Audio Book (CD)
7.5 × 5.44 × 0.6 in
December 11, 2012
Simon & Schuster Audio
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1442362901
ISBN - 13: 9781442362901
Read from the Book
INTRODUCTION So you’ve come to talk about my predecessors.” Bill Clinton greets us in his Harlem office, looking thin, sounding thin, his voice a scrape of welcome at the end of a long day. It is late, it is dark, pouring rain outside, so beyond the wall of windows the city is a splash of watery lights and street noise. But inside, past the two armed agents, behind the electronic locks, the sanctuary is warm wood and deep carpet, a collector’s vault. A painting of Churchill watches from the west wall; a stuffed Kermit the Frog rests on a shelf, while a hunk of an old voting machine, with names attached and levers to pull, sits behind his desk. “This is my presidential library, from Washington through Bush,” he says, pointing to bookcases full of memoirs and biographies, and in the course of the séance that follows he summons the ghosts not just of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt but Franklin Pierce and Rutherford B. Hayes. He dwells on one president he misses—Richard Nixon—and another that he loves: George H. W. Bush. “A month to the day before he died,” he says of Nixon, “he wrote me a letter about Russia. And it was so lucid, so well written. . . . I reread it every year. That one and George Bush’s wonderful letter to me, you know where you leave your letter to your successor.” That was the letter that said, “You will be our President when you read this note. . . . I am rooting hard for you.” Along the windowsill are dozens of pictures; he looks at the signed photo of
From the Publisher
The bestselling authors of The Preacher and the Presidents return with a riveting new history of the private relationships among the last thirteen presidents, uncovering and exploring the partnerships, private deals, rescue missions, and rivalries of those few men who served as commander in chief.
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.
About the Author
Nancy Gibbs is an executive editor of Time magazine and coauthor with Michael Duffy of the New York Times bestseller The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House.
Michael Duffy is Time’s Washington bureau chief and directs coverage of presidents, politics, and national affairs for the magazine.
“A fabulous book . . . I absolutely love it.” —Greta Van Susteren, FOX News