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Paperback Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton Book

ISBN: 1568363168

ISBN13: 9781568363165

Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Richard Nixon was not the first president to tape-record conversations inside the Oval Office--that was Franklin Roosevelt. Nor was he the last, although one would think after Nixon's disastrous... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Surprisingly Terrific Little Book

This one was an eye opener. From the lead sheets I thought it might be a scandal ridden gossip tome. It was anything but. There are few books that provide a very real and accurate window into history. This is one of them. Well written. Quick and easy to read. Contains snapshots of several Americans that you will not find elsewhere.

Facinating content but lacked enough recordings

After reading and listening to "Taking Charge," which was about LBJ's secret tapes, I was expecting the audio version of "Inside the Oval Office" to use many more actual recordings. Instead, the reader reads transcripts of conversations. The tapes contain a few actual recordings but very few, about one per president. Inexplicably, it presents no actual recordings of Reagan, Bush or Clinton. This was a disappointment since I knew from listening to "Taking Charge" that actual recordings contain great insights into the men who inhabited the White House. A reader cannot possibly capture the nuances of language used by our 20th century presidents. There is a great difference between hearing a president's actual words and having them read from transcripts. However, the content of the book and audiotapes provide a facinating glimpse inside the oval office.

Management styles from FDR to Clinton

Doyle's unorthodox book is a survey of the differing management styles of eleven presidents, FDR through Clinton. The book purports to be based on secret presidential tapes. But actual tape transcripts comprise a tiny percentage of the pages of this book, and in any event, there were no surreptitious recordings of conversations after Nixon. Anyone buying this book to read juicy tape transcripts will be disappointed. Instead, this book is a description of how each of the eleven presidents structured his staff, coped with the workload, and made decisions. Some presidents come across very differently than their popular image: For instance, Reagan was a surprisingly hands-on president, while Bush Sr. is portrayed as ineffectual and passive. Clinton fares very poorly in this book due to his lack of organization. It is Johnson, however, that is the most memorable, combining political acumen with incredibly disgusting personal habits. The book, as a whole, walks the reader through a half-century of US history as events were experienced in the Oval Office.

An Excellent Insight

I learnt more about the inner workings of the Oval Office from reading this book than when I used to be at school. You decide whether that's a bad thing......"Inside The Oval Office" is aimed at using taped conversations (no, Nixon wasn't the only one to do this) that occured in the Oval Office. However, don't think that this book is just one long transcript - the conversations are merely part of each wonderful chapter, as the comments are analyzed, described and discussed by Doyle in great length.The book is split into a section for each President from Roosevelt onwards to Clinton, using recorded conversations in the Oval Office as a backdrop for Doyle's excellent thoughts and revelations on the attitudes and actions of some of the last century's most famous leaders.Well worth a read for those who want to learn more about what happens inside America's most famous office.

Outstanding -- but don't let the title fool you

This is a lot more than a book about oval office tapes; it's about the managment styles of eleven presidents. Doyle does a superb job of contexting, analyzing and contrasting the widely different styles of presidents Roosevelt through Clinton. The tapes alone are fascinating (no, they didn't ALL tape: some just bugged their phones, some dicated a diary, some used a stenographer, and Bush did none of the above), but the real value of the book may be it's insights into eleven variously-successful executive leaders. I highly recommend this book to any business person. Instead of some "expert" giving you a lecture on the latest managment theory, eavesdrop on these eleven men and listen to how they really managed their staffs when the doors were closed. Fascinating reading.
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