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The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House Hardcover – August 10, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a photo section of Mr. Graham with each President. The authors are editors of Time magazine -- their writing is concise and clear. Their research (who met who when, the religious background of each President, ect.) is considerable. All in all, a must read for political junkies and Billy Graham fans.
The insights are countless:
* Harry Truman hated Graham
* Eisenhower's bland civil religion policies may have obscured some real spiritaul awakening during his presidency.
* LBJ considered Graham one of his best friends. He would phone Graham in the middle of the night to come to the White House bedroom to kneel and pray with him. Long after LBJ left office and was demonized by both Republicans and Democrats, Graham regularly visited him on his ranch. Graham was truly a pastor to him.
* Nixon used and manipulated Graham, but also cared about him. The "Two Nixon" portrait rings true.
* JFK was thoroughly secular and was amused but fairly disinterested in Graham. JFK once asked him why Protestants believed in a 2nd Coming while his own Catholics did not. Graham gently reminded JFK that the 2nd Coming was a part of the Apostles' Creed and Catholic dogma.
* Carter despised Graham. Not surprising, given that Carter's theology is not remotely evangelical and that Carter liked very, very few people in general.
I ended up respectinga nd liking Graham more AND less as a result of this book. Most horrifying was to learn more of his almost complete lack of ecclesiology. To him the Church seems to have value only as an instrument to bring people into a personal relationship with Christ. There is no sense of the centrality of community, or how the Church is not the means but the end. So when Graham sees Nixon criticized for starting Sunday worship inisde the White House, Graham's response is "Mr. President, the critics are pastors who fear peopel worshipping outside church.Read more ›
Billy Graham must be unique in knowing eleven different Presidents and in sharing genuine friendships with nine (or ten) of them. From the time of Harry Truman all the way until the present day and the presidency of George W. Bush, Graham has been America's most widely known and widely respected preacher. He has served as pastor to most of the Presidents for almost half a century. This book, authored by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, editors at TIME, tells the story of Billy Graham in the White House--of Billy Graham's remarkable friendships with these Presidents. I begins with Truman and ends with George W. Bush. Each President receives a chapter or a number of chapters detailing how the life of Billy Graham intersected with his life.
Rather than relay how Graham interacted with each of the Presidents, I thought it might make sense to simply relay a few of the points that I found most interesting.
* I found it interesting that several of the Presidents seemed to use Graham for their own purposes.Read more ›
Perhaps not as well known yet made clear in this book, Billy Graham has personally ministered to 11 American presidents through the years. It's amazing to read about the reach of this man, and to contemplate the affect that he's had on the course of history.
This book, while definitely not a "tell-all", is chockful of interesting tidbits of meetings with movers and shakers, and reveals the authors' commitment to a well-researched and well written book on one of the most interesting living Americans.
Whether you agree with Mr. Graham's religious beliefs or not, you will find this a fascinating book about a well-intentioned, highly committed religious leader whose reach and influence may very well have colored some of the decisions made by US presidents over the years. This is definitely a story of one of the "Men behind the Man".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this book for my mother for Christmas. She is thrilled with this book.Published 6 months ago by B. Tone
What is clear from Ms. Gibbs account is that Billy Graham was practically and theologically 'in bed' with the Republican Party although he struggled to maintain a veneer of... Read morePublished on July 12, 2014 by Steve Gio
This is a great book. Kinda long and kinda boring in places. But the stories and the anecdotes! We learn so much about the private feelings of the presidents that Billy Graham... Read morePublished on May 29, 2014 by Diana K Waters
Loved reading how the presidents responded to Billy and vice versa. His relationship with Truman was...interesting, to say the least!Published on May 7, 2014 by Sandy
Thank you for the great service. I am about half the way through it and find it interesting. I read Rebel Without A Cause by Franklin Graham and thought I should read some of... Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by Patricia A. Asmussen