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Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail Hardcover – January 17, 2017
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“Chait’s brilliant new book, Audacity, upends the conventional wisdom of the Washington commentariat -- and a surprising number of liberals -- that Barack Obama’s presidency was little more than eight years of disappointment…setting out a compelling case that he was one of the most successful presidents of modern times.” (The Guardian)
“A timely, trenchant and relentlessly argued book presenting the 44th president in terms that he himself would approve. Not only did Obama change America for the better, Chait writes, he also cemented a new policy infrastructure that will resist Trump’s efforts to tear it down.” (New York Times Sunday Book Review)
“Audacity, by Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, one of today’s must-read political journalists…documents the scale of Obama’s domestic policy, on health care, taxes, finance, climate, civil rights and education. Chait also explains why [Obama’s successes] won’t simply disappear… The book is a brave one.” (David Leonhardt, New York Times Op-Ed columnist)
“Chait offers a well-organized, clearly written case that will be valuable to future historians in their assessments.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“[Chait] lacerates wimpish liberals and the duplicitous cynics on the right. He points out, over and over again, that, ideologically speaking, Obama’s policies were largely derived from a liberal Republican tradition.” (Brooklyn Rail)
“Chait’s command of policy and politics, and his clarity of thought, guarantee that Audacity will remain an essential starting point for those assessing the Obama presidency.” (Washington Monthly)
“[Chait is] one of the most influential political journalists of our time…the verve with which he pursues his quarries has made him one of our great polemicists.” (New Republic)
“Audacity is a sturdy defense of the past eight years and an attack on left-wing Americans who moan about Obama’s timidity. And in this endeavor it is a rip-roaring success. Chait tells the Obama story with enormous sympathy, but with enough detachment to make it credible.” (The Times (UK))
From the Back Cover
Over the course of eight years, Barack Obama amassed an array of historic achievements. His administration saved the American economy from collapse, expanded health insurance to tens of millions who previously could not afford it, negotiated an unprecedented nuclear deal with Iran, helped craft a groundbreaking international climate accord, reined in Wall Street, launched a fundamental overhaul of our education system, and formulated a new vision of racial progress. He has done all of this despite a left that frequently disdained him as a sellout, and a hysterical right that did everything possible to destroy his agenda, even in instances when they actually agreed with what he was doing before Obama was the one doing it.
Now, as the page turns to possibly the most dangerous commander in chief in our history, Jonathan Chait, one of America’s most incisive and meticulous political commentators, digs deep into Obama’s record on major policy fronts—the economy, the environment, domestic reform, health care, race, and foreign policy—to demonstrate why history will judge our forty-fourth president as among our greatest. Chait explains why so many observers, from cynical journalists to disheartened Democrats, missed the enormous evidence of progress amidst the smoke screen of extremist propaganda and the confinement of short-term perspective. He also reveals why Obama’s accomplishments will last despite the reactionary effort by Donald Trump and the Republicans to extinguish them. And in its resounding defense of Obama’s tenure, Audacity both makes clear his victories, and what we need to fight for next.