04/25/2012 12:21 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2012

11 Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents

The Presidents Club may be unofficial, but it is not a metaphor or a figure of speech: the fraternity of presidents has a history, rules, taboos, resentments, partnerships, days of mourning and thanksgiving. At a time of deep political division, the club is a place where members from both parties come together to get work done, rewrite their own histories, sometimes compete and squabble and fight--but also remind us of what political life can be.

Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy are the authors of The Presidents Club [Simon & Schuster, $35.50]