Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times
bestselling history of the private relationships among the last thirteen presidents — the partnerships, private deals, rescue missions, and rivalries of those select 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. Its members are bound forever because of their stints in the Oval Office, yet 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 with Cuba; Nixon sought Johnson’s advice on getting reelected, but then tried to blackmail him; Bush put his father and Clinton to work and they became like father and son; and Obama and Clinton became quiet rivals for the same crown.
Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy unravel the secret confidences, the shared scars, and the private cease-fires from Hoover to Obama. A fascinating, inside look at a hidden world, The Presidents Club will change the way we think about the presidency.
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 unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.
Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.
About the Author
Nancy Gibbs is the deputy managing 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 executive editor and Washington bureau chief and directs coverage of presidents, politics, and national affairs for the magazine.