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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 seventeen living 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 might have been prevented by a more effective chief.
Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, The Gatekeepers offers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington.
Told with urgency and sharp political insight, “Nixonland” recaptures America s turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.
Perlstein s epic account begins in the blood and fire of the 1965 Watts riots, nine months after Lyndon Johnson s historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater appeared to herald a permanent liberal consensus in the United States. But the next year, scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America was more divided than ever, and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon.
Filled with prodigious research and driven by a powerful narrative, Rick Perlstein s magisterial account of how it all happened confirms his place as one of our country s most celebrated historians.”