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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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  •  
    Dr. Jonathan Newman Guelph, Ontario Canada 08-25-17
    Dr. Jonathan Newman Guelph, Ontario Canada 08-25-17 Member Since 2006
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    "Quirky but interesting view of history"

    This is a fascinating look at history from the end WW2 until the end of Obama's administration. It's obviously not complete and yet it gives the reader insight into modern history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Carey 06-23-17
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    "A compelling, engaging history"

    The Presidents Club is real. It had an official founding (after Eisenhower's inauguration, when Truman and Hoover agreed on it), and over the years has acquired a newsletter, a clubhouse, and a variety of perks as well as the responsibility of being there when the sitting President needs them. Only other people who've held the office truly understand its pressures and demands; in that sense they are sometimes the only source of truly informed advice.

    And sometimes, a former President is the best or the only appropriate emissary for a trip the President can't make himself.

    The authors do an excellent job of reconstructing and recounting the history of the club. Interviews with several of the presidents of the last thirty years, as well as aides, family members, and colleagues, help make this rich in detail and insight. We get to know he club members from Hoover onward. We get a real sense of their strengths, weaknesses, and particular quirks, as well as both the rivalries and the unexpected friendships they formed.

    It's a rich and well-informed narrative, told mostly chronologically, with divergences from that to follow up on themes and specifics where it seems appropriate. In addition to the strong writing, the narrator has a strong, clear voice, making for good listening even in traffic. I learned a lot, and enjoyed learning it.

    Highly recommended.

    I bought this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Davidell Collins 06-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Is it Bias?. Well written!"

    I very much enjoyed the well written and detailed book. Giving the fact, that you could only go off of interviews and provided information that was allowed to be published in this book. The Presidents Club is a book I would recommend. However, I didn't like that there was very little on Obama. Especially since President Obama, being the newest member of the club. I would have expected more information; given that fact that you were writing this book during his presidential era. However, thank you for the aligning the history of our presidents from President Truman ending with President Obama. I feel that I've gain a lot of presidential insight that our educational system never provided. I grew up 45 miles from were President Clinton lived in Hot Springs, AR. Living in Fordyce, Ar I was never provided with this much information about our local President. So thank you. I can't provide a proper rating today because like all books, people tends to be bias. For the ones reading this review... it is important that we remind ourselves what the former presidents rights and wrongs. What the Presidents did to change the country and the world for mankind. Ask yourself after reading this book how will we decide our presidents moving forward. The Presidents live to serve our country, not the other way around. Hold everyone accountable when campaign & assume the office. Bob I had you on 2x at sometimes, for millennials we like faster readers and not the epic build up to the point. Nancy and Michael thank you for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry L. Booker 05-13-17 Member Since 2014
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    "A tour de force of contemplatuve informatiob"

    Due to my going back through portions if the book repeatedly, it took me several days to finish. This was done from intrigue with the information given. An xcellent and compelling read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vintila Bogdan 09-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great history lesson!"

    As a european who did not know deep details about the american Presidents, this has been a lovely lesson and journey throughout their presidency years.

    I really feel that the book helps you get an inside view of the role, and makes you see the president and his actions differently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E 08-20-16
    E 08-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting"

    Never knew the back story of presidents. More helpful to each other than one would think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Harris Trenton, MO USA 04-26-16
    Vincent Harris Trenton, MO USA 04-26-16
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    "Great book for any student of government!"

    Any student of presidential history or of US government will find this book a very informative and enthralling read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 04-12-16
    Teresa 04-12-16
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    "Narrator is needlessly didactic. It's too bad."

    And the "facts" are highly skewed. It does not include any kind of editorial distance or viewpoint, for instance, saying "this is what he said" or "this is how she remembered it." It is offered as history but written in the style of pure fiction.
    I love David McCullough's work and don't have this issue with him. In contrast, this book seems very intellectually dishonest, I'm sorry to say.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Nashua, NH, United States 03-27-16
    Michael Nashua, NH, United States 03-27-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great listen"

    Very good book and performance. I look forward to a second edition now that Obama will be a member in his post presidency years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Daniels Akron, Ohio 02-29-16
    J. Daniels Akron, Ohio 02-29-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great"

    I enjoyed the fact this was more about modern presidents than anything else, I learned a great deal. Great story, but the guy reading has a voice that puts you to sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr M T Hardy
    10/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralling history, told in a very distracting manner..."

    This is one of the most consistently good audiobooks that I have listened to all year. Fascinating overview of history, great anecdotes and nicely structured.

    One problem though, and it's a major one; the narration. I'm sad to say that Bob Walter has the most distracting speaking style (kind of like a cross between Messrs Bean & Spock) that took an awful lot of getting used to. I did to a certain extent, but it jarred, occasionally altered meaning & generally withdrew me from the narrative.

    Still a thoroughly enjoyable listen, but could have been even better!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AnnieG
    8/13/16
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    "Truman To Obama"

    If you are a rabid left winger or a right wing zealot this book is best avoided because it will crush the divisive nonsense rhyming around your head.
    Eisenhower masterminding early days of LBJ Whitehouse? Gerald Ford leading Bill Clinton defence case or George Bush senior and Bill Clinton becoming as close as father and son.....This book is a fascinating look at the real human relationships between members of this exclusive club.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Nickell
    England
    4/29/15
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    "Goood"

    A little fawning in places but very insightful. A kindly insight into the characters behind the politics. Easy to listen to performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • takecon
    Glasgow
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "The Presidents Club"

    The book provided a fascinating insight to the sheer pressure that any US President is under every day of their Presidency. It highlights that the 'buck' does stop at the President's desk and the human travel this causes. It is apparent that no one other than a former President actually understands the pressure to make life or death decisions impacting on hundred of thousands of people if not millions. The book reveal how serving President seek out the advice of their predecessors who are happy to give it. It is clear that it is a job beyond the capabilities of most normal human beings however the existence of 'The Club' has greatly assisted the sitting President and perhaps changed the course of history. To finish the book provided an insight into the way the US political system operate, the frustration and achievements of sitting Presidents and the fascinating relationships between former Presidents. Many of these relationships were/ are very surprising.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Olivier
    thouare sur loire, France
    9/4/12
    Overall
    "Seven Decades Of Behind-The-Scenes History"

    This book tells the stories of the behind-the-scenes relationships between all post-WWII presidents, from Truman to Obama (plus Herbert Hoover).

    For anyone interested in history, this will be a sinful treat. For those less interested in history, it will still be a great source of juicy historical tidbits, which at the very least will shed a new light on the chasm between presidents' public postures and their behind the scenes attitudes.

    The book is broken-down into presidential pairs, with almost never more than 2 presidents being covered in one chapter, and the format works really well, a tribute to the author's skill in organizing the flow of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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