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Playing President: My Close Ecounters with…

Playing President: My Close Ecounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I, Reagan,…

by Robert Scheer

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An insightful, thought provoking collection of interviews and columns spanning the presidential terms of Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush I and II. Scheer interviewed all but Bush II - and I wonder if his assessment of 'W' would have been even more negative if he had interviewed him as well. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
This book provides some very interesting insights into former U.S. Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton through a collection of previously published interviews that Scheer conducted over the last 30 or so years. Scheer also added some interesting insights into these men at the forefront of American politics. I learned many new things about our past Presidents through the republishing of these interviews.

Scheer also reproduces numerous articles he wrote for various publications that criticizes President George W. Bush's policies in a post 9/11 world. While I understand and sympathize with Scheer's positions, I felt that it was a little over the top given that he failed to ever have an interview with the man. I know the book was designed to give light to previous Presidents' character and mental acuity in comparison with George W. Bush's actions, however, I thought that Scheer was overly zealous in his attacks and relatively unfair in the presentation of the book as the only President that fails to have a voice in the text was the actual man whose policies are being attacked.

All in all, it was a very interesting read even though the end was rather tedious. I bought the book for the insights into past Presidents before George W. Bush and I was not disappointed. ( )
  teddyballgame | Mar 15, 2011 |
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Robert Scheer's interviews with U.S. Presidents, and his profiles of them, have shaped journalism history. Scheer developed close journalistic relationships with Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush I. His reporting on them had a tangible impact on national debate -- such as the eminent 1976 Playboy interview in which Jimmy Carter, the then-presidential candidate, admitted to lusting in his heart; and the 1980 interview with the Los Angeles Times, during which Bush I confessed to Scheer his dream of a "winnable nuclear war." In Playing President, Robert Scheer offers an unparalleled insight into the presidential mind. Through both new writing and reprinted material, he analyzes each administration since Nixon, and including George W. Bush, offering insights that will surprise the reader -- particularly those with rigid preconceptions about the decision-making processes of our leaders. The volume will also include Scheer's famous presidential interviews, along with previously unpublished interview transcripts and select previous writings.… (more)

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Akashic Books

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