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First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents
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Grand Central Publishing 2021
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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! 
USA TODAY "BEST BOOKS OF 2021" PICK! 
In the bestselling tradition of The Presidents Club and Presidential Courage, White House history as told through the stories of the best friends and closest confidants of American presidents.

Here are the riveting histories of myriad presidential friendships, among them:
  • Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed: They shared a bed for four years during which Speed saved his friend from a crippling depression. Two decades later the friends worked together to save the Union. 
  • Harry Truman and Eddie Jacobson: When Truman wavered on whether to recognize the state of Israel in 1948, his lifelong friend and former business partner intervened at just the right moment with just the right words to steer the president’s decision. 
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Daisy Suckley: Unassuming and overlooked during her lifetime, Daisy Suckley was in reality FDR’s most trusted, constant confidant, the respite for a lonely and overworked President navigating the Great Depression and World War II
  • John Kennedy and David Ormsby-Gore: They met as young men in pre-war London and began a conversation over the meaning of leadership.  A generation later the Cuban Missile Crisis would put their ideas to test as Ormsby-Gore became the president’s unofficial, but most valued foreign policy advisor.
  • These and other friendships—including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Franklin Pierce and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bill Clinton and Vernon Jordan—populate this fresh and provocative exploration of a series of seminal presidential friendships.
    Publishing history teems with books by and about Presidents, First Ladies, First Pets, and even First Chefs. Now former Clinton aide Gary Ginsberg breaks new literary ground on Pennsylvania Avenue and provides fresh insights into the lives of the men who held the most powerful political office in the world by looking at the friends on whom they relied.
    First Friends is an engaging, serendipitous look into the lives of Commanders-in-Chief and how their presidencies were shaped by those they held most dear.
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    Street Date:
    07/06/2021
    Language:
    English
    ISBN:
    9781538708910
    ASIN:
    B08MZTBT34
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    APA Citation (style guide)

    Gary Ginsberg. (2021). First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents. Grand Central Publishing.

    Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

    Gary Ginsberg. 2021. First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents. Grand Central Publishing.

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    Gary Ginsberg, First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents. Grand Central Publishing, 2021.

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    Gary Ginsberg. First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents. Grand Central Publishing, 2021. Web.

    Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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          Gary Ginsberg grew up in Buffalo New York, home to two US presidents. A lawyer by training, he has spent his professional career at the intersection of media, politics, and law. He worked for the Clinton administration, was a senior editor and counsel at the political magazine George, and then spent the next two decades in executive positions in media and technology at News Corporation, Time Warner and SoftBank. He has published pieces in the The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and was an on-air political contributor in the early days of MSNBC. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons. This is his first book.

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    AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! 
    USA TODAY "BEST BOOKS OF 2021" PICK! 
    In the bestselling tradition of The Presidents Club and Presidential Courage, White House history as told through the stories of the best friends and closest confidants of American presidents.

    Here are the riveting histories of myriad presidential friendships, among them:
  • Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed: They shared a bed for four years during which Speed saved his friend from a crippling depression. Two decades later the friends worked together to save the Union. 
  • Harry Truman and Eddie Jacobson: When Truman wavered on whether to recognize the state of Israel in 1948, his lifelong friend and former business partner intervened at just the right moment with just the right words to steer the president’s decision. 
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Daisy Suckley:...
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    title
    First Friends
    fullDescription
    AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! 
    USA TODAY "BEST BOOKS OF 2021" PICK! 
    In the bestselling tradition of The Presidents Club and Presidential Courage, White House history as told through the stories of the best friends and closest confidants of American presidents.

    Here are the riveting histories of myriad presidential friendships, among them:
  • Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed: They shared a bed for four years during which Speed saved his friend from a crippling depression. Two decades later the friends worked together to save the Union. 
  • Harry Truman and Eddie Jacobson: When Truman wavered on whether to recognize the state of Israel in 1948, his lifelong friend and former business partner intervened at just the right moment with just the right words to steer the president’s decision. 
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Daisy Suckley: Unassuming and overlooked during her lifetime, Daisy Suckley was in reality FDR’s most trusted, constant confidant, the respite for a lonely and overworked President navigating the Great Depression and World War II
  • John Kennedy and David Ormsby-Gore: They met as young men in pre-war London and began a conversation over the meaning of leadership.  A generation later the Cuban Missile Crisis would put their ideas to test as Ormsby-Gore became the president’s unofficial, but most valued foreign policy advisor.
  • These and other friendships—including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Franklin Pierce and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bill Clinton and Vernon Jordan—populate this fresh and provocative exploration of a series of seminal presidential friendships.
    Publishing history teems with books by and about Presidents, First Ladies, First Pets, and even First Chefs. Now former Clinton aide Gary Ginsberg breaks new literary ground on Pennsylvania Avenue and provides fresh insights into the lives of the men who held the most powerful political office in the world by looking at the friends on whom they relied.
    First Friends is an engaging, serendipitous look into the lives of Commanders-in-Chief and how their presidencies were shaped by those they held most dear.
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    reviews
        • premium: True
        • source: Publisher's Weekly
        • content:

