This week on Q&A, co-authors Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy discuss their newly released historical narrative “The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.” They describe the history of private and public relationships among modern American presidents dating back to Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover. Duffy describes a townhouse, purchased during the Nixon administration, located across the street from the White House. The townhouse is used as an informal residence and meeting place for former presidents. The co-authors recount instances of back channel communications between presidents, often from different political parties. Michael Duffy suggests the book offers an insight into how the presidents relate to each other, how they got along, how they fought, how they cooperated, and sometimes how they stabbed each other in the back. We learn how Gibbs and Duffy divided their research and writing duties. In addition, the authors discuss their early careers in journalism as well as influential teachers in their lives.
Nancy Gibbs is Deputy Managing Editor at Time magazine. Named by the Chicago Tribune as one of the ten best magazine writers in the country, she is the author of more than 130 Time cover stories. Michael Duffy is Time magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, and he directs the coverage of presidents, politics and national affairs for both the magazine and Time.com. Their first book was “The Preacher and The Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House” published in 2007.