The Gatekeepers

The Gatekeepers

How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: New York :, Crown,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9780804138246
Characteristics: 365 pages :,illustrations (some color)


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Mar 08, 2019

If the continuing saga of the White House and all who sails in her draws you in, this book could be of interest. Chiefs of Staff. to the many Presidents is the subject. Background information, quite fascinating, and informative. One thing is clear, being the Gatekeeper in all the administrations, was not for sissies.

Jun 09, 2018

You know when you hear authors on podcasts and their books sound amazing, but when you pick them up to read, you've already heard all the good parts? That was not the case here. Really engaging about a topic I'm kind of depressed about - politics - and yet my reaction was to be completely uplifted and inspired.

Reading is to hold stories in your head and become a bigger, maybe more interesting, more thoughtful, just plain smarter person. This book ticks all those boxes. And it's well-written, well-researched, and reads so quickly I kind of wish I had not rushed through it assuming I wouldn't like it. I loved it.

Apr 29, 2018

If you are looking for a book that ties in with current events, particularly with #45's style of leadership and the White House statement that if John Kelly left, #45 would serve as his own Chief of Staff, citing former Presidents who had done that, read this book. I had NO IDEA how important a good Chief of Staff was until I read this book. It goes back to Nixon and finishes with Obama's Presidency.

Apr 25, 2018

For those currently watching what's going on in US politics, this book provides insight into the historical role that the (always male) Presidential Chief of Staff plays. It details each Chief, focusing on how successful or unsuccessful they were in the job as well as the challenges they faced. It was not compelling reading, but taken one chapter at a sitting, it informed me of a role I'd never previously given thought to. A timely read right now.

ArapahoeLesley Dec 10, 2017

A quick and quite interesting look at the role of the Chief of Staff in the administrations of the last 50 years or so. This is not a political book and wasn't preachy which was nice and I actually learned a lot and laughed quite a few times as well.

multcolib_susannel Oct 28, 2017

Some say a Chief of Staff can make or break a the way that a President is seen by the public since he/she controls who has access to the President. Read about the experience of seventeen Chiefs and see what you think.

Sep 03, 2017

Expertly written, traces the best of the best and worst of the worst personalities who have held the Chief of Staff role from Nixon to Obama. Trying to keep White House aides and staffers is like herding cats and the author brings history to life without any sordid reporting.
A most interesting book.

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