Off the Shelf

The Hubs bought this actual book as opposed to an ebook which is how we both normally acquire books these days because he knew both of us would want to read it. 

I finished it last week after reading it in about 4 days and can highly recommend it for all informal students of history, both foreign and domestic as the oath states.

Chiefly a 20th century position, the book showcases the brilliance and stamina of the men who have held the position serving at the elbow of the leader of the free world. Kennedy and LBJ had collections of aides but the Nixon presidency clarified the position into one leader named Bob Haldeman. From the widening scope of Watergate and the aftermath through Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon and into Carter’s micromanagement of his staff, the author paints a kind of dishy but restrained picture of how hard that job is. 

Then Ronald Reagan took office and brought James Baker with him to the White House. Widely acknowledged by Republicans and Democrats alike as the elder dean of chiefs of staff, Whipple explains what set him apart from others and how he influenced his successors for 41 thru 44. Through six administrations there is also the Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld relationship and the rotating mentor/mentee nature of their relationship.

Fascinating reading.


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