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The President's Book of Secrets
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About the Author

Dr. David Priess served during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations as an award-winning intelligence officer, manager, and daily intelligence briefer at the CIA, as well as a desk officer at the State Department. He obtained his PhD in political science from Duke University and has published articles in journals such as Security Studies, Middle East Policy, and the Mershon International Studies Review, as well as book reviews and eclectic articles in outlets ranging from Foreword to Skeptic. Priess is currently director of analytic services for Analytic Advantage, Inc., offering specialized training, mentoring, and consulting services to the intelligence community, other government offices, and the private sector.

Reviews

"A fascinating look into the operation of power at the highest levels with many character-rich stories."--Kentucky Forward "Turns the potentially dour history of the president's daily intelligence briefing into a stimulating, if uncritical, account... Readers accustomed to CIA skullduggery will be surprised to find it admiringly portrayed as an organization of experts devoted to delivering unbiased information to a grateful president."--Publisher's Weekly "This volume provides greater understanding of how presidents' minds operate and dissect information. It also humanizes their decisions by detailing the intricacies of how the PDB is handled. With the September 2015 release of the Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson PDBs, this publication is timely...Recommended for those interested in a different perspective on the U.S. presidency, political scientists, and historians."--Library Journal, starred review "At times as entertaining as it is informative, Priess' book is neither a dry academic exercise nor a sensational tell-all expose, but is instead a thoughtful and revealing peek behind the scenes of what goes on between the President and the keepers of the nation's secrets."--Mark McLaughlin, DC Examiner "A welcome change of pace from the traditional spy yarn or tell-all books that dominate the intelligence literature today. Priess' work makes an invaluable contribution to the study of intelligence, which no library on national security is complete without...Priess's prose is highly readable, fast paced, more interesting and even suspenseful than many readers might expect when given a story about analysts doing their work. Priess is an exceptional raconteur, and his style makes characters come alive on the page."--The Cipher Brief "An authoritative yet easily read book about an important part of the president's daily routine. [Priess] has successfully enlivened the work with myriad first-person accounts from former presidents down to the folks who have written the PDB articles. A CIA review of the manuscript ensured that classified material was not included, but Priess gives the reader plenty of substance to go with details of the process. As a result, The President's Book of Secrets offers a previously untold story about one of those closely guarded, 'eyes-only' facets of the intelligence world."--Michael K. Bohn, Tribune News Service "An important addition to the body of academic works on national security. It offers a unique look into the people and processes that impacted and continue to shape the course of history. In lifting the veil, Priess gives readers not just a close look at a key product that influences the choices of those in the White House, but the inner workings of government itself."--Proceedings "David Priess, a former CIA officer, has lifted the veil on the process and substance of creating the PDB in his readable and well-researched volume, The President's Book of Secrets...providing insights not only into modern American presidents and their approaches to working with intelligence products but also the attitudes of senior officials to the products. Those insights are an interesting addition to the historical record on U.S. foreign policy."--Jack Caravelli, The Washington Free Beacon "David Priess, a CIA officer who served as a daily intelligence briefer during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, has written a thoroughly engaging account of how 'The Book, ' as it is known in Agency parlance, came into existence, and how presidents used (or ignored) it."--The Washington Times "[Priess] deftly sketches the evolution of this daily intelligence digest, along with the twists and turns of policy, personalities and power plays...Anyone interested in how decisions get made by the most powerful person in the most powerful country in the world will relish the details in The President's Book of Secrets."--Wall Street Journal "In The President's Book of Secrets, David Priess succeeds in lifting up the curtain on the personalities behind national security and how the government's leading analysts bend to those characters to fulfill their duty."--Charged Affair

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