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The impact of public law depends on how politicians secure control of public organizations, and how these organizations in turn are used to define national security. Governing Securityinvestigates the origins of two major federal agencies that touch the lives of Americans every day: the Roosevelt-era Federal Security Agency (which gave rise to the present-day Department of Health and Human Services) and the more recently created Department of Homeland Security. Through the stories of both organizations, Cuellar offers a compelling account of crucial developments affecting the basic architecture of our nation. He shows how Americans end up choosing goals not through an elaborate technical process, but in lively and overlapping settings where the public reacts to court decisions, civil servants set priorities, and policymakers decide whether to consolidate agencies. As Cuellar shows, the ongoing fights about the scope of national security reshape the very structure of government, particularly during--or in anticipation of--a national crisis.