F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, "There are no second acts in American lives", but more and more, our former presidents are proving him wrong. No longer fading into the background upon leaving the highest office in the land, ex-presidents perform valuable services as elder statesmen and international emissaries - and by pursuing their own agendas. From Eisenhower taking Kennedy to the woodshed (literally) on the Bay of Pigs crisis, to Carter earning the Nobel Peace Prize, to Bush Sr. and Clinton joining forces in an unlikely partnership for tsunami and Hurricane Katrina relief, the author examines the increasingly important roles that former presidents assume in our nation and throughout the world.
Through interviews with former presidents, first ladies, family members, friends, and staffers, the author also delves into the very human stories that play out as the modern ex-presidents - from Truman to Clinton - adjust to life after the White House and attempt to shape their historical legacies. In this, the first narrative history of the modern post-presidency, Mark K. Updegrove makes a refreshingly unique contribution to literature on the American presidents.