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The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity Hardcover – April 17, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 962 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: It's hard to imagine a more obviously fascinating prism through which to look at American history and politics since the end of World War II. Starting with the surprisingly effective relationship of Harry S. Truman and Herbert Hoover, and following through "Obama and His Club," TIME Magazine's Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs and Washington Bureau Chief Michael Duffy trace the surprising, complicated story of "the world's most exclusive fraternity." Sitting presidents and their predecessors have at times proved remarkably simpatico, at others impossible thorns in each other's sides. The authors' extensive research demonstrates that ex-Presidents have a penchant for morphing from consummate team players into irascible rogues, sometimes within weeks, as they strive both to remain relevant and to shape their own legacies. In Gibbs and Duffy's hands, their stories never fail to captivate. --Jason Kirk


“This is essential reading for anyone interested in American politics.” —Robert Dallek, bestselling author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963

“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

The Presidents Club is magnetically readable, bursting with new information and behind-the-scenes details. It is also an important contribution to history, illuminating the event-making private relationships among our ex-Presidents and why we should do a far better job of drawing on their skills and experience.” —Michael Beschloss, bestselling author of The Conquerers

“Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy have given us a great gift: a deeply reported, highly original, and wonderfully written exploration of a much-overlooked part of American history. The tiny world of U.S. presidents is our Olympus, and Gibbs and Duffy have chronicled the intimacies and rivalries of the gods.” —Jon Meacham, bestselling author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

“Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs have taken us inside one of the most powerful and unusual families in American life—the brotherhood of former presidents of the United States. Political junkies, historians, psychologists and main street citizens will find the tales of friendship, envy, conspiracy, competition and common cause irresistible.” —Tom Brokaw, bestselling author of The Greatest Generation

“This is a brilliant idea for a book, wonderfully written! At Eisenhower’s inauguration, Hoover and Truman half-jokingly decided to form a ‘President’s Club.’ With surprising reporting and insights, this book reveals the relationships and rivalries among the few men who know what it’s like to be president. It gives a new angle on history by exploring the essence of the presidency.” —Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin

“Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs offer more than a fresh and fascinating first look at the world’s most exclusive men’s club. It’s a book of real substance about clashing egos and strange bedfellows at the top.” —Jonathan Alter, bestselling author of The Promise

The Presidents Club is a lucid and well-written glimpse into the modern presidency and its self-sustaining shadow organization. It's worth reading and rereading for its behind-the-scenes insights.” USA Today

“This is a great scoop . . . Amazing.” —Chris Matthews, NBC

“A fabulous book . . . I absolutely love it.” —Greta Van Susteren, FOX News

“This is . . . the historical version of crack.” —Joe Scarborough, MSNBC

“Fascinating!” —Brooke Baldwin, CNN

“It is a fascinating read, and I can’t put the book down.” —Clayton Morris, FOX News

“Can I download it at midnight tonight? . . . I love this book, I love that somebody tackled it.” —Chuck Todd, MSNBC

“This is a compelling look at how these men set aside their differences to shape policy and history.” Entertainment Weekly

“A lively history of the crisscrossing personal relationships among America’s post-World War II presidents.” The Washington Post

“With their knowledge of the territory of presidential politics and personality, Gibbs and Duffy assemble a compelling account . . . [and] show that collisions of ego, personality and politics can often result in creation, not destruction.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“With research in presidential papers and the published record, this is a fascinating and fun read that will appeal to political junkies and history buffs alike. Highly recommended.” Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 641 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439127700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439127704
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (962 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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