Team of five : the presidents club in the age of Trump

by Brower, Kate Andersen,

Format: Print Book 2020
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USA Today Bestseller

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Residence and First Women--also a New York Times bestseller--comes a poignant, news-making look at the lives of the five former presidents in the wake of their White House years, including the surprising friendships they have formed through shared perspective and empathy.

After serving the highest office of American government, five men--Jimmy Carter, the late George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama--became members of the world's most exclusive fraternity. In Team of Five, Kate Andersen Brower goes beyond the White House to uncover what, exactly, comes after the presidency, offering a glimpse into the complex relationships of these five former presidents, and how each of these men views his place in a nation that has been upended by the Oval Office's current, norm-breaking occupant, President Donald Trump.

With an empathetic yet critical eye and firsthand testimony from the Carters, Donald Trump, and the top aides, friends, and family members of the five former presidents, Team of Five takes us inside the exclusive world of these powerful men and their families, including the unlikely friendship between George W. Bush and Michelle Obama, the last private visits Bill Clinton and Barack Obama shared with George H.W. Bush, and the Obamas' flight to Palm Springs after Donald Trump's inauguration. Perhaps most timely, this insightful, illuminating book overflows with anecdotes about how the ex-presidents are working to combat President Trump's attempts to undo the achievements and hard work accomplished during their own terms.

Perhaps most poignantly, Team of Five sheds light on the inherent loneliness and inevitable feelings of powerlessness and frustration that come with no longer being the most important person in the world, but a leader with only symbolic power. There are ways, though, that these men, and their wives, have become powerful political and cultural forces in American life, even as so-called "formers."

Team of Five includes 16 pages of color photographs.

Prologue: "I'm a different kind of president"
The peaceful transfer of power
The unwritten rules of the club
Unexpected friendships
The hangover
Cashing in
America's pyramids and the weight of legacy
The First Ladies circle
"Weird shit" strikes the president's club
Trump in the clubhouse
And then there were four
Epilogue: Getting off the stage.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "With each inauguration a new ex-president is instantly created, a celebrity who goes from the center of the world's attention into a new life devoid of the cosseted Executive Mansion existence--no more Air Force One, no more being waited on. Ex-presidents lack formal Constitutional status in the American governmental system, but they hold a certain moral sway and have contributed much to the nation's welfare. Brower (The Residence, 2015) looks to currently living ex-presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama and the late George H. W. Bush to learn how each constructed a life after the White House. This team of five also brings forward an auxiliary team of spouses who often verbalize opinions they had to repress while in the White House. Brower does not deny partisan politics, but she finds an overarching spirit of camaraderie among those who've borne the office's burdens. Based on what Brower has learned from the past, she guardedly and generously tries to anticipate how Donald Trump will fare when he eventually joins this tiny fraternity. Insights into presidential life beyond the rancor of everyday politics will make this a very popular read for the general public."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Journalist Brower (The Residence) examines the post--White House lives of Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama in this illuminating and anecdote-laden account. Opening with an Oval Office interview with President Trump (in a "buoyant, exuberant mood" after the release of the Mueller Report), Brower then lists the "unwritten rules" that guide relationships between ex-presidents ("avoid criticizing the sitting president at all costs"; "come together for celebrations") and details "unexpected friendships" between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush (former first lady Barbara Bush called them "the odd couple") and between George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She describes the processes of transferring the White House from one occupant to the next and of building a presidential library, and quotes former first ladies and presidents on the surreal experience of returning to civilian life. Though Trump once "desperately wanted" to earn the approval of his predecessors, Brower writes, he has since "disparaged all the former living presidents" and seems unconcerned "that he will be an outcast from the Presidents Club." Brower maintains a light touch throughout, highlighting moments of accord rather than division and offering little in the way of analysis. Presidential history buffs will enjoy this respectful peek into one of America's most exclusive clubs. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Obama, Barack.
Bush, George W. -- (George Walker), -- 1946-
Clinton, Bill, -- 1946-
Bush, George, -- 1924-2018.
Carter, Jimmy, -- 1924-
Ex-presidents -- United States.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Team of 5
Language English
Description 320 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 299-301) and index.
ISBN 9780062668974
Other Classic View