This was fascinating: A look into the interpersonal aspects of being, or having been, one of the most powerful people in the world.
The book covers Hoover through Obama, limiting the subject to interactions between the members. I found lots of insight into the persons, as opposed to the office. I've often thought that anybody who wanted the job of POTUS should automatically be disqualified from it on the basis if arrogance. But obviously, somebody has to do it. It's a job of superhuman requirements, being struggled with by people who are all too human.
I couldn't put this down, so I read it all too quick. I'll give it another listen and add more later.
I enjoyed this book, however, there were times when I wondered why the authors chose to believe one unsubstantiated rumor but not another. In particular, why the authors refused to believe the story of Johnson bugging Nixon's campaign plane (when the former President told Nixon he did it and any potential proof was stolen by Johnson personel) yet totally accepted as fact the notion that Reagan offered a power-sharing deal with former President Ford.
Both stories based on oral testimony and both lacking any paper trail. I would choose to treat both as interesting but unproven. Aside from this, the book seems lacking an obvious partisan bias.
The stories of Jimmy Carter's treason should have caused more notice in the press and public. This book was the first I heard of it and I consider myself fairly well educated in politics and history.
As a nation of law and order even Presidents sitting and former should be held accountable. Carter should be sitting in prison today but we turn a blind-eye when everything works out ok. Doesn't hurt that Carter has built a sympathetic public through his charity work.
Great read if you are a political history junkie. The gamesmanship between current and former presidents, going back to Hoover, makes for a book that offers something for everyone, regardless of political stripe.
The insights into decisions that were made before and during my lifetime were extremely interesting and thought provoking. I find myself thinking much more kindly on all the presidents.
The narrator took a little getting used to but quickly became the right approach for these stories.
This book makes history more real by bringing it down to a more personal level. Presidents are real people with personalities and struggles, not just characters with names and dates below them in a history text. It is fascinating to hear how the presidents interacted with each other and how they helped or complicated things for the other presidents.
I've also often wondered about the relationship between presidents, which is never talked about, and this book reveals just that. So enlightening to find out who were friends, who were enemies, and what presidents think about each other.
You never know what goes on behind closed doors. I've always said that people argue about politics only with information we get from the media, and that very fact makes us pretty inept to argue anything. In really makes decisions and why? Corruption? Blackmail? Politicians are just puppets.
A good read.
There is almost nothing I would rather read about than American presidential histories. However - this narrator was so slow it was distracting. Likewise, his inflections seemed off, at times changing the meaning of the quotes or the sense of humor of the individuals quoted. I certainly wanted the information and since I frequently both read the book and listen to make the best use of time - I found I was reading far more than listening. However if you only have time to listen - go ahead and get this wonderful book filled with enlightening new information - just turn up the speed to 1.25 or 1.5 and move through it. Best advice - read the book on a digital device or in real living color! The photos are good anyway.
I learned more about many of the presidents I thought I knew plenty about already. I was mostly enlightened by the new perspectives on LBJ.
Slow with oddly stated inflections. Sometimes when he was reading quotes it was very clear that it wasn't intended to be read the way he was reading it.
The behind the scenes stories that betray the public behavior.
I saw a review before buying this with someone saying that they really did not like the narrator. I felt I could probably ignore that complaint as I didn't think it would affect me that much. Boy was I wrong! Hard to explain why it is annoying, but he has very little inflection in his voice and all the sentences end almost like in a question. Typically you would have highs and lows in intonation and all of his reading is right down the middle and lacks interest. He mis-pronounces words a lot, and gets very singsongy in his delivery. Almost like a politician ironically, but it was really hard to listen to which is a shame because most of the content is interesting. I would seriously consider reading this one instead of listening until they get a different narrator to re-record it. Sorry Bob.
Learning how previous holders of the office have counseled others; that, despite their political differences, they each uniquely understand the burdens of the man holding the office and support him pretty much without fail.
You won't get bored listening to or reading this book.