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Publisher's Summary

Every president has had a unique and complicated relationship with the intelligence community. While some have been coolly distant, even adversarial, others have found their intelligence agencies to be among the most valuable instruments of policy and power.

Since John F. Kennedy's presidency, this relationship has been distilled into a personalized daily report: a short summary of what the intelligence apparatus considers the most crucial information for the president to know that day about global threats and opportunities. This top-secret document is known as the President's Daily Brief, or, within national security circles, simply "the Book". Presidents have spent anywhere from a few moments (Richard Nixon) to a healthy part of their day (George W. Bush) consumed by its contents; some (Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush) consider it far and away the most important document they saw on a regular basis while commander in chief.

The details of most PDBs are highly classified and will remain so for many years. But the process by which the intelligence community develops and presents the Book is a fascinating look into the operation of power at the highest levels. David Priess, a former intelligence officer and daily briefer, has interviewed every living former president and vice president as well as more than 100 others intimately involved with the production and delivery of the president's book of secrets. He offers an unprecedented window into the decision making of every president from Kennedy to Obama, with many character-rich stories revealed here for the first time.

©2016 David Priess (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Hoping for More

i was hoping to hear about declassified stories from the PDB, but that was only about 5% of the book. Instead it was more about the people behind and presentation of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Millstadt, IL, United States
  • 09-07-16

about the report and nothing but the report

Extremely limited book tells you who liked the report, who didn't like it, how the report changed form in ridiculous detail. If you want to see the presidency through a soda straw with this stupid report always in the foreground, go ahead and get it.

Oh...don't expect to see or read one though! They let Putin read one but not us! Lol.
Waist of time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Goes great paired with Drift by Rachel Maddow

this book lends insight into what was going through the minds of our Modern Day Presidents and seriously goes great with Drift. The two combined layer a comprehensive overview of US Intelligence and Military changes that we should all be keenly aware of. A must read.

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Good for what it is.

You must enjoy the minutiae of Presidential routine to stay with this book. The comparison of styles between the Presidents is interesting as are aspects of the book's changes over time.

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About CIA | Not What I was Hoping For

I cant recall if I read the dam summary or not, regardless, I was hoping for some juicy government secrets (sshhhhh!)

This book did a great job on telling the story centered around a publication delivered to the Presidents over the decades, however it was more about the CIA than anything else.

No juicy secrets uncovered, just a history over the PDB's evolution.

Would I out right recommend this book to anyone? Hahaha...NO!

Are you a history buff and find anything about the guvment interesting? Well then, this book is right up your alley.

Although it was disappointing on the basis that this book was not what I was expecting, this should not discount the fact that the author did a good job showing the reader (or listener) on a very narrow subject matter such as the PDB, how it transformed throughout the years & how different personalities shaped the document even through criticism at the highest level of guvment (POTUS).

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Beyond boring

This book has no real substance. It is all
about process and not content. And the process is boring. There is very little historical substance other than who wrote and read what. I would recommend skipping it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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book about crybabies

Would you try another book from David Priess and/or Jason Culp?

No chance

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something with action

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narrator wasn't too bad.

Do you think The President's Book of Secrets needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No chance. This is a book full of people whining. Presidents whining because they didn't want to read the PDB or it didn't have the right info, and Intel personnel whining because the presidents never patted them on the heads saying, "good boy. That's a good boy!"

0 of 3 people found this review helpful