No one man or woman has ever been in a position to see the presidents, and the presidency, so intimately, over so many years. They called him in for photo opportunities. They called for comfort. They asked about death and salvation; about sin and forgiveness.
At a time when the nation is increasingly split over the place of religion in public life, The Preachers and the Presidents reveals how the world's most powerful men and world's most famous evangelist, Billy Graham, knit faith and politics together.
Over the course of seven decades, the Rev. Billy Graham befriended every occupant of the White House, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush. This expansive text draws on Graham's autobiographies, other biographies, presidential diaries and memoirs, and historical texts and documents to examine each of those relationships. Less about Graham himselfor the presidents he knew and advisedthan about their interactions and alliances, the text is most likely to appeal to readers with previous knowledge of the subjects. Gibbs, a writer for "Time", and Duffy, an assistant managing editor at the magazine, maintain a balance between the political and the personal, featuring Graham's role counseling Eisenhower on civil rights, relating an anecdote about Graham and Johnson swimming in the White House pool and discussing Graham's influence on Hillary Clinton when her husband's infidelities were made public. They foreground Graham's difficulty in negotiating the separation between church and state, particularly during his friend Richard Nixon's 1960 campaign and Nixon's presidency; that friendship forms the centerpiece of this thoughtful book. Gibbs and Duffy marvelously dramatize Graham and Nixon's fraught, intimate relationship, so that some of the other presidents, particularly those who followed Nixon, seem undersketched by comparison. "" .
This is a great book