Confidential Secretary

Robert J. Donovan, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-525-24644-2
President Eisenhower, for whom she worked throughout his two terms, called her ``the world's finest secretary,'' and the record of Whitman's extraordinary devotion to him unfolds here. Although she later became chief of staff to Vice-President Rockefellerthe first woman to hold such a positionand remained his friend afterward, Eisenhower, according to Donovan, ``was the towering figure in her life.'' Whitman's punishing work schedule, which often excluded social life, probably contributed to her divorce from her New York-based husband; compensation came in her power-broker role. In interviews with Donovan, Whitman recalls that visitors to the Oval Office had to ``take an end run'' around her. A woman attracted to power and closely affiliated with two of the most influential men of our time is instructively drawn by Donovan, former head of the Washington bureau of the New York Herald Tribune. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
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