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Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House

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In a natural follow-up to her national bestseller Front Row at the White House, the dean of the White House press corps presents a vivid and personal chronicle of the American presidency. Currently a columnist for Hearst and a former White House bureau chief for UPI, Helen Thomas has covered an astounding nine presidential administrations -- from Kennedy through George W. In a natural follow-up to her national bestseller Front Row at the White House, the dean of the White House press corps presents a vivid and personal chronicle of the American presidency. Currently a columnist for Hearst and a former White House bureau chief for UPI, Helen Thomas has covered an astounding nine presidential administrations -- from Kennedy through George W. Bush -- endearing herself with her trademark "Thank you, Mr. President" at the conclusion of White House press conferences. Here, in a riveting chapter for each administration she has covered, Thomas delights, informs, spins yarns, and offers opinions on the commanders in chief and their families. She tells about Kennedy's love of sparring with the press, the memorable invitation LBJ extended to Hubert Humphrey to become his running mate, and Reagan's down-home ways of avoiding the press's tougher questions. As entertaining and compelling as Helen Thomas herself, Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President is a unique glimpse into presidential history.


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In a natural follow-up to her national bestseller Front Row at the White House, the dean of the White House press corps presents a vivid and personal chronicle of the American presidency. Currently a columnist for Hearst and a former White House bureau chief for UPI, Helen Thomas has covered an astounding nine presidential administrations -- from Kennedy through George W. In a natural follow-up to her national bestseller Front Row at the White House, the dean of the White House press corps presents a vivid and personal chronicle of the American presidency. Currently a columnist for Hearst and a former White House bureau chief for UPI, Helen Thomas has covered an astounding nine presidential administrations -- from Kennedy through George W. Bush -- endearing herself with her trademark "Thank you, Mr. President" at the conclusion of White House press conferences. Here, in a riveting chapter for each administration she has covered, Thomas delights, informs, spins yarns, and offers opinions on the commanders in chief and their families. She tells about Kennedy's love of sparring with the press, the memorable invitation LBJ extended to Hubert Humphrey to become his running mate, and Reagan's down-home ways of avoiding the press's tougher questions. As entertaining and compelling as Helen Thomas herself, Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President is a unique glimpse into presidential history.

30 review for Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Much to my chagrin, most of the "memories" within the book are NOT those of Helen Thomas. She compiled various anecdotes from various members of the White House staff and the press corps and threw them together with no overall sense of cohesion (save the chapter division by president). I have a beautifully autographed copy of the book and cherish it because I know Helen Thomas has been capable of a lot more "wit and wisdom" in her many years as a journalist than what this book reflects. If you ar Much to my chagrin, most of the "memories" within the book are NOT those of Helen Thomas. She compiled various anecdotes from various members of the White House staff and the press corps and threw them together with no overall sense of cohesion (save the chapter division by president). I have a beautifully autographed copy of the book and cherish it because I know Helen Thomas has been capable of a lot more "wit and wisdom" in her many years as a journalist than what this book reflects. If you are looking for an endearing memoir of Helen`s time in the White House, this isn`t it. One does not get a feel for how Mrs. Thomas` job has affected her (aside from her usual cantankerous quips which are readily available from other sources), and the "writing" can`t be evaluated as it is simply a bunch of secondary source material strung together by lengthy quotations. In a word, disappointing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Thomas shares anecdotes about covering Presidents Kennedy thru Clinton. In the madness of the current administration I thought it would be interesting to read. Particularly haunting was a scene where a visibly distraught Richard Nixon is rushing through the basement corridor anxious to escape to his private office in the Executive Office Building. Nearly bowled over by the President, the reporter is so undone by the obvious distress of the President that he calls the Secretary of Defense to ensu Thomas shares anecdotes about covering Presidents Kennedy thru Clinton. In the madness of the current administration I thought it would be interesting to read. Particularly haunting was a scene where a visibly distraught Richard Nixon is rushing through the basement corridor anxious to escape to his private office in the Executive Office Building. Nearly bowled over by the President, the reporter is so undone by the obvious distress of the President that he calls the Secretary of Defense to ensure that Nixon would be unable to unleash war via a command to just one officer. He is reassured that there would have to be several checks and balances.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Feliciano

