A Most Exclusive Club

Clubs are organizations for people who have a common (similar) interest or enjoy similar activities. And they’ve been around (existed) almost since the beginning of human history.

There are chess clubs for chess lovers. There are social clubs for people who enjoy socializing (spending time together in a friendly way). And there are service clubs, like Kiwanis or Lions, whose members work together to help other people.

Some clubs are small and local. Others, like Kiwanis and Lions, are large international organizations.

Most clubs have requirements and a process for joining (becoming a member). Some are easy to join, others are difficult. Many require members to pay dues (an amount of money) to help with the costs of the club.

In the U.S., there is a most (very) exclusive (difficult to become a member) club. It’s called The Presidents Club, and it’s described in a new book by two writers from Time magazine. Its members are the living former (previous; earlier) and current (present) presidents of the U.S. – Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama.

The Presidents Club is not a formal (organized) club. Its members usually meet only on special occasions.

The Club members come from different political parties and usually have very different ideas about how to run (manage) the country. Some of them ran (tried to be elected) against each other and were very critical (said negative things) of each other. As a result, the members of the Club sometimes have only one thing in common: they were or are presidents of the U.S.

I was most interested by two things from the book. First, all the presidents respect (care about) the office (position) of the president and want the current president to succeed (be successful). When all the presidents gathered (met together) after Barak Obama was elected, former president George W. Bush assured (say something is definitely true) the new president that they all wanted him to succeed, that the office is more important than the person or political party.

I was also interested in the ways that former presidents counsel (give advice to) and help the current president. President Obama recently said that the president’s job is very difficult, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t make everyone happy. And that’s why presidents often ask former presidents for advice and help – because they know and understand what it’s like to be president.

There are many examples. After World War II, President Truman secretly (without telling anyone) asked former president Hoover to help him solve the problem of feeding people in Europe. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson regularly asked former president Eisenhower for advice, including what to do in Cuba and Vietnam. Several presidents have asked Jimmy Carter to go to countries, like North Korea, when there are difficult problems to be solved (find an answer for a problem). And Bill Clinton and George W. Bush helped raise money for people in Haiti after the earthquake several years ago.

If you’d like to learn more about The Presidents Club, you can listen to an interview with the authors of the book. And you can look at this collection of photos called Former Presidents Look to One Another for Advice, Friendship.

~ Warren Ediger, creator of Successful English, where you’ll find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.


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10 Responses to A Most Exclusive Club

  1. Peter says:

    Well,it is nice that they don’t feel threatened by one another and Treat each other respectfully regardless their political stance.
    I mean ,it is nice that they have a sense of cooperation and integrity among themselves ,and that they don’t try to show one another up in public.
    The fact that they put their patriotic duties first is very inspiring and admirable.
    Seems Like the club has been very constructive ,but it is never mentioned in the post that who initially fonded ,in other words ,started the idea?



  2. Peter says:

    By the way, cool picture warren.
    I respect all of them as they are all great men but my favorite U.S. president is “Bill Clington.”
    He is a very powerful speaker ,a motivational speaker if you will.
    And there is an air of charisma about him.
    Hey, don’t judge me
    I m not gay.:)
    100 percent straight.:)

  3. lilian says:

    Hi Dan
    I am really sorry too write you back too late ,I was very hectic last week so i did not have enough time to come to the site.
    If anyone from the countries without civilization like Arabs or new made countries like USA (I am really sorry Jeff but I have to tell the truth)claim that he does not know Iran(my country),it does not surprise me but you are from a country like Italy so you should know better than anyone else that Iran(Persia)has the ancient history even more than yours.We have ancient relics dates back to 5000yrs ago which are kept in the most famous museums in the world.My country is the country that The-World-First-Human-Rights-Charter( which is kept in British museum in London ) belongs to.This charter was written by Cyrus the great who is not just well known to be a great conqueror who controlled one of the greatest empires ever seen but he is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those who defeated.Even Jewish people respect him as a profit because after he conquered Babylon he freed them from slavery .Furthermore Persia is a country which your kings like Julia nus and Valerian knelt down in front of its kings (Ardeshir 2nd and Shapoor 1st).
    The pictures and documents are exist in our inscription.you know American are ignorant about other countries history but we know Persia ,Greece,ancient Rom,Egypt are the countries which history is based and made bye them.

  4. lilian says:

    So never judge on one country just bye medias which most of the time tell lies .They try to disgrace Iran bye lies which are told in medias or making some stupid movies like 300 (that is completely imaginary and unreal)because my country wants to be independent.

  5. Jafar says:

    Hi Peter.
    I agree with you about “Bill Clinton.”
    But not about his charisma, I individually think he is a successful president with a spot in his life.
    By the way, he and his wife ,Hillary Clinton, are one of the most important couples of the world.
    Do you agree with me?

  6. Dan says:

    Hello Everyone,


    Thanks for giving me the opportunity of putting into practice what we are here for, learning English in the best Website!

    I am sorry to be source of disappointment, but the fact that I am Italian does not automatically makes me more learned about Iranian history than an Arab or American.
    I am aware of the fact that I do not know many things. That’s normal, no one can know everything.
    Not jast that, I am sure that there are many Americans that even know Italy better than I do!
    Think that I have never visited Rome or Venice.

    Sorry, but I do not know that Americans are Ignorant about other country’s history, I mean there are ingnorant everywhere in the world.
    I am one myself, I can say I am in the club of Ignorants.

    Come on Lilian, I do not belive that the media tells all lies. We can maybe agree that they try to report just one side of the truth.

    I have never heard about that Movie you mentioned! that adds to the fact I am Ignorant.

    Bye Lilian! pleasure reading from you.

  7. Dan says:

    Hi! Mr Warren,

    I wanted to write something about today’s post.
    Unfortunately, other that easy jokes about Mr. Bill Clinton I can’t come up with anything else.
    You know what made me really laugh? Just out of curiosity I visited the Urban Dictionary and searched for Bill Clinton.
    Love that website, as I love E.S.L.Podcast indeed!

    Thanks Warren! your posts are always Interesting/Informative.

  8. Hermann Lanter says:

    Thank you very much for this interesting contribution.
    I like this kind of information very much, particularly if you offer links to an interview, a transcript and to the corresponding book. Keep up the good work.
    Have a nice sonday and summer day,
    Hermann, SWITZERLAND

  9. Betty says:

    Thank you very much indeed, Warren, for this enjoyable article exclusive for ESLPOD.com.

    I had heard of the Lions Club, but not the Kiwanis.

    So, as usual, I looked up Kiwanis from the Internet.

    I am happy to find that we have Kiwanis Club of Hong Kong in Hong Kong. 

    Its website says:

    “The first Kiwanis Club was founded in Detroit, Michigan, USA  in 1915. Today the Kiwanis has grown to an international organization with over 298,000 members, in more than 8,360 clubs in 79 countries, all actively endeavour to focus on the special needs of young children all around the globe.  

    In one year, the organisation can sponsor up to 150,000 service projects.  The clubs motto stands as “Serving the Children of the World””.

    Sorry, Warren, I want to go and find out more about all these clubs for good causes.  Hence, no time to write more.

    But, thanks a million, look forward to your next article soon.

    Betty 🙂

    Happy Father’s Day to all great fathers in the world.
    Happy Father’s Day also to our Dr Jeff McQuillan who is the father of ESLPOD.com.

  10. Rasoul says:

    Hello all eslpod listener,

    Counselling and respect to former managers is very helpful for every manager to do his/her work better. But, it needs not to be selfish.


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