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What A President Should Know: An Insider's View on How to Succeed in the Oval Office Hardcover – January 3, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742562220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742562226
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Agree or disagree, Larry Lindsey's advice to the next president makes a crackling good read. As you turn the pages, you may find yourself alternately smiling and frowning. But you'll want to keep turning—and you should. (Alan S. Blinder, Professor of Economics, Princeton University, and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System a)

Larry Lindsey has provided a roadmap for how the next President can and should lead this nation through hazardous times. Readers of this book are taken directly into the Oval Office, to a world where decisions are high stakes and actions have consequences. You won't want to put it down. (Fred Thompson)

This is a book for everyone who is interested in the next occupant of the White House—including every presidential aspirant. Larry Lindsey writes with the expertise of an economist who taught at Harvard and a former Governor of the Federal Reserve and with the policy wisdom of someone who has worked in the White House in the Administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. (Martin S. Feldstein, president and CEO of the National Bureau of Economic Research and former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Adviser)

This book is a real good read. Any President would benefit by his understanding of the way the process works inside the Oval Office. In fact, it would be valuable to anyone in any management position. Democrats may not agree with all the conclusions, but this is a great discussion of the policy choices the country faces. (Tom Foley, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives)

Agree with him or not, Larry Lindsey is always worth reading. (Senator Joe Biden)

Whether our next president actually reads this book, voters would be well-advised to do so as a means of refocusing their attention on competence and effectiveness, which matter so little during the campaign, and will matter so much when the winner takes office. (Chicago Sun-Times)

This useful book's common-sense prescriptions concerning economic and military policy become uncommon when political pressures emerge. (World, February 2008)

Lindsey's hook is a package of memos surrepitiously smuggled onto the president's desk on Inauguration Day 2009. They form the core of each chapter and are preceded by a narrative setting out some of the relevant history and policy background (and often Lindsey's own experience at the White House-a topic of interest in its own right). ...Some of the substantive suggestions are likely to interest a Republican president. But even a Democratic one will surely benefit from the description of policy history, process, and current contextual challenge. (Public Administration Review, September/October 2009)

About the Author

Lawrence B. Lindsey was Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council at the White House (2001-2002). From 1997 to 2001, he was a Resident Scholar and holder of the Arthur F. Burns Chair in Economics at the American Enterprise Institute. During late 1999 and throughout 2000 he served as then-Gov. George W. Bush's chief economic advisor for his presidential campaign. Lindsey served as a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1991-1997). He was a Special Assistant to the President for Policy Development (1989-1991). He was an associate professor of economics at Harvard University (1984-1989). From 1981 to 1984 he was the senior staff economist for tax policy for the Council of Economic Advisers. He is the author of The Growth Experiment: How the New Tax Policy is Transforming the U.S. Economy (Basic, 1990) and Economic Puppetmasters: Lessons from the Halls of Power (AEI, 1999). He is currently the president and chief executive officer of The Lindsey Group, which he co-founded in 2003. Marc Sumerlin is Managing Director and co-founder of The Lindsey Group. He previously served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council for Pres. George W. Bush. Prior to the White House, Sumerlin was the Economic Policy Advisor at the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign headquarters where he advised then-Gov. Bush on economic matters. He has also worked as a Senior Analyst and Assistant Economist to the Senate Budget Committee, a Research Assistant to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and an Accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dolly Madison on November 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It helped me understand why some of the most complicated issues facing are nation (i.e. health care, education, taxes, terrorism), are so complicated and why many presidents don't have the political guts to get to the core of these issues. Lindsey does not make a list of people to condemn. He is favorable to Bush which is fine with me--(Bush hasn't been the sole source of all our troubles these last 8 years.)--but he doesn't set him up like a God either. I like this book better than other books of a political nature because it was not a smeer of current politicians. It was more like--'here's the big problems, here is why no one else has wanted to deal with them, here are some things you could do, but either way it's going to be rough on you'.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By NoSacredCow on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I tried going into this book with an open mind. The fact that I believe George Bush is the worst president of all time aside, Lindsey & Sumerlin's book is fairly evenhanded with a slant toward republicanism.

This book does not spend much time discussing the current admin but actually spends more time on previous administrations

Lindsey avoids referring to the current president's mistakes so comes off as an apologist by omission. Having said that, there were things that I learned in historical context of the workings of the White House, the economy and politics.

Don't expect an in depth discourse on decision making in the executive branch. It's more like, 'How to be the Prez 101'.

I would still recommend reading it, but get it at the library and spend your money on a different book or music instead.
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21 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lindsey's book is a great disappointment - was hoping for an erudite examination of major economic issues facing the U.S., and instead found sophomoric suggestions such as "Don't" go into war, because it damaged Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon and Bush II politically, and their physical appearance and health, and "if you do go into war, have an exit strategy."

The government's response to 1929 was tax increases, tightened monetary policy, and increased tariffs. Therefore, per Lindsey, we should do the opposite today - even though Bush's last tax cuts were followed by continued decline in the economic status of most Americans, as well as the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs and a resulting negative impact on our security. (Nonetheless, without noting the key relevance, Lindsey also points out that Adam Smith believed free trade was not justified when it damaged national security. He seems to think that overvaluing the Chinese currency is the only problem - failing to realize that they have millions willing to work at 10% or so of American wages, thus severely limiting how far the yuan would rise. Further, raising the value of the yuan would decrease foreign investment in China (vs. Vietnam, etc.), lead to unrest due to job losses in China, and require exchange rate losses on the hundreds of billions of U.S. debt they already hold.

Health care, education, and energy are identified as major problems. Lindsey's analyses, however, are of no value. He sees health-care as trapped between increased rationing and an increased share of GNP (ignoring substantial opportunities for savings through a single-payer system and a strong focus on eliminating the nearly 50% spent on ineffectual/harmful treatments, per experts).
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shawn R. Somers on May 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I had high expectations for this book because of Lindsay's history in the White House. However, his depiction of what a future president should know was extremely boring and redundant. I would not recommend this book to anybody.
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