John Dickerson is a correspondent for 60 Minutes. He is also a Contributing Editor to The Atlantic and the host of the Whistlestop podcast and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

Signing a bookplate for you!

The Hardest Job in the World is a book about the presidency as it is and not as we imagine it to be. I finished before Covid-19 hit, but one of its arguments is that the presidency is a job where the president must prepare for emergency shocks with high stakes long before they ever arrive, because once they do, it’s too late to cobble together a response. It’s also about how candidates, the public and those of us who report and comment on campaigns are trained by political combat into thinking of the office in a way that undermines the office. It offers some notions about how we got here and how we might move to a better place.

To order immediately, click one of these links:

Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Bookshop.org, Hudson Booksellers. IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, Walmart, 

Amazon

If you would like a signed bookplate (the image on the right) it was designed by Happy Menocal.I will sign it and send it to you and you can then paste it in the book, on the fridge or on your cat.

Please follow the instructions below and I will send one to you. You will enjoy it and a little peace will fall upon this earth.

Please take these steps:

1. Buy the book. Click here to purchase from your favorite on-line sellers:

Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Bookshop.org, Hudson Booksellers. IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, Walmart, Amazon

2. Send me an email with some kind of proof. Send to: DickersonLatest@gmail.com

3. Include your address in the email so I know where to send the bookplate.

4. Let me know if a special inscription is preferred. I will try to accommodate requests.

5. Limber up for the walk to the post box where some time soon I will send you a signed book plate for each purchased book.

We have some reviews:

“This is a wonderful ‘inside’ look at the difficult act of being the president of the United States. It is told with grace and insight by a man who not only knows his subject—he understands it. This is a great gift to our sense of the actual presidency, a primer on leadership, and, of course, of necessity, a reflection on failure.”—Ken Burns, award-winning filmmaker

“From one of our closest students of the presidency, John Dickerson’s thoughtful, learned, original, shrewd, comprehensive, up-to-the-minute book, full of wisdom and personal observations, could not be more needed than at this moment in American history.”—Michael Beschloss

“Brilliantly chronicles what the American presidency has meant, what it could mean . . . With wit, sweep, and unfailing generosity, The Hardest Job in the World is a book for our times, informed and delightful and definitely not to be missed.”—Brenda Wineapple, author of The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

“60 Minutes correspondent Dickerson takes an evenhanded and insightful look at the evolution of the American presidency… Drawing on illuminating interviews with former White House officials and presidential historians, Dickerson packs the book with intriguing arcana and colorful quotes…This entertaining history rises above the political fray to cast even the most maligned chief executives in a new light.” Publishers Weekly

“What if the problem isn’t the president – it’s the presidency?” That’s the smart question Dickerson posed his essay in The Atlantic a while back, and it’s the one with which the 60 Minutes correspondent grapples in his fascinating new book. Dickerson has a gift for effectively mixing anecdote and history, as he did so well in Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History, and he does it again in his rich chronicle of the American presidency. The qualities required of a good candidate differ from that of a great president, and Dickerson makes a convincing case for reforming the job, which is radically different from how it was conceived by the founders.” The National Book Review

The book will join bookstore shelves June 16. Just in time for Father’s Day! Also suitable to give as a part of Breathing Humans Day when all good people are encouraged to give themselves and those they love a contemporary book.

About that picture on the cover. The photograph was taken by Jack E. Kightlinger late on the evening of July 31, 1968. Lyndon Johnson is listening to a report on the progress of the Vietnam war. There is a tape player just out of the frame spinning two reels of thin brown tape. The president is listening to a report from his son-in-law Chuck Robb, a Marine fighting in Vietnam. Johnson had asked Robb to send back reports on what was really happening in the conflict. *

The reports were grim, but that wasn’t all that was ruining LBJ’s life at the time. Not many blocks from the White House, Washington D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods were convulsing. Racial tensions caused riots all over the country. In that same year, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Johnson must have felt like no matter how bad things seemed there was more woe to come. (All of this is recounted in a book that also uses that photograph for its cover by Kyle Longley. It’s on LBJ and 1968).

*Robb, who had met Johnson’s daughter Lynda while serving as a military aide at the White House would go on to serve as Governor of Virginia and Senator from the same state. I rode on the school bus with his daughter. That fact is not included in the book.

40 thoughts on “Signing a bookplate for you!”

  1. Getting the book soon and then my mom and I will play tug of war as to who gets to read it first. Okay – Writing a book —-Maybe this explains your absence from CBS – and 60 minutes.
    You’re missed!

  2. Based on your honest-in depth-well researched work over the past 20 yrs – this should be the frosting on the cake & I look forward to its released.
    And yes, I’ll want a plate too!

    1. Deborah Devlin

      This is wonderful news! I so enjoy your insightful commentary on screen, stream, and in print. Ordering now!

  3. Your voice is so soothing to listen to. I wish you would read more to us. Bedtime stories would be nice right now, Dad. June is too long to wait.

