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A former congressional staffer and Capitol Hill veteran recounts the colourful history of presidential advisers, showing how influential these unelected appointees have been.

This revealing book examines the relationships between U.S. presidents and their closest advisers from a psychological, personal, and professional point of view. The author, a Capitol Hill veteran, shows why such relationships are necessary, how presidents have employed them, how they have evolved over successive administrations, and why some believe they are not in the best interests of the nation.

Cummings describes relationships that have sometimes been tense, such as the fractious association between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton; or complicated, as seen in the often-troubled understanding between Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton; or controversial, as in the influence of Vice President Dick Cheney on the decision making of George W. Bush.

There have also been close friendships, such as the bond between Abraham Lincoln and William Seward; the long-term partnership of Franklin Roosevelt and Louis Howe; and, more recently, the trusting reliance of Barack Obama on Valerie Jarrett.

Whether their connection with presidents was close or strained, these "partners to power" had an impact on some of history's most important moments and decisions.

Full of interesting vignettes, insights, and little-known facts, this is a fascinating insider's account of the exercise of power at the highest levels.

Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    February 15, 2018

    Prometheus Books

    272 pages

    RRP $39.99

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