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

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

Author: Nancy Gibbs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 656
Cover Price: $ 32.50

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The first history of the private relationships among modern American presidents—their backroom deals, rescue missions, secret alliances, and enduring rivalries. The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry S. 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 John F. Kennedy tried to blame Eisenhower 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 Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The letter from Nixon that Bill Clinton rereads every year. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama. Journalists and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new tool to understand the presidency by exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.

Background Information

The White House is the official residence in Washington DC of the President of the United States. John F. Kennedy was a hero in World War II, a Senator from Massachusetts, and became the first Catholic President in 1960. Gerald R. Ford was a congressman from Michigan, who was named vice-president after Spiro Agnew's resignation and became president after Richard Nixon's resignation. The cabinet of Lyndon Johnson initially had many holdovers from John Kennedy but Johnson gradually added his own choices. Harry S. Truman of Missouri was FDR's surprising choice for vice-president in 1944 and became president upon Roosevelt's death in 1945.