          May 3, 2021
          Ginsberg, a corporate executive and former Clinton administration official, debuts with an entertaining group portrait of nine U.S. presidents and their best friends. All of these friendships are marked by “deep, abiding affection between the two individuals,” according to Ginsberg, who details how some changed policies and bolstered careers, while others damaged reputations. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson’s friendship lasted more than 50 years and produced more than 1,250 letters. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s campaign biography of Franklin Pierce helped his friend win the presidency, but led to fierce criticism from the author’s “abolitionist peer group.” Edward House was Woodrow Wilson’s closest adviser and the architect of his foreign policy, until the two men had a falling out over the terms of the Paris Peace conference (First Lady Edith Wilson’s dislike of House didn’t help matters). Margaret “Daisy” Suckley didn’t advise Franklin Roosevelt, but served as his confidante and archivist, while Cuban-American banker Charles Gregory “Bebe” Rebozo got branded as Richard Nixon’s “bagman” during the Watergate scandal. Ginsberg’s succinct and lucid profiles are buoyed by colorful insider details, including Vernon Jordan’s joke to Bill Clinton about why he refused to take golf lessons (“I’m just trying to destroy one more stereotype about blacks, that we’re all great athletes”). Readers will delight in this intriguing look at the human side of the presidency.

        • premium: True
        • source: Kirkus
        • content:

          June 1, 2021
          A Clinton administration insider delivers a fruitful survey of the roles that close friends have played throughout presidential history. Ginsberg comes to his subject by way of a long-ago spell of volunteering for the presidential campaign of Gary Hart, who had one well-known confidant in actor Warren Beatty and a lesser-known one in old friend and chief of staff Billy Shore, who "seemed to be Hart's alter ego, someone with the right combination of intensity yet inner calm to keep an often pensive candidate switched on." So it is across the span of presidencies: Thomas Jefferson had his Billy Shore in fellow Virginian James Madison, who himself would become president but who contented himself in remaining in Jefferson's shadow even as he made substantial contributions to the Constitution. Woodrow Wilson had his "First Friend," as Ginsberg dubs the occupant of that unofficial but influential role, in a diminutive Texan named Edward Mandell House, whose views neatly aligned with Wilson's in most regards and who hand-picked many of the players in the Wilson administration. So it was with Vernon Jordan, Bill Clinton's closest friend, who served numerous functions, from helping select staff members to warding off a post-Lewinsky affair threat of divorce on the part of the first lady. Perhaps most affecting in this series of portraits is, curiously enough, Richard Nixon's friendship with Bebe Rebozo, a Cuban exile and influential banker who was seemingly glad to play "a subservient role" but who also knew how to deal with Nixon's dark moods. Ginsberg does nothing to improve Nixon's reputation as he recounts how the president eventually brought the straight-arrow Rebozo into the criminal conspiracy that ended his tenure in the White House--with Rebozo urging Nixon not to resign until the very end. There's no real thesis in Ginsberg's capably spun story, but there are plentiful insights. A fresh, well-written take on the lives of our presidents.

          COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

        • premium: True
        • source: Booklist
        • content:

          June 1, 2021
          For a President, having friends teems with difficulties. Are they friendly because they really do love you, or are they merely after proximity to perceived presidential power? Worse yet, are they trying to turn their relationship with the nation's leader into personal gain? Some presidents have nevertheless had very striking friendships over their lives, people they could rely on and who sometimes conveyed uncomfortable truths. John Kennedy had David Ormsby-Gore, a Briton he met through his sister Kathleen and who helped shepherd him through the Cuban missile crisis. From his early days in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln held high regard for merchant Joshua Speed even though they disagreed on the issue of slavery. Franklin Delano Roosevelt bonded with Daisy Suckley, a distant cousin who lived near his Hyde Park estate and went on to become a chief archivist of his papers. Franklin Pierce formed a lifelong bond with a fellow New Englander, the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, who stoutly defended Pierce from his many vituperative critics. Edward Mandell House became Woodrow Wilson's personal diplomat. Out of these liaisons and more, Ginsberg has crafted an insightful series of biographies, showing just how these friendships thrived and survived and were consequential for the nation's history. Includes bibliography.

          COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    subtitle
    The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents
    popularity
    1288
    publisher
    Grand Central Publishing
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