Historically, James K. Polk is described as a spoilsman who appointed officers based upon their party affiliation rather than their qualifications. This book, however, asserts that Polk merely followed an existing pattern of mination that dated back to the beginning of the republic, in which the chief executives looked to qualifications first and loyalty to the party second. The Patriotic Business of Seeking Public Office offers a detailed examination of Polk's mination practices and his quest for qualified candidates regardless of their party lines.
John Devoti received his Ph.D. in American history from Temple University. Currently, he is an adjunct professor of American history at Philadelphia University. The Patriotic Business of Seeking Office is his first book.