Cover image for Nerve center : inside the White House Situation Room
Nerve center : inside the White House Situation Room
Bohn, Michael K.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, [2003]

Physical Description:
xx, 239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JK552 .B64 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The White House Situation Room is arguably the most important facility in the most important building in the world. As the president's intelligence and alert center, it provides vital communication and crisis management capabilities to the chief executive and his advisors. It can also be an island of calm, as a top advisor for Vice President Gore once described it. So little is known about the Situation Room that, until the publication of Nerve Center, the American public's knowledge of it is almost entirely based on its portrayal by the entertainment industry. Yet, as Michael K. Bohn points out, Hollywood has failed to capture the real drama of the Situation Room. Numerous crises come alive in Nerve Center, from the Vietnam War (when President Johnson made late night visits to the Situation Room wearing his pajamas and went so often that he moved his Oval Office chair there), to the attempted assassination of President Reagan, to today's hi-tech war on terrorism. Created in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs fiasco by advisors to President Kennedy, presidents, cabinet members, and National Security Council staff members have all come to depend on the Situation Room. I knew that I

Table of Contents

Acronymsp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Prologuep. xv
1. It's Not Just a Roomp. 1
2. Origins: JFK and the Bay of Pigsp. 21
3. Alerting: The 2:00 A.M. Phone Callp. 37
4. Communications: The President Is Callingp. 67
5. The Conference Room: Meetings in the Woodshedp. 103
6. Crisis Management: War and Terrorismp. 127
7. Reporting: "Good Morning, Mr. President"p. 151
8. Personnel: Ringside Seatsp. 173
9. The White House Help Deskp. 193
10. The Future Situation Roomp. 199
Appendix Presidents, National Security Advisers, and Situation Room Directors, 1961-2002p. 217
Bibliographyp. 219
Indexp. 229
About the Authorp. 241