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White House Tapes: Eavesdropping on the President

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Never-before-heard recordings of secretly taped oval office conversations with eight US presidents.The President doesn't know the position of the administration so you can't know it.—President Lyndon Johnson to Walt Rostow on Vietnam policy, March 4, 1964 Historian John Prados and The New Press have procured recordings made by eight Presidents of their oval office conversations. Never intended for public consumption, these recordings offer portraits of the nation's chief executives responding to and taking action...
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Fine/Fine Book & 9-CD boxed set in slipcase. Book/DJ/9-CD set in FIne condition. Slipcase rubbed/nicked at corners, 1" tear at one lead- in edge, o.w. in VG+ condition. ... Book/DJ clean, tight & bright. No ink names, bookplates, tear s, chips, underlines etc. ISBN 1565848527 Read more Show Less

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Overview

Never-before-heard recordings of secretly taped oval office conversations with eight US presidents.The President doesn't know the position of the administration so you can't know it.—President Lyndon Johnson to Walt Rostow on Vietnam policy, March 4, 1964 Historian John Prados and The New Press have procured recordings made by eight Presidents of their oval office conversations. Never intended for public consumption, these recordings offer portraits of the nation's chief executives responding to and taking action on some of the most critical events of the late twentieth century. Including phone conversations and confidential meetings, the set offers candid, unscripted exchanges with top aides, political figures, and heads of state. One exchange constitutes the famous "smoking gun" tapes of the Watergate era. Another sequence has Lyndon Johnson finding out from J. Edgar Hoover about the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi just as he also learns from Robert McNamara about the breaking crisis in Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin. The set includes eight digitally remastered CDs of presidential conversations and transcripts of the conversations with historical introductions by John Prados. An additional CD features the companion radio documentary "White House Tapes: The President Calling," produced by Stephen Smith of American RadioWorks® for an upcoming national broadcast on public radio. Boxed set: hardcover with 9 one-hour CDs. Contents include:
Franklin D. Roosevelt
• the racial integration of the Armed Forces
Dwight D. Eisenhower
• the situation in the Far East
Harry Truman
• the Marshall Plan
John Kennedy
• the March on Washington
• the Diem coup in Vietnam in 1963
Lyndon B. Johnson
• the murders of civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964
• the Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Richard Nixon
• "Smoking Gun" tapes
• The Vietnam War and the invasion of Laos in 1971
• Discussion of Jews in the media, with Billy Graham
Gerald R. Ford
• the first US/Russian joint space mission
• Middle East Peace Agreement in 1975
Ronald Reagan
• the Iran-Contra Affair in 1986


About the Author:
: John Prados is a fellow of The National Security Archive in Washington, DC, and the author of eleven books, most recently Lost Crusader.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starting with FDR, just about all U.S. presidents have tape-recorded at least some Oval Office conversations. Currently, more than 4,600 hours of White House tapes are known to exist, 4,000 hours' worth recorded by Nixon. Of the total, approximately half the tapes have been declassified, and it is from these that Prados (a fellow of the National Security Archive and author of Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby) presents a sampling. The conversations appear on audio CDs (plus one disk with the American Radioworks program "White House Tapes: The President Calling"), while transcripts and Prados's useful historical prefaces to each conversation appear in the accompanying book. Not all the conversations are of historical moment. On the upside, we have FDR discussing civil rights with A. Philip Randolph and in a confidential huddle with Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn on the eve of WWII. Also worthwhile is JFK meeting with civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King and discussing the pros and cons of supporting a coup in South Vietnam with his National Security Council in October of 1963. Excerpts from Lyndon Johnson (touching on the Gulf of Tonkin and other major incidents) and Richard Nixon (including meetings with Billy Graham and H.R. Haldeman) are noteworthy as well. But Harry Truman's distracted phone calls concerning minor ambassadorial appointments seem superfluous, and Ronald Reagan's sections of the CDs and book feature only public remarks-nothing confidential, nothing from the inner sanctum of Reagan's Oval Office. In all, these selections leave one with the clear impression that not everything that happens in the Oval Office is worth eavesdropping on. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-History buffs will relish the unusual opportunity afforded by these CDs to eavesdrop on secret behind-the-scenes recordings of presidential conversations with a wide array of aides, public figures, and heads of state. Highlighting eight American presidents-Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan-the topics of the recordings provide a unique view of seminal political events that changed the course of American and world history, among them the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, the Gulf of Tonkin crisis, the Watergate break-in, and the Iran-Contra affair. The quality of the recordings is surprisingly good, although somewhat variable, given the clandestine way in which they were made. The CDs are accompanied by a book providing written transcripts of the tapes as well as the radio documentary "White House Tapes: The President Calling." History teachers will welcome the chance to incorporate portions of the recordings into their curriculum to expose students to primary source documents.-Cindy Lombardo, Tuscarawas County Public Library, New Philadelphia, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565848528
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: Includes Audio CD
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2009

    Interesting item, but compact discs are packaged poorly.

    This collection of recordings, from FDR to Reagan, and although nothing "earth shaking" is revealed, it is still an interesting collection. The one thing that detracts from the item is the packaging of the compact discs; which could have been better. A set of sleeves, to hold the discs better (in the cardboard sleeve, instead of "slots", which allow the discs to slide (especially when shipped by mail) and puts scratches on the discs [which may (or may not) result in "dropouts and defects"] in the discs [particularly with the early (Roosevelt) recordings, it's hard to tell)]. Otherwise, a nice item for presidential historians and anyone curious about the Presidency of our nation.

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