The Presidents Club

The Presidents Club

Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The bestselling authors of The Preacher and the Presidents return with a riveting new history of the private relationships among the last thirteen presidents, uncovering and exploring the partnerships, private deals, rescue missions, and rivalries of those few men who served as commander in chief.

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration by Harry 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 Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike 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 Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.

Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, c2012.
ISBN: 9781439127704
Branch Call Number: 973. 92 GIB
Characteristics: vii, 641 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Duffy, Michael 1958-


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 12, 2015

This is an eye-opener. This old boy club has more way to stab their advisory in the back then one can imagine.

Apr 04, 2014

A must read for political "junkies". A lot of behind the scenes insight and new information. Loved this!

Jun 25, 2013

A truly fascinating read. This book actually surveys modern American history from WW2 to the present day, as seen through the prism of the Presidency. Very interesting to learn how successive presidents dealt with former presidents, in the club. For example, all subsequent presidents leaned on Nixon, after Tricky Dicky had resigned in disgrace. Covers Herbert Hoover from the 1930s, up to Obama today. Reveals friendships, rivalries and downright hatreds. Arguably, the club members of this world's most exclusive fraternity have shaped the modern world for all of us, more than any other group of people that ever lived.

May 30, 2013

I thought that this book was pretty informational. I thought it did a good job of staying bipartisan, and the authors really worked hard to find something positive with all of the presidents. Lots and lots of interesting anecdotes.

Mar 31, 2013

Negative rating for reasons following: Jane's comment, "Excellent view of history" is anything but - - yes, there are some truths and facts mixed in with damning revisionism and misinformation and disinformation. Case in point: the absolute opposite occurred from what the authors' stated after the Bay of Pigs debacle/fiasco (planned and designed WITHIN the Eisenhower administration, with the planners including Vice President Nixon and Eisenhower's SecDef, and so on). Eisenhower did not give President Kennedy a good dressing down - - which the authors fraudulently claim -- JFK lost all confidence in Eisenhower and everything pertaining to his administration (firing all of Eisenhower's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and replacing them after the Bay of Pigs, also firing Allen Dulles of the CIA, whose brother married into the Rockefeller/Morgan family) and both Dulles brothers worked for the law firm representing the Rockefeller family, and fired Richard Bissell of the CIA, Harriman's protege, and fired Gen. Cabell of the CIA, brother of the mayor of Dallas, Earl Cabell). Kennedy had rescinded much of Eisenhower's original plan, calling off the planned assassination of Fidel Castro, pulling back full military offense, because the CIA and Chiefs claimed it would be a popular uprising, and so forth. (Prior to JFK's highly detailed planned assassination [several well-documented books recount a prior Chicago similarly planned hit but JFK canceled that trip at last moment], it was well known he was planning to fire the warmongering Averell Harriman and Henry Cabot Lodge, also.) For an honest and real take on the presidency, read Donald Gibsons' book, Battling Wall Street: the Kennedy presidency, and Nomi Prins' book, All The Presidents' Bankers.

Jane60201 Jan 03, 2013

Excellent view of history. I lived through the whole period and never realized I had missed understanding so much.

Jul 20, 2012

A totally absorbing look at American history through a unique perspective--the relationships between sitting presidents and their living predecessors. There are many riveting and surprising stories: President Truman enlisting much -reviled ex-president Hoover to help feed starving Europe after World War II; President Johnson begging ex-President Eisenhower to visit him at the White House and help him with the morass of the Vietnam War; Richard Nixon sabatoging President Johnson's peace efforts in order to bolster his own election chances; the Watergate scandal; three ex-presidents trying to forestall President Clinton's impeachment, and lots, lots more. The book was extensively researched and reads extremely well. It's a terrific read, which also gave me new insights into the burdens of being President of the United States.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top