The Presidents Club

  • by Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy
  • Narrated by Bob Walter
  • 22 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Presidents Club was born at Eisenhower's inauguration when Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover first conceived the idea. Over the years that followed - and to this day - the presidents relied on, misunderstood, sabotaged, and formed alliances with one another that changed history. The world's most exclusive fraternity is a complicated place: its members are bound forever because they sat in the Oval Office and know its secrets, yet they are immortal rivals for history's favor.
Some presidents needed their predecessors to keep their secrets; others needed them to disappear. Most just needed help getting the job done. Truman enlisted Hoover to help him save Europe; Kennedy turned to Ike on Cuba; Nixon sought Johnson's advice on getting reelected, but then tried to blackmail him; Ford and Carter couldn't stand each other until they saw what they had in common; Reagan and Clinton relied on Nixon as an off-the-books emissary to Russia; Bush put Clinton and his father to work and they became like father and son; and Obama and Clinton became quiet rivals for the same crown.
Journalists and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy unravel the secret compacts, the shared scars, and the private cease-fires from Hoover to Obama. The Presidents Club will change the way we think about the presidency, for the club itself is an instrument of presidential power.

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What the Critics Say

"This is essential reading for anyone interested in American politics." (Robert Dallek, best-selling author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963)
"Forget Rome's Curia, Yale's Skull and Bones and the Bilderbergs - the world's most exclusive club never numbers more than six. Its rules are inscrutable, and its members box the compass politically and stylistically.... Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs have penetrated thick walls of secrecy and decorum to give us the most intimate, revealing, and poignant account of the constitutional fifth wheel that is the ex-presidency. Readers are in for some major surprises, not to mention a history they won't be able to put down." (Richard Norton Smith, author of Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation)
"The Presidents Club is magnetically readable, bursting with new information and behind-the-scenes details. It is also an important contribution to history, illuminating the event-making private relationships among our ex-Presidents and why we should do a far better job of drawing on their skills and experience." (Michael Beschloss, best-selling author of The Conquerers)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Enthralling history, told in a very distracting manner...

This is one of the most consistently good audiobooks that I have listened to all year. Fascinating overview of history, great anecdotes and nicely structured.

One problem though, and it's a major one; the narration. I'm sad to say that Bob Walter has the most distracting speaking style (kind of like a cross between Messrs Bean & Spock) that took an awful lot of getting used to. I did to a certain extent, but it jarred, occasionally altered meaning & generally withdrew me from the narrative.

Still a thoroughly enjoyable listen, but could have been even better!

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- Mr M T Hardy

Truman To Obama

If you are a rabid left winger or a right wing zealot this book is best avoided because it will crush the divisive nonsense rhyming around your head.
Eisenhower masterminding early days of LBJ Whitehouse? Gerald Ford leading Bill Clinton defence case or George Bush senior and Bill Clinton becoming as close as father and son.....This book is a fascinating look at the real human relationships between members of this exclusive club.
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- AnnieG

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-04-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio