THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: The Politics of Amazing Grace

Most modern summit meetings have been meticulously prepackaged: speeches composed, "spontaneous" encounters with the natives scheduled, communiques trumpeting the arrival of a new era of understanding and cooperation written, edited, mimeographed, stapled and flown to the conference site ahead of time, along with the Presidential Seal and the First Lady's hairdresser.

So it probably should have been anticipated that the practitioners of such a vital art form would finally do what they did last week and proclaim several days before Jimmy Carter left for Germany that the Bonn economic summit was, in effect, over—and it was a washout. From the...

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