CSI Releases First Audio Book: Getting to Know the President (Second Edition)
CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) has released its first audio book, Getting to Know the President (Second Edition). The audio book takes listeners inside the history of CIA briefings to presidential candidates and presidents-elect from 1952-2004, all through the eyes of former CIA Inspector General and Director for Intelligence John Helgerson. This second edition of Getting to Know the President updates Helgerson’s 1996 book with reflections on the transition to President George W. Bush in 2000 and the briefings provided to his Democratic challengers in 2004.
The book offers a look into the interactions of political figures and intelligence professionals across 10 presidential transitions. Helgerson relies on internal documents, public memoirs and interviews with four former presidents, several former Directors of Central Intelligence and Directors of National Intelligence. The result is a highly engaging account, providing both anecdote and analysis.
Helgerson is candid about the CIA’s motives in offering the briefings to presidents-elect. According to Helgerson, every sitting President since Harry Truman has believed the briefings made their successors as well-informed as possible before they took office. A second goal has been to establish a solid working relationship with each new president and his advisers so that the Intelligence Community can serve him well once in office.
The audio book release is a part of CIA’s effort to make unclassified products more readily available in alternative formats to the public. Getting to Know the President is available for on the U.S. Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System. The print edition is also available in the section of CIA.gov.