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Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House Hardcover – November 16, 2010
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Praise for Richard Wolffe’s Renegade
“Destined to be a classic in its genre.” —Douglas Brinkley
“Insightful …A thoughtful meditation on Mr. Obama’s life and character.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“There is enough drama, and then some, in Renegade. It is surely not the final word—but it is as close as we are likely to get.” —Ted Widmer, Washington Post
“A superb achievement …Wolffe’s brisk, well-written narrative is fully in the tradition of Theodore White and Richard Ben Cramer.” —Michael Beschloss
“An insightful, unusually moving, fully observed portrait … Marvelous.” —Ken Burns
About the Author
RICHARD WOLFFE is an award-winning journalist and political analyst for MSNBC television, appearing frequently on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Hardball with Chris Matthews. He covered the entire length of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. Before Newsweek, Wolffe was a senior journalist at the Financial Times, serving as its deputy bureau chief and U.S. diplomatic correspondent. He lives with his wife and their three children in Washington, D.C.
Top customer reviews
I often wish I could be a fly on the wall.
I enjoy the easy to follow flow of Richards Woffle's books. He gives you a very neutral look of one of our greatest Presients.
I have read Revival a couple times. But what I most like now is to listen the Revival audio CD audiobook. I know what the book
is about so I do not have to pay close attention to his words. I put it on in the background when I am having a hard time
falling asleep. He soft, almost soothing voice puts me right to sleep. He sounds a wee bit like my nanny who hailed from
Great Britain also.
Five REVEALING Stars!! Probing, detailed, fair-minded, sometimes unflattering, and highly informative. Presidential biographer, senior correspondent, and journalist Richard Wolffe's latest book captures President Barack Obama and staff after the successful run for the White House as detailed in Renegade: The Making of a President. During several months, beginning in January 2010, the author had a great deal of access: interviewing "every senior West Wing official from the president and vice president on down" in oral and written "real-time and rearview observations": literally a "rolling conversation" with them. In 5 chapters (Destination, Terminal, Redemption, Recovery, and Survival, and when you reach the Epilogue, do keep reading through the Acknowledgements), he starts at the triumphant period with the passing of Obama Health Care legislation in the Prologue, and then going back to the beginnings of the Obama administration, he writes a fascinating non-partisan analysis of Obama's administration personnel, goals, strategy, successes and failures: coming out of campaign mode to actually governing the nation. He lays bare the politics and posturing, while Obama's inner circle attempted to take advantage of what was perceived at the election as a mandate for change. But a year later, much of it was virtually stalling out due to unemployment, the financial crisis, and the wars. Then in March came the long-sought passage of the health care act to raise spirits. They were longing for the revival of the high energy renegade 'campaign mode' of operating, while they themselves were becoming what they seemed to loathe during the campaign: Washington insiders, targets for the Republicans, the press, and even his own party at times. But they find at least the spirit of revival through governing by the end of the book.
The author reveals a White House that can be, in the words of a White House senior insider, sometimes "terrible" at the game of politics while amassing "historic" amounts of achievements. Along the way we get some significant 'word-pictures' and 'inside information': President Obama voraciously reading virtually everything written about his administration in the media; the President's awkward first reaction to winning the Nobel Peace Prize; the inability to execute the "Bush Gift Bag" by closing Guantanamo, ending the wars, lowering unemployment, and jumpstarting the economy; amid failures, there were the triumphant Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka "ObamaCare"), the Recovery Act, credit card reform and the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act where even 13 Republican Senators gave support; Rahm Emanuel being praised for his energy but derided for his inefficient management and changing goals; one of Nancy Pelosi's shocking negative answers to what the House proposed on health care; the Obama approach to dealing with Islam; the difference between 'this' entrenched Republican Party and the party 10 years ago, David Axelrod and the DNC blindsided by the final polls of the special election where Martha Coakley lost Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, Presidents Bush and Clinton standing in the Rose Garden closing ranks with Obama on Haiti disaster relief; White House critical self-analysis of the BP Gulf disaster, the inner circle Revivalists and the opposing Survivalists, and much more. There are some topical, non-chronological 'switchbacks' where author Wolffe reveals more detail on a subject from a different angle in different chapters, mainly Health Care. The constant question of whether President Obama could "bring change to Washington without Washington changing him" reverberates across the landscape of this frank, insightful book that ends on a spirit of hope, but with the mid-term elections looming. "Revival" is Highly Recommended. Five INFORMATIVE Stars!! (This review is based on a Kindle download in Mac and iPhone modes.)