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The Price of Politics Hardcover – September 11, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1451651102 ISBN-10: 1451651104 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Woodward’s seventeenth book takes interested readers—and they will need to be very interested—behind closed doors to observe how the nation’s debt crisis developed over the past three-and-a-half years. Copious interviews with major players in this stand-off between the president and congressional Republicans (more than 100 individuals, so the author states) led the author to prepare a you-are-there, fly-on-wall approach to detailing the “struggle...to manage federal spending and tax policy.” The specific focus, and subsequently a big chunk of the book,centers on the 44-day high-stakes negotiations between the two sides in June and July, 2011, a brutal haggling over raising the debt ceiling. The cast in this drama is huge, but of course President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner loom largest upon the stage. These two key players attempted to reach a “grand bargain” that would ease the crisis for some time to come. Woodward’s purpose is to reveal how close they came and why an agreement failed. If readers are looking for an unbiased chronicle of these events, they better look elsewhere. Woodward appears to have walked into the writing of this book ready to lay most of the blame on the president. Some journalists in the know have reported that there is really nothing new here, but political junkies surely will read to the last page. For most readers, though, much of this will be TMI. --Brad Hooper

Review

“A highly detailed dissection of the debt-limit negotiations. … A remarkable achievement. …Woodward, being Woodward, digs deeper and draws more out of the protagonists than anyone else has.” —Jeff Shesol, The Washington Post

"Groundbreaking" —David Gregory, NBC's Meet the Press

"Takes us inside the room once again." —Charlie Rose

"Fabulous book and great reporting." —Norah O'Donnell, CBS This Morning

“Bob Woodward, in characteristic fashion, does his competitors one better by filling in blanks and providing even finer detail.” —Miranda Green, The Daily Beast

"A book everyone is talking about." —Diane Sawyer, ABC

"A very revealing, insightful book." —Sean Hannity, Fox News, "Hannity"

"Required Reading" —Elizabeth Titus, Politico

“Almost every bookshelf in the U.S. capital holds a thin volume called 13 Days, Robert F. Kennedy’s account of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Memo to Washington: Make room on those shelves for Bob Woodward’s latest behind-the-scenes book, The Price of Politics, which might as well have been called 44 Days. The centerpiece is a riveting account of the tedious negotiations to reach a ‘grand bargain’ on the federal budget.” —David M. Shirbman, Bloomberg Businessweek
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451651104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451651102
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In the last 36 years, Woodward has authored or coauthored 15 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Eleven have been #1 national bestsellers -- more than any contemporary non-fiction author.

Photos, a Q&A, and additional materials are available at Woodward's website, www.bobwoodward.com

His most recent book, Obama's Wars, is being published by Simon & Schuster on September 27, 2010.

Since 1971 Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post, where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which the Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward was the lead reporter for the Post's articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time."

In a lengthy 2008 book review, Jill Abramson, the managing editor of The New York Times, said that Woodward's four books on President Bush "may be the best record we will ever get of the events they cover . . . . They stand as the fullest story yet of the Bush presidency and the war that is likely to be its most important legacy."

Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the United States Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Thossy on September 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics" covers the run up and aftermath of the 2011 federal debt limit debacle. I just finished reading the book and want to share my immediate impressions.

Woodward's writing is what I would call reportorial. He takes care to avoid coloring sentences with unnecessary and potentially misleading adjectives. Description is kept to a minimum in the narrative. As a result, the reader must rely on the dialog and recollections of the subjects, some of whom express themselves better than others. I found it helpful to pause at various dates and think about what I was doing at the time and what I recalled about the issues and people involved.

For example, I realized I had developed a strong negative impression of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. I was surprised that he seemed more reasonable and less ideological in the book. Similarly, I was surprised and impressed with Joe Biden's role. In the popular media, he has been relegated to "class clown" status.

Other take-aways: Congress is all about politics and little about policy. Also, we don't have a do-nothing Congress. These men and women are working very hard. But accomplishment is the prize and there is very little of that to go around. And nobody works longer or harder than the staffs of these elected officials.

Woodward's reputation and singular access in the halls of power provide his readers with important, actionable insights. The story is harrowing. The serious national issues continue to fester. Many of the people in "The Price of Politics" are up for reelection and your vote may change after reading it.
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153 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward

"The Price of Politics" is an even-handed book about the handling of the economic crisis under the Obama administration. It examines the struggle between President Obama and the U.S. Congress to manage federal spending and tax policy during his tenure. Associate editor at the Washington Post for 41 years and author extraordinaire, Bob Woodward has provided the reader with a forthright, blunt examination of this administration's handling of the economy. This insightful 448-page book is composed of forty unnamed chapters.

Positives:
1. Excellent prose, great insight from an accomplished author of Woodward's caliber.
2. Cast of characters provided, masterful ability to narrate the interactions between all the players. One thing that stands out about this over books of this ilk is the ability of Woodward to capture not only the issues regarding policy but the human element. The emotions, the ups and downs, the inner workings of dealing with complicated issues that have a direct impact on American lives and their own political careers.
3. In many ways this book provides a character study of the two main characters of this book: President Obama and Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Woodward did a remarkable job of being as fair as possible and in several instances acknowledged where the accounts may have differed. The main players don't come out smelling like roses either; there are many thorns along the way.
4. President Obama's shortcomings particularly dealing with the business community and the failings of congressional Republicans.
5. Timely political topic in the hands of an accomplished author with access. He treats the subject matter with utmost respect.
6.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Magee on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has something for everyone, no matter what your point of view. It will open up your eyes to how bad things are in Washington. The author, Bob Woodward captures the budget events of 2011 in almost sickening detail. He goes about doing that much the way he describes foreign policy events in his other books. He puts you in the room with the principle leaders.

The book provides a blow by blow event of the budget and debt negotiations between Congress and the President in 2011. You learn about the various motivations and pressures that motivated each party and the White House. This description of events is much like a sporting event. This side offers this, the other side offers that and so on and so on. The down side of this method is you miss some of the big picture of events. You won't be able to see the forest through the trees kind of situation.

That blow by blow routine does get a little boring through the first part of it. Stick with it, the ending makes it all worth the work. I think a reader will gain a lot through the book. That is where your eyes will open through the collective story.

You will learn about the various personalities on both sides via what they did and a little through what they say in the book. I think you will learn things about people that the media and PR consultants miss. This side of them will shock you and not sit with your preset ideas.

You will also leave the book feeling a bit depressed. The book will make you re-look at those events of 2011. You will have to make your own analysis. Bob is sort of weak on that description. You realize how close we all came to disaster back then. The news then made it seem like everyone involved wanted the 11th hour deal for theatrics.
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