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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 107 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 (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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: 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: 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
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
Some time back I read & reviewed Miniter’s first attempt at book-length investigative political journalism: ‘ Losing Bin Laden ‘, in which he purported to document the ‘ Failures ‘ of the Clinton Administration’s policies regarding terrorism, that supposedly led to 9/11, including, he claimed, an offer from the nation of Sudan to hand over OBL to the US.

However, conspicuously absent from that book was any mention that Miniter himself NEVER reported ANY of Clinton’s ‘ Failures ‘ until AFTER 9/11, when he had the benefit of 20/20 Hindsight!
Also conspicuously absent was the fact that the Republican led 9/11 Commission determined that there was ‘ No Reliable Evidence ‘ that the alleged Sudan Offer actually happened!

So with this dubious track-record (I am limiting my comments to these two books of his), Miniter again purports to document the ‘ Failures ‘ of another President, who also happens to be a Democrat.
Now to be clear, I am not necessarily defending Obama; there are certainly legitimate criticisms to be made of his Administration.
Yet in order to prove such legitimate criticisms, one must first conduct a correct investigation. I know this because I have years of experience in Investigative & Intelligence work myself, including working on criminal prosecutions, and Serving in the Military.

So there is the Correct Method of conducting an Investigation.
Then there is Miniter’s Method of conducting an Investigation.
These two methods bear few if any similarities-

Miniter’s errors are literally too numerous to list here (If anyone is interested enough to contact me directly, I will be happy to provide specific examples).
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Leading from behind gave good insight into the workings of Obama and his inability to lead and make decisions. It was easy reading and well written. I'm sorry to have to know this, but of course, I already knew this just made my feelings of being unsafe every bit stronger. I don't know how we are going to get through the next two years without eminent disasters on every corner. Very sad.
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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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