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History's Romance: Why Politics Past Beats Politics Present

Gwen's Take

Is it just my imagination, or have politics and politicians grown smaller?

I've been flirting with this conclusion after diving into two enjoyable presidential history books by night while covering 2012 politics by day. The books, Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power" and "The President's Club" by Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs, take us inside the West Wing in a way screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s fictional White House never could.

How the World's Most Exclusive Club Was Born

On The Radar

It was one of those moments that, in a mere second or two, changed American history: On January 20, 1953, at the inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman greeted Herbert Hoover on the platform. "I think we ought to organize a former presidents club," Hoover suggested. "Fine," Truman replied. "You be the President of the club. And I will be the Secretary." Up to that moment, the Presidents Club was more an idea than an institution.
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