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The Gatekeepers, Book Review

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency

About the Book: 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.

My Thoughts: I was given this book for review and I was super excited to get it bot for myself and a relative who I knew would love it as a gift. When the book arrived I was immediately impressed by book sleeve and that underneath the book was just a white hardback making it perfect for display. The book is huge, and very thorough but not boring to read. It does well explaining how things happen in the White House and all the goings on of past administrations.

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