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White House Confidential: The Little Book of Weird Presidential History

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An irreverent look at Presidential foibles, follies, fibs, and moral failures Were past presidents smarter, more honest, and better behaved that those we elect today? Don’t bet on it! White House Confidential shows that commanders-in-chief have been lying, cheating, stealing, and womanizing from the days of the Founding Fathers. Focusing on the qualities that never made it An irreverent look at Presidential foibles, follies, fibs, and moral failures Were past presidents smarter, more honest, and better behaved that those we elect today? Don’t bet on it! White House Confidential shows that commanders-in-chief have been lying, cheating, stealing, and womanizing from the days of the Founding Fathers. Focusing on the qualities that never made it into White House press releases, the authors look at their sexual misdeeds and strange family relationships, scandals that engulfed administrations, fights with enemies, and questionable money matters. Dip into these pages to find out: Which president was famous for being the richest man alive because of all his brilliant real estate deals? Which president was born in Canada, and was ineligible to hold the office of president? Which president caused some problems by trying to grow “strange herbs” in the White House garden? Which president often ordered White House staff to rub Vaseline into his scalp while he ate breakfast in bed? Which president often called his deputy chief of staff “Turd Blossom”? Updated with new material about many presidents including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, White House Confidential will have you laughing (and sometimes cursing!) as you take a second look at the next occupant of the Oval Office.


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An irreverent look at Presidential foibles, follies, fibs, and moral failures Were past presidents smarter, more honest, and better behaved that those we elect today? Don’t bet on it! White House Confidential shows that commanders-in-chief have been lying, cheating, stealing, and womanizing from the days of the Founding Fathers. Focusing on the qualities that never made it An irreverent look at Presidential foibles, follies, fibs, and moral failures Were past presidents smarter, more honest, and better behaved that those we elect today? Don’t bet on it! White House Confidential shows that commanders-in-chief have been lying, cheating, stealing, and womanizing from the days of the Founding Fathers. Focusing on the qualities that never made it into White House press releases, the authors look at their sexual misdeeds and strange family relationships, scandals that engulfed administrations, fights with enemies, and questionable money matters. Dip into these pages to find out: Which president was famous for being the richest man alive because of all his brilliant real estate deals? Which president was born in Canada, and was ineligible to hold the office of president? Which president caused some problems by trying to grow “strange herbs” in the White House garden? Which president often ordered White House staff to rub Vaseline into his scalp while he ate breakfast in bed? Which president often called his deputy chief of staff “Turd Blossom”? Updated with new material about many presidents including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, White House Confidential will have you laughing (and sometimes cursing!) as you take a second look at the next occupant of the Oval Office.

30 review for White House Confidential: The Little Book of Weird Presidential History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    The authors warn us in the first pages of the book: “If it appears here, regardless of how cruel, mean, baseless, or untrue it may be, someone somewhere of at least some level of legitimate journalistic credibility reported it first.” And with that, they were off and running. “White House Confidential” is a collection of anecdotes, short stories, factoids, well-kept secrets (and some not kept well at all!), and a list of crazy and strange things that have happened to the leaders in Washington sin The authors warn us in the first pages of the book: “If it appears here, regardless of how cruel, mean, baseless, or untrue it may be, someone somewhere of at least some level of legitimate journalistic credibility reported it first.” And with that, they were off and running. “White House Confidential” is a collection of anecdotes, short stories, factoids, well-kept secrets (and some not kept well at all!), and a list of crazy and strange things that have happened to the leaders in Washington since America came together over 200 years ago. Authors Stebben and Hill heap generous helpings of humor throughout, sure to make you chuckle from time to time (or at least grin a bit). The book is laid out well, choosing all the subjects and then laying the stories and scandals at our feet. Chapters such as “Scandal!” and “Fights!” and “Weird Family Values!” just beg to be read. At times I questioned some of the more outlandish stories (though there were some fairly strange stories that I had already heard elsewhere), and I took the time to research them and found the authors were true to that statement in my first paragraph. These stories can be found elsewhere, if you care to dig for them, and the authors have put them all I one spot for us to enjoy. There was a time or two where I thought the truth was stretched a bit for the sake of the story, but if there is no proof, people are free to conjecture. Serious readers of history may not think much of the book. It jumps from president to president, exposing everything from quick-witted statements to moments of shame and embarrassment. There are also no sacred cows in this book, and Stebben and Hill take equal shots at Republicans and Democrats alike. Let’s face it, people are people, and it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle they sit on, they’re all going to have to have some stories in the closet that readers will find interesting and entertaining.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    This was a quick, fun read with a few "I didn't know that" moments in it. I enjoyed this book very much. This was a quick, fun read with a few "I didn't know that" moments in it. I enjoyed this book very much.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Cramer

