- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Viking (June 14, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670023760
- ISBN-13: 978-0670023769
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,096,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1048 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Public Affairs & Administration
- #1636 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > United States > Executive Branch
- #7194 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Political Science > History & Theory
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The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power Hardcover – June 14, 2012
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Mann is an experienced and judicious observer of both presidential policy making and the bipartisan foreign-policy establishment, and, as in the case of his earlier book, many of his initial judgments are likely to pass the test of time. —Michael Lind
About the Author
James Mann, a former Washington reporter, columnist, and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, is author in residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is the author of many books on global affairs and U.S. foreign policy.
Top customer reviews
More often, though, he steers a course between realism and idealism, slips between horns of a dilemma, and serves us well. Mann's reporting is fair and
balanced while dismissing ultra and neo con conservatives.
The Bush II story may have been a little more compelling and easier to tell as the neoconservative ideology was a major driver of Bush's foreign policy decisions and the conflict between Secretary Powell and the rest of the Bush team was a bit more striking than any conflict here. Rise of the Vulcans was published before President Bush's second term led to a reassessment of many of the early foreign policy decisions. In Obama's White House, there is less of a strict ideology and when there is one, Mann finds it is often just being the opposite of Bush. Even though Obama has not taken the opposite approach of Bush on every foreign policy issue, indeed in some cases he has doubled down on Bush's policies, his team seems to often start from the standpoint of trying to avoid being like Bush.
Obama's less ideological approach makes it difficult to grab a narrative thread and run it through his foreign policy. That lack of ideology may make the people and personalities working for the President more important because it is not obvious from the start what direction the U.S. will go. The US contribution to the war in Libya is an excellent example as Obama pushed his military advisers farther than they were originally planning to go, perhaps a surprise for a President who ran against the Iraq war. Obama's shift in Afghanistan from the counter-insurgency policies of his early presidency to an increased focus on counter-terrorism is another example of this non-ideological approach. Obama is a pragmatist, not an extremist.
Of course, Obama's greatest foreign policy accomplishment was the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Some revisionists think any president would have made this decision but Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Mitt Romney all said Obama was mistaken to say during the 2008 primary that he would act on intelligence and take Bin Laden out in Pakistani territory. But that's exactly how it played out.
Obama and his Obamians have dealt with Iraq, Afghanistan, the Christmas underwear bomber, Guantanamo politics, the Arab Spring, Bin Laden, an increasingly outward looking China, an anti-American US citizen cleric in Yemen, and much more in just three and a half years. James Mann tells these stories with great skill and hopefully he plans to repeat this type of writing for a second Obama term and/or future presidents.
Most recent customer reviews
others I have read and Mr. Obama is an egotist.Read more