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good insight on what happens in the White House Press Room. Wonder what Mrs. Thomas would think of the current occupant.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Entertaining read, about a time when it seemed Presidents were much more civil.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue J

    An interesting look at the Presidents who had the "pleasure and/or pain to have been questioned by Helen Thomas during their administrations. The addition of other people's choice comments was also quite interesting!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Helen Thomas has been part of the White House press corp since the Kennedy administration. In an earlier book, Front Row at the White House, she provided a serious memoir of her professional life. In this volume, she recalls the lighter moments, humorous anecdotes about the Presidents or their staffs. There are some funny bits here. Recalling an attempt by some of Richard Nixon’s colleagues to dig up some roast-worthy stories on him, Thomas writes, They called his secretary, Rosemary Woods, and to Helen Thomas has been part of the White House press corp since the Kennedy administration. In an earlier book, Front Row at the White House, she provided a serious memoir of her professional life. In this volume, she recalls the lighter moments, humorous anecdotes about the Presidents or their staffs. There are some funny bits here. Recalling an attempt by some of Richard Nixon’s colleagues to dig up some roast-worthy stories on him, Thomas writes, They called his secretary, Rosemary Woods, and told her that they’d like some “funny stories” about Nixon so they could regale the crowds at the forthcoming party. Woods paused for a moment and then said, “There are no funny stories about Mr. Nixon.” While you can certainly read this book in a few long sittings, it works just as well as a coffee-table (or bathroom) book since Thomas’ anecdotes are short and self-contained.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This totally reads like the second book of someone who had the content for one good book. I'm sure the publisher convinced her to do another, so she had to stretch to fill the pages. As a result, some of the anecdotes are interesting, but many reach beyond the kind of detail that anyone wants to know about even a president. They're either boring or just don't make sense unless you were there or at least lived during that time. Someone like my dad, who lived through these presidencies and has rea This totally reads like the second book of someone who had the content for one good book. I'm sure the publisher convinced her to do another, so she had to stretch to fill the pages. As a result, some of the anecdotes are interesting, but many reach beyond the kind of detail that anyone wants to know about even a president. They're either boring or just don't make sense unless you were there or at least lived during that time. Someone like my dad, who lived through these presidencies and has read tons about them might appreciate all the info, but to me it feels like filler. The only redeeming value: after reading 80 of the 200 pages, I'm a little sucked in by the feeling of being part of the White House press corps. Part of me doesn't want to finish because I probably won't remember 95% of it later, but part of me doesn't want to leave the inner loop... ;)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Strange

    Knowing who Helen Thomas is, I expected a cool but heavy read about presidents and politics. Instead, this book is a chatty collection of amusing anecdotes about our last presidents from the 1950's on. One learns which presidents had senses of humor and how they evinced them. It was a fun and informative read. Warning: some of the presidential humor Thomas sites is adult PG13.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I shouldn't be surprised at my need to analyze the field after so many years embroiled in the day-to-day operations. The surprose is how thoroughly Thomas rakes the current operation over the coals and with such solid foundation in the true meaning and use of the press. I plan to finiash reading all of her books this summer.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Enjoyable read the night before an election. Many humorous anecdotes, but this quote from JFK's Profile in Courage stood out. "At times, it feels as if American politics consists largely of candidates without ideals hiring consultants without conviction to stage campaigns without concern. Increasingly, the result is elections without voters." Fifty five years later......

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Allen

    Not very interesting... series of anecdotes about the press and the presidents of the last 50 years... most of this material was ho hum

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Another perspective of women in politics

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Pretty funny, but not nearly as funny as you would hope.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Jespers

    Light reading but insightful in regard to the last six presidents.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Not rolling in the aisles funny that I expected it to be.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    a pleasant read from a press corps general.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Newestmaurader

  18. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Longo

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zeus Polak

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Stewart-Grant

  22. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jade Walker

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Rogers whitener

  25. 4 out of 5

    Guy Priel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Abdo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zineddine Aggad

  30. 4 out of 5

    Don McNay

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