    A so-so collection of presidential trivia.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betty Cook

    Must Read I haven't found a book so interesting and fascinating as this one in a long time. For those of you that think our political world right now is the worst ever - you really need to read this book. Must Read I haven't found a book so interesting and fascinating as this one in a long time. For those of you that think our political world right now is the worst ever - you really need to read this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    This was an interesting book. I've always loved books about Presidents. These contained some little known stories, although I did know some of them. My biggest complaint about the book was it was arranged thematically rather than chronologically. I would have preferred a chapter on each President with stories within the chapter about that one President, rather than the thematic organization of the authors. This made the book seem to jump around too much. It is a minor complaint and did not detra This was an interesting book. I've always loved books about Presidents. These contained some little known stories, although I did know some of them. My biggest complaint about the book was it was arranged thematically rather than chronologically. I would have preferred a chapter on each President with stories within the chapter about that one President, rather than the thematic organization of the authors. This made the book seem to jump around too much. It is a minor complaint and did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. The appendices were also a nice addition to the book and warrant reading.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I only made it through 1/3 of the book and I just couldn't take it anymore. I think there is good and fun information here, but the presentation is tiresome. I guess it would make a good bathroom book because the content is divided into tiny sections, rarely more than a paragraph. So the book ends up being choppy and repetitive, the same story is mentioned or referred to multiple times (and again, I only made it through 1/3 of the book and I saw the repetition). I think I would have enjoyed the I only made it through 1/3 of the book and I just couldn't take it anymore. I think there is good and fun information here, but the presentation is tiresome. I guess it would make a good bathroom book because the content is divided into tiny sections, rarely more than a paragraph. So the book ends up being choppy and repetitive, the same story is mentioned or referred to multiple times (and again, I only made it through 1/3 of the book and I saw the repetition). I think I would have enjoyed the book if the authors had chosen a different, more traditional style of presenting their information. But as it is, I would say don't invest your time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adz S

    The US President Well, I would imagine like many non-Americans, the US Presidency is a bit mystifying, particularly the elections! However, that been said I for one found this a slightly enlightening read, but more to the point an entertaining one. With a sojourn into some of America’s history with some humour as well. A book - digital or otherwise - you can pick up at any time, read as much or as little as time allows, learn a little, and leave with a smile, ready to return a t later date. Marv The US President Well, I would imagine like many non-Americans, the US Presidency is a bit mystifying, particularly the elections! However, that been said I for one found this a slightly enlightening read, but more to the point an entertaining one. With a sojourn into some of America’s history with some humour as well. A book - digital or otherwise - you can pick up at any time, read as much or as little as time allows, learn a little, and leave with a smile, ready to return a t later date. Marvellous!

  8. 5 out of 5

    losira13gmail.com

    Lots of great info with humor Glad I decided to read this book, lots of interesting stories on our Presidents. I would love to see an update on this book to cover Trump on his Presidency and of course Biden is covered under VP stories but would like to see his Presidency covered as well. I have the feeling if they include Trump, this book is going to be a lot bigger than it is now. Plan to share with my sons for reading and to show them even some of my favorite Presidents had problems too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    One slightly reassuring thing about this book is that it shows America has a long history of sending grifters and charlatans to its highest office. In fact, it leaves you with the feeling that the second half of the 20th century was something of an aberration for its string of presidents who were, regardless of your view on their politics and with a few notable exceptions, mostly competent and conscientious.

