The first history of the private relationships among modern
American presidents-their backroom deals, rescue missions, secret
alliances, and enduring rivalries.
The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower's
inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated
place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval
Office and yet are eternal rivals for history's favor. Among their
secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs.
How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How
Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then
betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity
into an alliance. The letter from Nixon that Bill Clinton rereads
every year. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush.
And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.
Journalists and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael
Duffy offer a new tool to understand the presidency by exploring
the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the
course of history.