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The Presidents Club

April 21, 2012

Time Magazine writers Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs spoke about their just released book, “The Presidents Club,” at a Time Life luncheon. The book is about the really special relationship among the presidents which transcends political differences and stresses the individual and the office. The former presidents actually have a “clubhouse;” a place to stay just for them near the White House. This fraternity started in 1945 just after Harry Truman became president and, facing the aftermath of the second world war, reached out to longtime rival Herbert Hoover. This angered many FDR Democrats but Truman felt only Hoover as an ex President, and one who served in the office at the beginning of the Great Depression, could understand his situation.

Both Gibbs and Duffy presented wonderful photos of the presidents together as well as more fascinating and sometimes humorous history. One unlikely friendship that formed was between Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon which resulted in many late night conversations particularly about foreign policy. Mr. Nixon eventually wrote a letter to Mr. Clinton just before Nixon’s death in 1994 that moved Clinton so much that he reads it every year.

It is not all “peaches and cream” among the former presidents and the current one, no matter who the president happens to be. A deal between Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon produced its share of trouble and the tension between Truman and Eisenhower lasted for a decade plus from Ike’s landslide victory until the two went for a drink after the tragic death and funeral of John F. Kennedy.

Overall the well done presentation by Duffy and Gibbs provided tremendous insight, great stories, and humor that made me feel a tinge more pride and certainly some understanding of this incredible office. I truly look forward to reading The Presidents Club as history will come alive on its pages. Gibbs and Duffy really went “inside” with their determined research that yields great stories and tells part of the office’s and country’s incredible history.

The Presidents Club

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One Comment
  1. professor permalink

    boring sludge. get a life andybeebop

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