The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple
How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency

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The confident and fast-paced narrative is enhanced by having actual historical players contribute well-rounded (and sometimes surprising) characterizations of presidents and other Washington luminaries. In this page-turner of a history, readers will discover new facets of historical events that they felt they already knew.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the White House Chiefs of Staff, whose actions—and inactions—have defined the course of our country.

What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States—as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and—most crucially—enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks. 

Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker’s expert managing of the White House, the press, and Capitol Hill paved the way for the Reagan Revolution—and, conversely, how Watergate, the Iraq War, and even the bungled Obamacare rollout might have been prevented by a more effective chief. 

Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, The Gatekeepers offers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington.
 

About Chris Whipple

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CHRIS WHIPPLE is an acclaimed writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and speaker. A multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Primetime, he is the chief executive officer of CCWHIP Productions. Most recently, he was the executive producer and writer of Showtime’s The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs.

Author Residence: New York Author Image 1
 
Published April 4, 2017 by Crown. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Gatekeepers
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jan 18 2017

A well-researched, well-written review of a unique government position—informative for the general public and an insightful blueprint for the new administration.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 12 2017

The confident and fast-paced narrative is enhanced by having actual historical players contribute well-rounded (and sometimes surprising) characterizations of presidents and other Washington luminaries. In this page-turner of a history, readers will discover new facets of historical events that they felt they already knew.

Read Full Review of The Gatekeepers: How the Whit... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Karl Wolff on Apr 03 2017

The Gatekeepers is an illuminating chronicle of the monumental burdens shouldered by the White House Chief of Staff. It also shows the triumphs garnered by chiefs who were able to restrain the president, brave enough to say no, thus saving the republic from disgrace and disaster.

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Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by John R. Coyne Jr. on Apr 24 2017

Chris Whipple, a documentary filmmaker and award-winning TV producer, is a talented journalist who has interviewed all 17 living chiefs of staff as well as numerous people who served with them. His prose is clear, crisp and often evocative, and for the most part his observations ring true...

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