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The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity [Kindle Edition]

Nancy Gibbs , Michael Duffy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 21.00
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Review

"Forget Rome's Curia, Yale's Skull and Bones and the Bilderbergs--the world's most exclusive club never numbers more than six. . . . 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"

Product Description

The inside story of the world's most exclusive
fraternity; how presidents from Hoover through Obama worked with--and
sometimes, against--each other when they were in and out of power.

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Presidents Club March 3 2015
By Robert P. Brown TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
At the 1953 Inauguration of Eisenhower, Truman greeted Herbert Hoover on the platform. "I think we ought to organize a former Presidents Club", Hoover suggested. "Fine" Truman replied. "You be the President and I will be the Secretary."

So was born the modern day Presidents Club.

By Nixon`s inauguration in 1973, it`s membership had dropped to one, Truman and Johnson having recently died. Nixon later commented on this when he observed that he had no predecessor to call on for advice during his Watergate struggles.

The Club reached a high of six members upon the inauguration of Clinton in 1993, only the second time this had happened. (It could happen again after the 2016 election provided Carter and Bush Sr. can hold on that long.)

Through research and personal interviews with the Club members, their aides and relatives, Gibbs and Duffy have produced an informative and intriguing book into how the Presidents interrelate.

Truman and Eisenhower despised each other, until they met at JFK`s funeral and began putting aside their differences. Johnson conferred regularly with Eisenhower, calling him "the best chief of staff I`ve got."

Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson and Ford had all served together in Congress. Nixon had known Reagan for years and had begun his rehabilitation during his tenure. Carter delivered Ford`s eulogy in 2007. Clinton had a close relationship with Nixon, calling upon him a number of times for foreign policy assignments. He also called upon Carter but was exasperated by his independence and lack of protocol.

Bush2 asked his father and Clinton to team up to raise funds for the Tsunami and Katrina relief, which they accomplished successfully.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Visitors' Pass To The Club June 26 2015
By James Gallen TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:MP3 CD
“The President’s Club” is a fascinating introduction to that exclusive fraternity of men who have served as President of the United States. It is a web in which political rivals unite to protect the office, serve their country and world and and find ways to make themselves useful.

The modern club began when Harry Truman invited Herbert Hoover to undertake the task of food relief to war torn Europe. Although Hoover resented being the scapegoat again in 1948 he was willing to help reorganize the Federal Government under both Truman and Eisenhower.

The relationships have been as diverse as the members and party divisions have largely been left behind. Truman was an irascible character who liked to be remembered, by some but not all of his successors, who did undertake at least one “you-die I fly” mission. Eisenhower was an advisor and confident to Kennedy and Johnson in war and peace. Johnson’s club membership kept him quiet as Nixon adhered more to the Johnson policies than Democrats of his day. Thereafter presidents became helpers and tricksters. Nixon’s continued dalliance in foreign affairs and Carter’s globe-trotting and free-lance diplomacy produced tense moments in the West Wing and, on occasion, accusations of treason. Perhaps the closest and most productive bonding was between the Bushes and the “other brother”, Bill Clinton. President Obama, like his predecessors, has learned to employ the talents of those few who know what it is like to sit behind the desk and make the decisions that change history.

What I found most interesting about this is the non-partisanship of the Club. Truman and Hoover could work together better than Hoover did with Eisenhower or Truman with Kennedy.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although an interesting read, "The Presidents Club" could have gone a little deeper. I also sensed that the work was kinder for the Presidents who were still around (an able to read the book) and harsher for those who had passed away.

What striked me even more was the self-centered personnality, not to say selfishness of Richard Nixon, who didn't have any qualms about losing young Americans lives in Vietnam if it could help his candicacy. The picture of Nixon is that of an awful President, who surely must be rank among the botton 3 in history. LBJ not much higher.

However, I enjoyed reading about Herbert Hoover, a lesser know President.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Club with Few Members March 25 2013
By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Among the precedents that George Washington set was the orderly transition of power from one president to the next. As he handed over the presidency, Washington also became the first former president. He and John Adams became the only two members of an exclusive club--those who know what it means to have the power, privileges, and burdens of an American president. This book is the history of this club and its members. Using examples from the near and distant past, Gibbs and Duffy illustrate three key aspects of the Presidents Club. They are personal relationships, protecting the office of the presidency, and supporting the actions of the current president.

The club is about relationships between the current president and those who have gone before. Serving presidents have the counsel and comfort of others who know where the buck stops and how it feels to shoulder this burden. Former presidents have the opportunity to remain relevant and influence national affairs. Most have accepted a behind-the-scenes role, avoiding the dangers of upstaging the current president. Jimmy Carter could be an exception. Richard Nixon advised a succession of presidents in an admitted campaign to redeem himself from the national embarrassment of Watergate.

The club also protects the office of the presidency. Most former presidents avoid criticizing the current president, exercise restraint in their friendships with foreign leaders, and generally remain in the background. Most presidents have responded by respecting former presidents' decisions and concern for their place in history. "However much presidents may disagree with their predecessors on the value of an ally or the danger of an enemy, they are acutely conscious of being the custodians of American credibility.
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