Summary of The President’s Book of Secrets

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8 Overall

7 Importance

9 Innovation

8 Style


The closely held President’s Daily Brief (PDB) may be the most exclusive “periodical” in the world. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) first produced the brief for President Kennedy and has tailored it to each president since. The PDB is a vital information summary for national security policy makers. Past CIA officer David Priess describes the brief’s history and defends his former agency as he depicts the way each president since Kennedy has used the brief. Priess avoids conclusive observations, but readers will have their own take on how different presidents used this top-secrets resource. getAbstract recommends this insider’s view to those seeking a historical account of how intelligence material moves from the CIA to the president, and how that material affects history.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) evolved, and
  • How 9/11 and the 2003 Iraq invasion affected the intelligence community and presentation of the PDB.

About the Author

David Priess served in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations as an intelligence officer and manager, and as the daily intelligence briefer at the CIA.



The President’s Daily Brief
In April 1961, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sponsored a failed invasion of Cuba by a paramilitary army that landed at the Bay of Pigs on the Cuban coastline. This fiasco led President John F. Kennedy to insist on receiving better daily intelligence...

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