  4. So delighted to purchase your book. Congrats John. Now I just need to figure out how to get Alexa to find your podcasts. I miss hearing the voice of reason. Glad I caught both recent segments on air for 60 Minutes and Face the Nation. Take care…

  5. So delighted to purchase your book. Congrats John. Now I just need to figure out how to get Alexa to find your podcasts. I miss hearing the voice of reason. Glad I caught both recent segments on air. Take care…

  6. I’m ordering your audiobook. Would you send me a photo of you in your blanket fort recording it, along with a bookplate?

    So wonderful how productive and normal you can be in the eye of the pandemic! Stay safe.

    1. Patricia Craychee

      I’m looking forward to a good read and am eager to read the book. Given the current state of the Presidency, your book’s timing is perfect.

  7. Sarah Halloran Barnett

    Political Gabfest is the only thing that makes cleaning the bathrooms tolerable. Thank you!

  8. I have purchased via Amazon and am so excited to read it. You have an amazing way of analyzing and conveying the political environment of our country—past and present. Waiting patiently for my book with a good cup of coffee on my end table.

  9. Lauretta Richardson

    Book is ordered, no delivery date but I’m giving it to a wonderful son-in-law for a Sept. birthday and I’m sure it will be here well before then.

  10. Thanks so much for offering the background details about the photograph on the cover. Was perusing forthcoming books as listed in Library Journal and was struck by your book’s cover (not , of course, that I would *ever& judge a book thusly). 😉 Looking forward to reading this excellent resource … and thanks again for alleviating my curiosity, in the meantime, about that strikingly sad image of LBJ.

  11. Nice to see the book about your Mom on your webpage, John. I remember her well from TV growing up.

  12. Deirdre Cryor

    Purchasing for many family and friends. Very excited to read it. What a treat to get to send such a special gift during the pandemic. When you get my email with the list of signatures needed— hope your writing hand is in shape!!

  13. Susan Righter Grimes

    I will be grabbing The Hardest Job in the World right off the store shelf in early June. Would LOVE your live signature bookplate. It will forever live next to Whistlestop in my home library on the shelf that also displays Kennedy, Grant, Roosevelt (all of them), Truman, Lincoln, Jefferson and Obama. Fine company!

  14. Laura-Magnolia Morris

    John is one of the finest journalists I’ve ever gotten to know in regular TV news. Wish he were my other brother! Real good guy! I hope this book can help to bring a modicum of cooperation between our Republicans and Democrats. ????????????????❤️

  15. Marcia Sansoucy

    I’ve heard your readings of your book and thus have ordered it from amazon. Wish you were on more CBS programs. How do I order the inscription plate?

  16. Your writing and reporting is unsurpassed. But for me, it’s your love of John Prine that discloses your compassion and big heart. Really looking forward to reading your book.

  17. Dianne Pelullo

    My husband and I have been waiting for John’s book and now it’s coming out! YAY! I just ordered the book and requested the book plate! And I searched online for any info on book tour (virtual?) events; nothing yet so I’ll keep checking. We really miss hearing from John on CBS morning news, and his knowledgeable, rational and objective view of events. So thankful he’s part of Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast.

  18. Chris McGregor

    Hi John, I am buying the book in Australia. How can I get a bookplate? I am happy to send you money for postage.
    Chris

  19. Are you still working through bookplate requests? Sent mine at end of April. My book went on quite the journey to get to Ohio. Came to town, left again, went to two more states, a few more Ohio towns, and then arrived damaged. New one on the way and I look forward to reading!

  20. Is it too late to send an email requesting the bookplate?
    We will be picking up our copy at our local independent book seller (yay Quail Ridge) & am hoping to send all pertinent information via email to receive your signed bookplate! Let me know & thank you for all your work!

  21. It’s been pretty busy at the hospital over the past few months, but I finally got around to opening my amazon parcels and devoured this book within 3 days.

    Prime Minister or President, not a job I’d want!

    Late with my bookplate request, so I’m not hopeful! Love those pencils too.

    Good luck with the upcoming elections, you’ve got a follow up in the pipeline I hope.

  22. Loved your book, John. In 1971, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Political Science and I wish I had had your book back then. (Although you were probably pre-pubescent that year.) Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your book and learned the equivalent of a three-credit course in political history by reading it. You are a serious wordsmith, and possess a unique talent for describing intricate issues in simple, comprehensible and entertaining prose.

  23. John,
    Sunday, September 6, 2020 I had a nice surprise. You were the host on “Face the Nation.” What a treat. Politics is your game. The show was excellent. Hopefully it will happen more frequently. Thank you
    I have ordered your book from a very tiny, lovely book store. I cannot order from Amazon because I want book stores to stay in business. I just love wandering around the tiny store loving he smell of the new books. Thinking about the authors, their endless writing and re-writing, and their dream: their successful book. Nothing better …
    Good luck with your book…I know it will be a best seller.
    Hello to Anne and children,
    Best regards,
    Kathleen K. Madaus

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