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The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency

de Chris Whipple

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4493255,932 (4.3)12
"The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the White House Chiefs of Staff, whose actions--and inactions--have defined the course of our country What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States--as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and--most crucially--enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks. Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeenliving chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker's expert managing of the White House, the press, and Capitol Hill paved the way for the Reagan Revolution--and, conversely, how Watergate, the Iraq War, and even the bungled Obamacare rollout mighthave been prevented by a more effective chief. Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details,The Gatekeepersoffers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington"--… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 33 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Although the U.S. president is often referred to as "the leader of the free world" and other powerful-sounding titles, the person holding that office isn't a monolith but rather surrounded by a number of advisors, chief among them being, well, the Chief of Staff. This book discusses the various persons who have held that title from the Nixon presidency through the Obama one. As that covers ground over several decades, some topics are touched upon but briefly while other high-profile incidents have more details given. The book is well-researched, pulling from previous biographies of the various personages as well as new interviews by the author. The author isn't bias-free, but does take care to note the pros and cons of each Chief of Staff over the years, never fully vilifying nor exalting any one of them. The audiobook version has a good narrator who doesn't exactly do impersonations but does his best to make all the various people described in the book sound unique. This is a very engaging and informative book for those interested in history, politics, and the intersection of the two. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Aug 31, 2023 |
Very good book. Well written and I liked the way the author wrote about each Chief of Staff to the presidents from Nixon to Trump, their contribution to the the president they served (or lack of), how the president enabled or cobbled them and how each one dealt with a crisis of their president's presidency. I learned a lot reading this book about events in history and the inside insight to the events and the presidents. It's interesting how important this position is but how it doesn't have the prestige of a cabinet position. ( )
  BrendaRT20 | Apr 2, 2023 |
One of the best books on White House history and presidencies I’ve read. Thought it was well researched and very insightful. Would definitely recommend! ( )
  thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
This book was a very timely read, given the current in-house management issues of the current President. Whipple documents the importance of an effective Chief of Staff in the White House. He provides a history of the Chiefs of Staff beginning with Pres. Nixon and H. R. Haldeman through the Obama administration. Jim Baker comes through as may be the most effective Chief of Staff – – he worked for Presidents Reagan and George W.H. Bush. Baker was professional and had excellent relations with Congress and the media.

The least effective chief of staff may have been John Sununu who worked for George W. H. Bush. Sununu was pompous and arrogant and despised by other White House staff. Seeing Sununu on TV, I am not surprised at this characterization.

Whipple does a very effective job in describing the management styles. A number of great stories and anecdotes in the book. If you are interested in the history of recent American president history, you will enjoy this book. ( )
  writemoves | Jun 17, 2019 |
I thought this was a terrible book. It is journalism, not history. The author interviewed many presidential chiefs of staff, and uncritically threw together their platitudes some extended quotes. Was the chummy tone the quid pro quo for access? I did finish the book, and the slightly better in its coverage of Clinton through Obama. Still bad, but worth two stars. ( )
  breic | Oct 16, 2018 |
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"The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the White House Chiefs of Staff, whose actions--and inactions--have defined the course of our country What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States--as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and--most crucially--enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks. Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeenliving chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker's expert managing of the White House, the press, and Capitol Hill paved the way for the Reagan Revolution--and, conversely, how Watergate, the Iraq War, and even the bungled Obamacare rollout mighthave been prevented by a more effective chief. Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details,The Gatekeepersoffers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington"--

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