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The Blabbing of the Presidents

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At, from the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, you can listen to more than 5,000 hours — if you’re really into it and all — of White House conversations recorded between 1940 and 1973 by six American presidents:



the latter being the tapes that help bring down a president. The Center is also working on transcripts and has organized some of the material into several key topics: Civil Rights, Vietnam, the Space Race, and Politics.

It’s a strange and almost vertigo-inducing experience to hear private conversations that shaped the world for over 30 years: “Should I be hearing this stuff?” Since these guys worked for us, yes, we should.

(via ResourceShelf)

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About Eric Olsen

  • Temple Stark

    5,000 hours. What’s say each of us take 3 hours and let fly.

    Note: That was a joke and we’re all too !@#$5 busy to even think of such a thing.

    Hugely nice to have available and you make a good point – yep, if they know they’re being recorded their words belong to us, the employers. Of course we employ the military too, but try that argument there).

    (Shame we can’t sit around more as a country often than every four years and give ann employer evaluation, though I’m also of the opinion that presidents should be allowed more than two terms – and impeachment made easier.

  • Eric Berlin

    I’m always creeped out by hearing Nixon, even his “light” moments. But the stuff where he talks about Kerry — circa 1970-something — being a “problem” are downright unsettling.

    I’d love to hear the Roosevelt stuff — I’m fascinated by he and Churchill, towering figures who helped to save Western civilization.

  • Eric Olsen

    the topical breakdown makes the vast quantity of material a bit more manageable

  • Angela Chen Shui

    Fascinating listening, and eventually, read.

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