Michael Duffy

Oct. 3, 2016|

The Harding University community gained a fascinating insight into the presidents club from Michael Duffy, deputy managing editor of Time magazine, in Benson Auditorium as part of the American Studies Institute distinguished lecture series. His presentation was titled, “The Presidents Club: The Inside World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.”

Duffy introduced segments from his book The Presidents Club in which he investigated the relationships between former presidents through personal interviews and research. Duffy spoke about the friendship between Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, who conceived the idea of the “presidents club.”

“The presidents club is really a set of minds.” Duffy said. “It’s a set of shared experiences, it is a set of shared scars and bruises.”

Duffy illustrated the friendships made between former presidents during times of crisis. He shared an anecdote from the night president John F. Kennedy was shot when Johnson received advice from Dwight D. Eisenhower on how to address the nation. According to Duffy, Eisenhower wrote 16 statements on a legal pad for Johnson to tell the people. Johnson continued to ask Eisenhower for advice and assistance on running meetings during his presidency.

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