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Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him Hardcover – August 21, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Miniter has penned a very insightful look inside the leadership qualities of someone who remains somewhat of a mystery. Within these lessons about leadership, the top level investigative reporter in Miniter has found great stories and never before reported facts to animate the book's main theme. Readers will very much enjoy Miniter's latest New York Times bestseller.” ―Forbes.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Miniter is the author of two top-ten New York Times bestsellers, Losing Bin Laden and Shadow War, as well as Mastermind, the first biography of 9/11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He writes a column for Forbes.com. A former editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal in Brussels, member of the investigative team at The Sunday Times in London, and editorial-page editor of the Washington Times, Miniter has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, as well as The Atlantic, Reader's Digest, Newsweek, The New Republic, and National Review. He has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. He has won awards from the National Press Club and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (shared). He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 125001610X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250016102
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Just finished the book and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I was going to be reading another book bashing Obama without hard facts. Not only did I read all 304 pages, unlike some reviewers on amazon, I read some other books by the author before this one and found all of them were as equally a good read with great knowledge of the subject matter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Leading from behind is obviously a book not sympathetic to the President, but because of its interesting revelations it is worthwhile reading whatever your political inclinations.

There is an interesting description of the women who influenced the President, starting with his mother Stanley Ann Dunham, his with Michelle, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and the bete noire of the book Valerie Jarrett. Ms Jarrett is perhaps the most influential of the President's advisors and no decision is made without consulting her. Perhaps the most interesting of the chapters is the one dealing with the killing of bin Laden. It was a surprise to me that the President was at first very much opposed to that mission, because he wanted 100% certainty regarding the mission's success and the certainty that bin Laden was in the compound. He had in mind the fiasco of the Carter mission which did Carter much political damage. Ms Jarrett also strongly opposed the mission because of the uncertainty of its outcome. One has the feeling that in the end the highly successful mission was authorized by the President because of the realization that if public opinion ever found out that he had had bin Laden in his sights and never took advantage of that opportunity, there would be an outcry against him. Another revelation is that it took the Administration about a year from the time they knew bin Laden was probably in the Abbottabad compound to the time the Administration decided to authorize the mission. Within the Administration, the hero of this mission seems to be Secretary Panetta, who was willing to take responsibility if the mission failed. The ups and downs of the relation with Israel are also interesting. All in all a very critical but interesting book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am only half way through, but am certainly getting the picture of what is going in this White House. It gets pretty "heavy" at times and I am saddened about the reality of DC so I switch off to another lighter book and then back to this one. Its a good history book. The author has done his research.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a person who really wants to know and perceive truth from a credible and well-researched author, this is the book for you. Well pleased.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a surprisingly good book, which broke the news on the bin Laden raid that at the behest of Valerie Jarrett, Obama canceled the raids at least 3 times from March 2011 on; and also that the day before the raid when it was canceled due to weather, in fact checking the weather reports indicated clear skies. He also paints Leon Panetta as the hero of that mission, as he risked his job and was prepared to go ahead even without Presidential authority.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very informative book. It is not a fast read since there are many footnotes and factual references. It is almost like a term paper being submitted in college or high school for credit. I did have much well documented information which voters should have had access to before the elections that brought Barack Obama and the corupt Chicago political machine into the most powerful office in the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The more I read about president Obama the more I realize all the fears we(those who did not vote for him) had about him are true. It is not surprising to hear how he manipulated the press and the truth so he could get re-elected. The fact is all politicians do this to some extent but he is far and away the worst at it.
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Format: Hardcover
This, ostensively is an analysis of the quality of Mr. Obama's leadership style based on the six key decisions he made during his first term. However, it is much more than just that. Written in the run up to the 2012 election, the question the author set out as an objective and sought to answer was: Just what kind of leader is Barack Obama? The basic data used for the analysis were interviews by those who admired him. They included many of his advisors, allies and associates: all democrats. The analysis thus was based on an "Obama friendly" data base. The author himself comes with stellar credentials and although decidedly from the right flank of the political spectrum, tried hard to contain his political biases. As often as not, he failed at that task.

By way of introduction, the author gave us a list of Obama accomplishments during his first term. These along with his key policy decisions served as the platform for the analysis and will obviously be the content that will frame the BHO legacy: (1) bringing the nation back from the brink of financial disaster despite a brutally divided government; (2) signing a healthcare reform law that expands coverage, preserves choices, and creates a mechanism to eventually control costs; (3) engineering (arguably) a fairly stringent financial regulatory reform, and, (4) authorizing a risky mission that got Bin Laden.

He wades through healthcare, the debt crisis, the killing of bin Laden and the U.S relationship with Israel. In each of these he stays close to "cleared rightwing talking points," which served him well until his discussion about BHO's relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu. Then the author goes completely bonkers, over the hill, in an uncommonly hysterical defense of that beleaguered Israeli leader?
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