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The Presidents Club Audiobook
The Presidents Club
Written by: 
Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy
Narrated by: 
Bob Walter
The Presidents Club Audiobook

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

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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.

©2012 Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Marian 06-28-12
    Marian 06-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Learned a lot"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure. I read a TIME article on the book and the photos were fascinating. The concept of a real A Team of presidents is cool and even entertaining. I am old enough to remember the Nixon years so I found it fascinating to relive the Nixon Ford pardon debate. After reading the book I realized I have changed my mind about the pardon and why Ford did what he did. I agree now that he did the right thing because it was always about the presidency, not the person. Although now the presidency and the man occupying are getting disrespected outright but I digress...Great book in giving the reader of history a real education not covered in the history books. The sections on Hoover and Truman were long but I came away learning a lot about that era and post war Europe.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nixon and his interactions with Clinton. I could sense Nixon`s neediness to connect with Clinton and while ironic they became best buds, it all kind of makes sense. I have a new respect for Bush senior too.


    What didn’t you like about Bob Walter’s performance?

    It was okay. Pretty monotone.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were many but the section when Carter lost it with Cedras to get the heck out of Haiti because children could die was moving. Carter for all his faults - he does seem more of a loner compared to the rest of the fraternity - does march to the beat of a different drummer. The section also on Ford telling Nixon and Carter to go with Jerry, Jimmy and Dick was pretty memorable.


    Any additional comments?

    I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I ended up disliking Eisenhower; sympathetic to LBJ; respectful of Nixon`s complexity; and overall had a vicarious enjoyment of the presidents being above the fray. Capturing the interactions of the ones alive and representing America in retirement makes great reading! The authors will need to include Obama in the next edition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 06-19-12
    Joseph 06-19-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Remarkable Story, Wonderfully Presented"

    The Presidents Club is a fascinating lens through which to view recent US history. The research at the foundation of this book would have been massive and meticulous. But the real value is the way all the details are strung together in a compelling narrative. Though not always chronological, strong links kept me engaged and enthralled.

    I already knew the news stories that populate this book; war, assassination, resignation, impeachment and elections. But I didn't know the "back story". And Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy tell one fabulous back story!

    Bob Walter does a very good job of narrating throughout. His approach is steady and non-dramatic. In his voice, all the Presidents sound the same, with one odd exception, when President Clinton is doing an impersonation of President George W Bush.

    I loved this book because it brought familiar events and people to life in a very different way and provided incredible insight into what must be one of the most difficult jobs in the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nedco 06-12-12
    nedco 06-12-12 Member Since 2016
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    "A Cliff Notes on Presidents Hoover through Obama"
    If you could sum up The Presidents Club in three words, what would they be?

    A fantastic review of the key events and relationships of former presidents


    What other book might you compare The Presidents Club to and why?

    none


    Which scene was your favorite?

    all


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    A great incite into history and how the former Presidents handled the critical events in their own time with the former Presidents. A great way to gain a powerful understanding of the presidential history from 1940 until today

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy A Moran Cincinnati, Ohio United States 06-11-12
    Nancy A Moran Cincinnati, Ohio United States 06-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "excellent listening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Presidents Club to be better than the print version?

    no, would rate equally


    What did you like best about this story?

    an additional insight into the lives of the President's


    Have you listened to any of Bob Walter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the best books i have "read" this year....really insightful and interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles United States 06-11-12
    Charles United States 06-11-12
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    "What Presidential power is really about."
    Would you listen to The Presidents Club again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to this book again. I am sure I missed a few key points in the various stories. Also, the book is fascinating. It would be very easy to listen to it again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Presidents Club?

    There were many. But most of all it was understanding just how big of a crook Richard Nixon really was.


    Have you listened to any of Bob Walter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, So I have no comparison.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Nixon sabotaged the peace talks with North Vietnam.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have any interest in high level politics and how they work this is a great book. The forward was a little dry and drawn out but once the real story begins it is hard to put this book down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mr kieran j murphy san jose 06-08-12
    mr kieran j murphy san jose 06-08-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting"

    This was a really interesting story, with particular reference to the relationship between the different presidents up to and including Bill Clinton.

    the relationship between the different men was both very enjoyable and also enlightening. this is also the case when comparing the public face of the different presidents and the person who they really are.

    The story made me also think about the different relationships that have existed between presidents and their vice presidents - that was not covered, unless the vice president went on to become president - and only then it was superficial.

    It is obviously very difficult to write about the Obama administration and it's relationship with the past presidents, including the potential role they have played in getting votes in the senate and house for raising the debt ceiling etc. When that is able to be written I will certainly spend a credit on that too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LISA S 06-05-12
    LISA S 06-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great to relive this history"
    Where does The Presidents Club rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best histories I have listened to because of the personal characterization it brought to our modern presidencies. I have relived the history of my youth with details that were not known to the public at that time in order to illustrate the relationships ex-presidents have with current presidents. It gives you a new outlook on presidents you thought you knew.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Bennett 06-02-12
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    "Terrific - facinating - eye-opening..."
    Would you listen to The Presidents Club again? Why?

    If you're interested in presidential politics this book is for you. You will learn things that you could not have imagined. More amazing than fiction. Well researched, well presented, a facinator that I couldn't stop listening to and at the same time didn't want it to end!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry Truman


    What about Bob Walter’s performance did you like?

    fine performance


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - but I didn't do it.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed it so much that I ordered the book on Amazon and gave it to a very good friend for her birthday.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-28-12
    David 05-28-12
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    "A must read"

    This is a must read for students of American History, or those curious about the modern days presidents and their relations. It may very well change your perception about one or two of the last ten or so presidents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trudy L. Bradford LOGANDALE, NV, US 05-28-12
    Trudy L. Bradford LOGANDALE, NV, US 05-28-12 Member Since 2015
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    "The Presidents Club"

    We enjoyed listening to this and had a lot to talk about during and after we heard the book. The political caricitures become human characters. The polarizing black and white of each era is dispelled by welcome persepective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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