The Gatekeepers: A review and a change of pace

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I spotted The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple up for review and not only did I know I wanted to read it but I knew, months in advance, that I wanted to present it to my dad on Father’s Day. He is a huge politics buff and has passed on his interest to me. That being said he also has a background in law, a labor law attorney, and has had experience with a variety of political stances in my lifetime. I love learning from him because he is so open minded, loves PEOPLE, and wants to take care of those around us. He also believes that being civically engaged is a responsibility and a privilege and I’m so honored to have him instilling those things in my life, and our kids’ lives.

We were camping on Father’s Day so it was fun to bring this to present to him so he could read it around the campfire.

The book The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple was provided to me by Blogging for Books (in exchange for my honest review) and to be honest I had no idea how I’d experience such a different genre. I typically stay in the fiction realm in the summer and keep it light since all year long I read to challenge my mind and spirit. (Like truly I stick to historical fiction, Amish fiction, love stories, and Bible studies – crack me up – but it just became a pattern that started a few years ago and one that really works for me.) That being said I am so glad I picked this up.

It is so well written, totally intriguing, and definitely eye opening. I didn’t feel it was particularly inclined toward a political party and while I may not agree with all of the analysis, or disagree with all of them for that matter, I found myself so engaged in such a different kind of book. And I like that.

The other thing is that I have recently been really enjoying several television shows that chronicle presidencies and current events. I was amazed at the influence that the sitcom “chiefs of staff” had on the story line so I was intrigued to explore how this may (or may not) have been true in real life. I had a hunch given my own exploration of history and politics that this was entirely true, and way more true then we know or care to admit. But man, after reading The Gatekeepers I am amazed and intrigued by the role of a chief of staff, their high level of influence and the importance of who these people are. The book itself covers chiefs of staff from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama and is truly a page turner. For being a political nonfiction I was shocked that I truly couldn’t put it down.

One reviewer called it “A Political Junkies Lollipop” and I was so excited to give this to my dad on Father’s Day weekend as I knew he was going to love it. I was right!  Immediately dove in and then periodically would just look up from the book and spout out random new fax and confirm things he had thought. So fun to find something so fitting for him!  And also something that we can share between the two of us.


There is serious intrigue, accuracy, and just plain WOW moments in this book. I hope you’ll grab a copy if only because the new hit show “Designated Survivor” challenges you to think about our government more or in a new way or because this blogger you know gave it a shot and love it! Well done Whipple, I can’t wait for the next one.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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