Review by: Delia R.

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You might not think you are interested in presidential history, but pick up a copy of The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, and you may find yourself convinced otherwise. The book chronicles the relationships between former and current presidents, starting with Hoover and going all the way to Obama. And although the book is nonfiction, some of the stories and portraits in The Presidents Club are so outrageous that they seem as though they must be fictitious. 

I know that a thick, nonfiction book about presidential history can seem daunting, but trust me when I say this is actually a very fascinating read. And for those of us who haven’t done much learning over the summer, it’s the perfect book to get your brain warmed up again.

It is easy to criticize presidents from the outside, but The Presidents Club reminds readers that private citizens lack so much information that we can never fully understand the options available to the president or his thought process when making critical decisions. There is only a small circle of individuals who can understand his burden: the presidents club. 

Understanding how former presidents shape current ones is essential to understanding the current man in office, whoever that may be.

Within this group of former and current presidents, nicknamed “the presidents club,” there are deals, betrayals, and enemies. But there are also alliances, deep friendships, and fruitful partnerships. Understanding how former presidents shape current ones is essential to understanding the current man in office, whoever that may be. The Presidents Club is fast-paced and filled with twists and turns, separating it from many other books in its genre. At more than 500 pages, it is not a light and easy read, but once you get going, the pages seem to fly by. I would warmly recommend The Presidents Club to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of what it means to be president and how the secret alliances and truces between former politicians shape Washington from behind the scenes.