The Situation Room

Book Review

The Situation Room by George Stephanopoulos
Non-Fiction | History | Politics

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Reader’s Thoughts:

“No room better defines American power and its role in the world than the White House Situation Room. And yet, none is more shrouded in secrecy and mystery…” (The Situation Room, book jacket.)

The Situation Room isn’t something I can say I’ve given much thought to before. But when I read the blurb for this book, I was immediately intrigued. 12 US Presidents, 12 unique crises, and a past-the-security-clearance look at what went into the presidential decisions that changed history? This sounded like a behind-the-scenes scoop that I needed to read.

With over 350 pages of history, photos, interviews, and stories of people both famous and not, George Stephanopoulos takes readers through a dozen presidential administrations and provides a broad overview of the crises that defined them — all through the lens of the situation room. Having served in the Clinton administration as a senior advisor, and having interviewed dozens of others with first-hand knowledge, Stephanopoulos gives us a well-researched and informative walkthrough of the moments after both Kennedy and Reagan were shot, the 9/11 attacks, details about various raids and hostage rescues, and much more.

Along the way, this book explores the various leadership styles and decisions made by past (and present) presidents, particularly regarding how they chose to use the situation room during their administration. While the book’s topic naturally centers around politics, the focus remained on the actual historical events and the role the situation room played, rather than attempting to push any current political viewpoints.

This non-fiction book was full of fascinating trivia and anecdotes. It was immersive, easy to read, and had its humorous moments too. For those interested in modern US political history, or for those looking for more specific behind-the-scenes details, this was a riveting read that I’d definitely recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Recommended for:

Readers interested in US political history

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Grand Central Pub. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the book:

(From the publisher): George Stephanopoulos, former senior advisor to President Clinton and for more than 20 years anchor of  This Week  and co-anchor of  Good Morning America , recounts the crises that decided the course of history, from the place 12 presidents made their highest-pressure the White House Situation Room.

No room better defines American power and its role in the world than the White House Situation Room. And yet, none is more shrouded in secrecy and mystery. Created under President Kennedy, the Sit Room has been the epicenter of crisis management for presidents for more than six decades. Time and again, the decisions made within the Sit Room complex affect the lives of every person on this planet. Detailing close calls made and disasters narrowly averted, The Situation Room will take readers through dramatic turning points in a dozen presidential administrations, The Situation Room is the definitive, past-the-security-clearance look at the room where it happened, and the people—the famous and those you’ve never heard of—who have made history within its walls.

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