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The Escape Artists MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145265638X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452656380
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,375,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Assessing President Obama's presidency, New Republic senior editor Scheiber focuses on a single issue: the handling of the economic crisis. This is just in, so I can't tell you more, but it's crucial to take a look." ---Library Journal

About the Author

Noam Scheiber is a senior writer at the New Republic who has also written for publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Audiobook veteran Michael Kramer has recorded more than two hundred audiobooks for trade publishers and many more for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner and an Audie Award nominee, he earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for his reading of Savages by Don Winslow.

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Customer Reviews

Yet the narrative is brisk, even suspenseful.
Jarad Vary
Great detail and background on the why and the how key players of the Obama administration including the president unsuccessfully pursued economic recovery policies .
Peter Schutt
The most obvious example of this is the title, which doesn't make much sense on a number of levels.
P. Troutman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By LAM on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A superb treatment of President Obama's first years in office, Noam Scheiber's "The Escape Artists" is an extraordinary blend of reportage, analysis and opinion.

Although Scheiber covers the same territory as a number of other recent books, there is a great deal of new information here that makes the book valuable as a first draft of history. Scheiber's punctilious coverage of the internecine battles among Obama's economic advisers alone sets his book apart. In particular, Scheiber lays bare for the first time National Economic Chair Lawrence Summers' thoroughgoing efforts to bury CEA Chairwoman Christina Romer's recommendation for a much larger, $1.8-trillion stimulus package in the first months of the administration. The exceptional detail of this episode is quite helpful in furthering the picture of Summers as hectoring bully that has emerged in more breathless, but less satisfying, books, such as Ron Suskind's "Confidence Men."

And while the reportage in "The Escape Artists" is terrific, Scheiber's lucid analysis of the 2009-2010 economic terrain gives the book an added dimension. Indeed, Scheiber's explication of the path not taken with respect to additional stimulus, derivative regulation, and "too big to fail" financial institutions is as helpful as anyone will find anywhere. This book deserves a widespread audience and here's to hoping that it finds one.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Scheiber has done a masterful job of putting a human face on the policies that have been argued back and forth about the Obama administration and its handling (or non-handling) of the economy. For those of us not privy to the inside scoop, Scheiber has managed to give us a detailed picture of who said what to whom, and when, and why, and how that catapulted into what someone else said to whom, and when, and why. Though we peruse the newspapers and blogs scrupulously, listen to the cable talkers, and debate with our friends, most of what we hear and know has an ephemeral quality to it. Scheiber provides the down-to-earth human element--the missed opportunities, the flawed judgement, the personal history of the actors-- and we learn, once again, why the person, not just "the idea," matters.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Troutman on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The other reviews are largely devoted to how this book squares with the reviewers' own political leanings. That isn't too useful (except for one point noted below).

Some general interest issues:

A. Noam Scheiber is obviously a strong, if occasionally hyperbolic, writer who writes with a novelist's panache. The editor, however, could been tougher and reined him more. There are a number of places in which they could have demanded more coherence. The most obvious example of this is the title, which doesn't make much sense on a number of levels. The phrase `the escape artists' doesn't clearly point to any central theme, and the word `fumbled' isn't an accurate description of what Scheiber describes (except for a homeowner relief package mentioned toward the end of the book). A more accurate subtitle for this work would have been `How Republicans tripped up the economic recovery'.

Scheiber himself, however, seems to reluctant to reach this conclusion, in part I suspect because he doesn't want to appear partisan and in part because if that really was the story, that would mean a different book with a whole set of more interviews. I'm not saying this to blame Republicans but to say that Scheiber doesn't want to go where his evidence is leading him. And if he followed the trail, he would have had to interview a lot more Hill Republicans, which might have complicated the story he got from talking to White House insiders. Or it might have made him squarely face his own evidence that Wall Street effectively captured a White House promising change.

B. Toward the beginning of the book especially, Scheiber fetishizes intelligence, talking about how brilliant or analytical this or that person is.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Armstrong on March 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Governments are constituted to regulate "illegal" greed, yet here is a detailed, intimate portrait of exactly how difficult it is to do that in the midst of an economic meltdown initiated--is anyone surprised?--by greed. Scheiber has made an Olympian effort to capture the people and their interactions at the White House, Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the two economic councils, the regulators, and the Congress--and has done quite well. The "too big to fail" institutions, plumped up with bad assets, essentially told the U.S. government how to fix things; and then bellyached when the garnish on their desert wasn't there.

In my view, Scheiber had a difficult time describing the public outrage over the free ride given to highly paid executives who raided the Treasury to support their own prerogatives. During this crisis, these same plutocrats dared to criticize the White House's handling of the crisis they created. Perhaps it is too hard to describe the helplessness and outrage that ordinary people felt. Perhaps it is too difficult to describe the legal and financial fictions that made all this greed impossible to regulate.

In the past twenty years in the U.S., we have had two real estate catastrophes, one dot-com catastrophe, collapses in three major auto makers, the gutting of our manufacturing system, and two huge banking crises. Are we any happier now? Scheiber's book is great at describing the latest banking/government crisis. I am waiting for a good writer such as Scheiber to make sense of the past twenty years, with something deeper than crony capitalism or greed. I am interested in learning how we lost our way--or am I foolish and silly to believe we had a way to start with?
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