Buy Used
$4.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: ELIGIBLE FOR *FREE* SUPER SAVER SHIPPING. AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH DELIVERY TRACKING. Book may have moderate wear to edges, small tears, slight water damage, and highlighting on pages. CD may or may not be included.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Inside the Oval Office: The Secret White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton Hardcover – May 1, 1999


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$6.26 $0.01
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Life with Harper Lee
Invited to live as her neighbor, Marja Mills offer unprecedented insight into the reclusive author's life in The Mockingbird Next Door. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha America; First edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568362854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568362854
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,639,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Richard Nixon was not the first president to tape-record conversations inside the Oval Office--that was Franklin Roosevelt. Nor was he the last, although one would think after Nixon's disastrous experience with taping that the succeeding occupants of the White House would have learned better. Since they didn't, we have Inside the Oval Office, "a cockpit voice recorder of the presidency" written and compiled by William Doyle. Doyle combines transcripts of taped Oval Office conversations--from FDR to Bill Clinton--with his assessment of each president's executive abilities. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example, John F. Kennedy showed what Doyle calls a pragmatic leadership style: "self-control, a call for multiple opinions, the discipline to think several steps ahead, and the ability to put himself in 'the other guy's shoes.'"

Among the book's highlights: Franklin Roosevelt briefing cabinet members and congressional leaders after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; Dwight Eisenhower talking to the British prime minister during the Suez crisis; John F. Kennedy talking to Mississippi governor Ross Barnett during the fight over integration of the University of Mississippi; Lyndon Johnson meeting with military advisors about U.S. involvement in Vietnam; Richard Nixon talking with Chuck Colson about monitoring Henry Kissinger's calls to the press (and the "smoking gun" tapes in which Nixon discusses the Watergate cover-up with John Dean and H.R. Haldeman); and the transcripts of videotaped meetings held by Ronald Reagan on the Soviet Union. Anyone interested in history and the presidency will no doubt find Inside the Oval Office full of revealing and fascinating material. --Linda Killian

From Publishers Weekly

Seven of the 11 U.S. presidents since the Depression have secretly recorded meetings and telephone conversations in the White House. Many of these recordings have been locked away in official archives, lost or forgotten. Doyle, who won a Writer's Guild award for a documentary on the same subject, uses these recordings to present an impressive, illuminating account of how presidents from FDR to Clinton managed the day-to-day operations of "the world's most dangerous office." Combining interviews, meticulous historical research and transcripts of the tapes themselves, Doyle peeks behind the wizard's curtain to show us the nation's chief executives at work: FDR thundering at the "damn Jap" who demanded that the U.S. evacuate Hawaii; Eisenhower sternly prodding the British prime minister to cease hostilities in the Suez; Johnson browbeating a senator into serving on the Warren Commission. We learn what time presidents woke up (in Truman's case, 5:30 a.m.), if they took naps (Reagan, every day) and what time they went to sleep (well past midnight for Johnson). We see them trading quips with the White House press corps and dispatching troops to international hot spots. We also see them digging their own graves, via Johnson and Nixon transcripts on Vietnam and Watergate. Doyle's running commentary on the transcripts provides a plethora of instructive and sometimes disheartening insights into the hidden machinery of the Oval Office. Quoth Bill Clinton: "I get treated like a mule. Whenever I'm at my desk I end up with these lists of people to call. I'm supposed to call every junior congressman about every vote.... I don't have time to think." Reading this book is a little like peering through a keyhole at history.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

I am a writer based in New York. My latest book is A MISSION FROM GOD: A MEMOIR AND CHALLENGE FOR AMERICA, the memoir of civil rights hero James Meredith. Last year I published A SOLDIER'S DREAM: CAPTAIN TRAVIS PATRIQUIN AND THE AWAKENING OF IRAQ. I also wrote INSIDE THE OVAL OFFICE: THE WHITE HOUSE TAPES FROM FDR TO CLINTON and AN AMERICAN INSURRECTION: JAMES MEREDITH AND THE BATTLE OF OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI, 1962.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
4
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 10 customer reviews
This one was an eye opener.
Dixon J. Webb
Anyone buying this book to read juicy tape transcripts will be disappointed.
saskatoonguy
Quite a page turner and hard to put down; good photo section, too.
Vince Palamara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a lot more than a book about oval office tapes; it's about the managment styles of eleven presidents. Doyle does a superb job of contexting, analyzing and contrasting the widely different styles of presidents Roosevelt through Clinton. The tapes alone are fascinating (no, they didn't ALL tape: some just bugged their phones, some dicated a diary, some used a stenographer, and Bush did none of the above), but the real value of the book may be it's insights into eleven variously-successful executive leaders. I highly recommend this book to any business person. Instead of some "expert" giving you a lecture on the latest managment theory, eavesdrop on these eleven men and listen to how they really managed their staffs when the doors were closed. Fascinating reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Vince Palamara on July 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
We can nitpick and split hairs 'til the cows come home about the sub title, etc., but the simple fact is this: this is a great, great book. Very well written and researched and lots of good information on the (management/ administrative) styles of Presidents from FDR to Clinton. Quite a page turner and hard to put down; good photo section, too. This book will make you appreciate the job of the presidency even more, as well as certain specific presidents, in particular (i.e. JFK). Get this one asap!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Gates on September 17, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
After reading and listening to "Taking Charge," which was about LBJ's secret tapes, I was expecting the audio version of "Inside the Oval Office" to use many more actual recordings. Instead, the reader reads transcripts of conversations. The tapes contain a few actual recordings but very few, about one per president. Inexplicably, it presents no actual recordings of Reagan, Bush or Clinton. This was a disappointment since I knew from listening to "Taking Charge" that actual recordings contain great insights into the men who inhabited the White House. A reader cannot possibly capture the nuances of language used by our 20th century presidents. There is a great difference between hearing a president's actual words and having them read from transcripts. However, the content of the book and audiotapes provide a facinating glimpse inside the oval office.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By saskatoonguy on April 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Doyle's unorthodox book is a survey of the differing management styles of eleven presidents, FDR through Clinton. The book purports to be based on secret presidential tapes. But actual tape transcripts comprise a tiny percentage of the pages of this book, and in any event, there were no surreptitious recordings of conversations after Nixon. Anyone buying this book to read juicy tape transcripts will be disappointed. Instead, this book is a description of how each of the eleven presidents structured his staff, coped with the workload, and made decisions.
Some presidents come across very differently than their popular image: For instance, Reagan was a surprisingly hands-on president, while Bush Sr. is portrayed as ineffectual and passive. Clinton fares very poorly in this book due to his lack of organization. It is Johnson, however, that is the most memorable, combining political acumen with incredibly disgusting personal habits. The book, as a whole, walks the reader through a half-century of US history as events were experienced in the Oval Office.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific book and rewards the reader with insight into the modern presidency. It talks about each President's strengths and how each of them got themselves into trouble and it illustrates its points using each President's own words. Because it is less than 400 pages long it is hard for Doyle to support all the claims he makes, but it is still worth reading. More than that, it is worth owning and re-reading. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that I think the book could have gone a bit deeper into each presidency without adding too much length. It was just a bit too much this side of a tourist's guide to each presidency.
But there are so many wonderful and new insights that I feel guilty for not giving it five stars. So, if you want, just imagine that I did give it the full five with this little caveat.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search