Chris Whipple is author of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency”

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What is the role of the White House Chief of Staff, and what effect have they had in the governance of a presidential administration? This edition of the Nixon Now podcast features Chris Whipple, author of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency.” Chris Whipple is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, a writer, journalist, and speaker. A Peabody and Emmy Award Winning Producer of CBS 60 minutes and ABC’s Primetime, he’s the chief executive officer of CCWHIP Productions. Most recently he was the writer and executive producer of Showtime’s “The Spymasters: CIA in the Cross Hairs.” Of the “Gatekeepers,” Jonathan Alter says “Through Whipple’s discerning lens, we learn scores of new things about how government really works at the highest level.” 

Show Highlights:

— Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman’s Professional Background and Organizational Style.

— How Richard Nixon Decided to Organize the White House and Created the Modern Presidency.

— How Haldeman Devised a Plan to Make the Best Use of the President’s Time.

— The Nixon White House Television Strategy.

— Staffing the Nixon White House.

— Haldeman’s Pivotal role in the Historic Trip to China in 1972.

— The Haldeman System and Watergate.


Bostock, Bob. “A President’s Time.” 13 February 2010.

Assistant Chief of Staff Larry Higby on Working For H.R. Haldeman. 15 February 2010.

Haldman, H.R. with Joseph DiMona. “The Ends of Power.” Times Books. 1978.

Haldeman, H.R. “The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House.” G.P. Pitman’s Sons. 18 May 1994.

Nixon aides talk White House organization and Chief-of-Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman. 15 February 2010.

Bob Haldeman’s Widow Jo Haldeman Talks Memoir, in “Shadow of the White House: A Memoir of the Washington and Watergate Years, 1968-1978.” 22 April 2017.

Buy the Book!

The Gatekeepers jacket