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Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I, Reagan, and Clinton–and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush

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In Playing President, Robert Scheer offers an unparalleled insight into the presidential mind.

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What people are saying…

“Scheer is a hard-hitting interviewer . . . his lengthy profiles nicely tease out some compelling complexities in running for and being president.”
Los Angeles Times

“Robert Scheer brings more credibility than most to this topic. Scheer is a master interviewer.”
Village Voice

“Scheer is one of those rare journalists who actually hasn’t gone through the looking glass. His insights appear all the more astounding because he stood virtually alone in making them for so long among mainstream journalists. Paul Krugman is his closest counterpart on the East Coast, but Scheer has a bit more instinct . . .”
—BuzzFlash.com

“Veteran journalist Robert Scheer’s subtitle doesn’t begin to suggest the wealth of history captured here . . . This is a fine testament to his career.”
Chicago Reader

“Impressive . . . Deftly analyzed to create a sound basis for understanding each of these former Presidents, Playing President offers readers a wealth of insights into their lives, minds, and decisions . . . Very strongly recommended.”
Midwest Book Review

“Robert Scheer is one of the best reporters of our time.”
—Joan Didion

“If anyone has more succinctly stated and summarized the folly we call presidential campaigns, I am not aware of it . . . this book contains one anecdote after another that I delighted in learning . . . [Playing President] is the best summer read I have found . . . one I heartily recommend.”
—John Dean, best-selling author of Conservatives without Conscience

“With these observations on a section of our history, Scheer joins that small group of journalist-historians that includes Richard Rovere, Murray Kempton, and Walter Lippman.”
—Gore Vidal, from the foreword


Description

Robert Scheer’s interviews with US 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, copublished with Truthdig.com, Robert Scheer offers an unparalleled insight into the presidential mind. Through both new writing and reprinted material, he analyzes each administration since Nixon, 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 also includes Scheer’s famous presidential interviews, along with previously unpublished interview transcripts and select previous writings.


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Book Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Published: 5/1/06
  • IBSN: 9781933354019
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070428

Author

ROBERT SCHEER covered presidential politics for the Los Angeles Times for thirty years. He is the author of six books, including Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I, Reagan, and Clinton—and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush, With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War, and America after Nixon: The Age of the Multinationals, and coauthor of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us about Iraq. He is a clinical professor of communications at the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Scheer is a nationally syndicated columnist, editor of Truthdig.com, a contributing editor of the Nation, and cohost of NPR-affiliate KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center.

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