Friday, January 16, 2015

The Presidents Club - Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy

The Presidents Club:
Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity
This book has been on my list for quite a while. It's not an easy or light read. It's long and content heavy. But the history nerd in me was fascinated by its stories.

Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy explore the relationships between current and former presidents. As their subtitle puts it, the "Presidents Club" is "the world's most exclusive fraternity." There have only ever been a few men in it at a time since it's conception in the early 20th century. 

Apparently, it all started as a joke between Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover as they spent time together on the day of Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration. Since that time, the unique relationship between the present and past most powerful men in the free world has been more documented and organized.

Gibbs & Duffy break the book down by relationship. Each section, including one or more chapters, documents the friendship, or lack thereof, between two presidents. I most enjoyed the later sections, as they reflected the relationships between presidents of whom I have more knowledge and context.

As I said, the book is very content heavy. At times, I felt the authors dove a little too deep into policy or politics, but I also understand that those things were often contributing factors in said relationships. If you can slog through the denser parts, you will be rewarded with a lot of charming anecdotal stories and interesting facts. Well worth the read, I think. 

Pages: 641
Date Completed: December 11, 2014

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