  10. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnn Lockey

    Reading With a Smile This book helped me put this crazy political circus we are living through in perspective. Well... Sort of. The past two years could easily have its own book. I read this with a smile on my face every night and the glow of my kindle). I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at times. Seriously... I didn't believe it. Fortunately I am too lazy to research it myself so I will just enjoy it. Reading With a Smile This book helped me put this crazy political circus we are living through in perspective. Well... Sort of. The past two years could easily have its own book. I read this with a smile on my face every night and the glow of my kindle). I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at times. Seriously... I didn't believe it. Fortunately I am too lazy to research it myself so I will just enjoy it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    An extremely quick read with some known and not-so-known facts about our presidents, for better or worse. Some of the info I knew, but there were plenty of facts about the lesser-discussed presidents that I was reading for the first time. As an aside, can someone please explain to me how the hell Zachary Taylor ever became president?

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    If the National Inquirer wrote a history book A disjointed collection on presidential anecdotes. Some interesting tidbits but the format was lacking. Sometimes in made me think of a checkout stand newspaper. At other times I thought this book could be the script for tv show fashioned after those “decades” shows.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    A decent light read about foibles and facts about each president. One section near the end brings out an interesting set of occurances about a period we tend to forget about. Some of the passages tend to gloss over some of the circumstances discussed, but by and large very few complaints can be lodged against the research. A pretty quick read, as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jack Stanley

    Fascinating Insights Except for the fact that these guys appear to worship at the Obama alter at every opportunity, this a good book. No working journalist these days can see the political world through any but the left eye only. That is clear in these pages. But in spite of it all, they managed to produce a very readable and informative book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carol Carmichael

    While the information was interesting, at times fascinating, the arrangement of the facts was disoriented. A much better arrangement, I think, would have been to tell the story of each president in chronological order. Skipping back and forth made the book disjointed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kizer

    Definitely a good read and I learned lots of new facts about the presidents. In fact this book was presented in such a way that old facts seemed new - like the many coincidences between Lincoln and Kennedy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Bellamy

    A Must Read If you enjoy presidential history and facts and being entertained, this is a must read. So many outside the box gun and interesting facts and stories, you won't be disappointed. If only this could be used in history class....students would never skip class. A Must Read If you enjoy presidential history and facts and being entertained, this is a must read. So many outside the box gun and interesting facts and stories, you won't be disappointed. If only this could be used in history class....students would never skip class.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    I’d give this another star, but the subject matter is a little on the light side. That said, it’s a heck of an entertaining read. Even if some of the stories are more or less common knowledge, it’s fun to see them compiled here.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emma Dargue

    General facts and stories about the Presidents of the United States. Interesting but knew some of the things and also the way this book was set out was a little disjointed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Goetz

    Some interesting history of all of the Presidents. Obviously not meant to be really deep. A bit repetitive at times as well. But a mindless read when you don't want to concentrate for too long. Some interesting history of all of the Presidents. Obviously not meant to be really deep. A bit repetitive at times as well. But a mindless read when you don't want to concentrate for too long.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul O'Konski

    Interesting I enjoyed reading about the silliness of some of our Presidents. Good history book and a lot of great laughs.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michell Karnes

    A good book of trivial details about the presidents who have lived in the White House. Very interesting!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    Interesting humorous read. An interesting look at the presidents of the USA. Lesser known facts and funny details made this a light read that you can dip into every now and then.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David

    Interesting Learned some weird and crazy stuff. I am a big fan of weird trivia and this fits that category. Very entertaining

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Prina

    Fun factoids

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lenox

    Really informative and entertaining. I was shocked though at the end, when they were listing firsts by each president, they failed to remark on Obama as first black president. What's up with that? Really informative and entertaining. I was shocked though at the end, when they were listing firsts by each president, they failed to remark on Obama as first black president. What's up with that?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Margaret McBride

    Fun to read This was an entertaining and also educational book. I agree, history as taught in schools could be much more enjoyable with a few fun facts thrown in!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Had good history info.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Glenn E

    A fast read with many interesting tidbits but I doubt I will remember any of them nor will my faulty memory negatively impact my ability to make sense of the world around me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Interesting stories about our presidents in a fun and easy to read format.

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