeffrey Richardson, County Manager
Much Responsibility Closely Watched

Review and Conclusions
About the Author

“Dr. Goodsell’s new book will bring to light the invaluable contribution of public administrators’ work (from all levels of government) to the people’s general well-being and the safety of the public at large. Featuring specific governmental work roles and job duties will provide rich contextual descriptions both at the agency and the individual levels of public service. These will bring otherwise faraway and detached perceptions of government work into the focus of concrete professional duties and missions…The book promises to bring students face-to-face with the main dilemmas and challenges permeating their jobs as public servants at the federal, state, and local levels.”

Maria Elias
Eastern Washington University

“As public scrutiny on agencies and individuals’ work is at an all-time high, it is paramount for the public to gain insight into the wide variety of jobs that are crucial to keeping the American people safe, sometimes even at high personal risk for public personnel. Putting a face and a name to people performing those jobs will help broaden our understanding of the true nature of public service.”

Ardrian Velazquez Vasquez
University of La Verne

“Like having a guest speaker in every class.”

Madinah Hamidullah
Rutgers University – Newark

“This book is a great resource to introduce the field to those who are just thinking of becoming public administrators…The first book of its kind to focus not on managers but on the front-line employees themselves.”

Russell W. Mills
Bowling Green State University
Key features


  • The book offers a personal approach to public administration that goes deeper into the substance of bureaucracy than other books to expose readers to the human side of bureaucracy.  
  • Readers experience the inner thoughts and feelings of twelve men and women who have given large parts of their lives to the work of governance.  
  • The book’s essays and video profiles reveal complex mixes of dreams and disappointment, dynamic processes of change, interaction with numerous other personalities and organizations, and a human mind embedded with devotion to a cause, yet utterly realistic about achieving it.
  • The book is concise and affordable making it ideal for use as a supplementary text. 

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