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The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era Hardcover – August 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1ST edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451642326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451642322
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the year’s deepest books” —Politico

“A must-read book” —PoliticalWire.com

“There’s plenty here for everyone to get aflutter about all over again in this riveting account of President Obama's stimulus bill. Grunwald, a Time magazine senior correspondent, provides captivating background history on the stimulus and how it may prove to be a far greater deal than the one FDR famously launched.” —Chicago Tribune

"The New New Deal is the most interesting book that has been published about the Obama administration. Even Republicans should read it." (The Economist)

“Mammoth in scope. . . . Throughout, Grunwald keeps his tone snappy and readable, while consistently grounding the political story of the Recovery Act in its real impact on everyday Americans. The result is an impressive book about the startling gap between facts and media spin.” —Publishers Weekly

“A cogent reality check of President Obama’s Recovery Act. . . . A pointed, in-the-trenches study whose thrust will be borne out with time.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Michael Grunwald is one of our generation's most original and tireless journalists—a reporter who is allergic to received wisdom, a writer with an uncommon talent for illuminating hidden truths. So it is a delight, but not a surprise, that The New New Deal demolishes clichés and vividly reframes our thinking about President Obama and his stimulus package through a gripping narrative. Even if everyone doesn't agree with Grunwald's provocative conclusions, every serious reader will see in Grunwald’s book a vindication of serious journalism, at a time when we need it.”
John Harris, Politico

About the Author

Michael Grunwald is a Time senior correspondent. He has won the George Polk Award for national reporting, the Worth Bingham Award for investigative reporting, and many other prizes. The Washington Post called his first book, The Swamp, “a brilliant work of research and reportage,” and The New York Times called him “a terrific writer.” He lives in Florida.

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Customer Reviews

This book tells it like it happened.
Dave
Grunwald makes a cogent argument that the depression was avoided explicitly by Government fiscal action, including Obama's Recovery Act.
R. Golen
This book is well written, extremely interesting, and informative.
Judy in Ohio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

230 of 252 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on August 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The political parties disagree about whether the Recovery Act of 2009 has succeeded. This is based on deeper philosophical differences as to the preferred role of government in the economy as well as the historical effectiveness of FDR's New Deal in moderating the effects of the Great Depression. Author Mike Grunwald suggests that while reasonable people continue to debate the Recovery Act, they ought first "to hear the real story of what was in it, how it got there and how it got translated into action." To achieve this, Grunwald conducted interviews with more than 400 sources and utilized government documents as well as contemporary reporting.

In 3 sections, Grunwald covers the developing economic crisis, the passage of the bill over Republican opposition and the Recovery Act in action. He reminds us that as Obama entered office, credit was frozen, consumer confidence was at its lowest ever recorded level and the economy was shrinking at a rate of 8.9%. Within 30 days, the new administration passed an 1073 page, $787 billion dollar economy stimulus bill. Grunwald tells us that the Act was the biggest and most transformative energy bill in US history, the biggest foray into industrial policy since FDR and contained the largest middle class tax reduction since Reagan. The bill also delivered the largest infusion of research money ever, was the first modern spending bill without earmarks and required of itself unprecedented transparency and oversight. While the Administration was trying to address the needs of an economy in desperate straits, it also designed the bill to deliver on 3 of the key promises of Candidate Obama: reducing oil dependency, improving health care and upgrading education.
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108 of 128 people found the following review helpful By William Springer on August 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I know that economists generally consider the stimulus to have been a success, and that it's considered one of the most transparent government programs ever, I've never been particularly familiar with the details outside of the HITECH Act. As such, I was looking forward to getting started on this book.

Reading the introduction made me excited about seeing what will be accomplished from the reinvestment part of the Act. It's the first time I heard about the ARPA-E agency, Obama's mini-Manhatten Project, designed to invest in high-risk, high-reward energy research. And while the size of the Act - half what economists said at the time was required, with much of it devoted to tax cuts - was a disappointment, the sheer reach is mind-boggling: investments in transportation infrastructure, investments in research, investments in healthcare, investments in energy. Reading this chapter left me wanting more, wanting to know the details behind each of these ambitious programs.

Chapter one takes a step back and looks at what Obama wanted to accomplish with the bill, what his priorities were and the values that the stimulus represented. Then in chapter two, we get what the author calls the four pillars of the stimulus. Energy: how can we reduce our energy use and our carbon footprint without reducing our standard of living? Health care: how can we prevent the explosion in health costs that were on track to take up a full third of the economy by 2040, and improve the quality of care? Education: could we reach the goals that No Child Left Behind set out, but dismally failed to reach?
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Samuel J. Sharp on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the second book I have read on the Recovery Act and in my opinion, "Money Well Spent?" by Michael Grabell is a much better account of the Recovery Act's origin, implementation, and effectiveness. Both authors ultimately agree that the stimulus was necessary and effective, but Grabell goes about his work seriously and with an admirably neutral perspective. Grunwald is snarky and hopelessly one-sided even as he proclaims on page 21 to be providing the "real story" of the stimulus. From the very start, Grunwald's book is a sunshine and roses account of the stimulus and President Obama's first term in office. The prominent theme of the book is that Obama's policies were undoubtedly correct, but his administration is not skillful enough at politics to make the public understand how thankful it should be. On page 19 Grunwald begins lamenting "the just-say-no extremism of the right, the unquenchable ingratitude of the left . . . the gotcha games of the media." This is very exhausting over 455 pages. Grundell is very much a cheerleader and particularly telling is his unwillingness to even let other Democrats criticize the President. For example, on page 417 Grunwald reports on his interview/debate with then Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in which Rendell challenges Obama's effectiveness and Grunwald quotes himself defending the President to Rendell while in Rendell's office. The thrust of Grunwald's reporting is that no one in America really understands the true merits of the stimulus except administration officials and Grunwald himself.

Grunwald conducted over 400 interviews and most of the quotations he uses have cites, but he gets a bit sloppy at times when he wants to make a dramatic point.
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