Political analyst Jonathan Alter provides a very readable and insightful account of President Barack Obama's first year in office--a year that was characterized by the breakneck speed of decision-making, a hugely ambitious agenda, and an administration that from day one bore President Obama's personal stamp in both foreign and domestic policy. Alter tells readers that his goal is to write about what happened, to tell what the president is like, and to assess how well he did in, roughly, one year. (He covers pre-inaugural events, chronicling how Obama assembled his team and otherwise made ready to assume command.)
Alter tells many good stories, and clearly had privileged access to key players behind the scenes. He presents sharp sketches of the president's staff, recounting their allegiances and internal squabbles without ever descending to tabloid journalism. And, he explains clearly the complex issues surrounding the financial crisis and the stimulus, the debate on national health care, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jonathan Alter is also the author of THE DEFINING MOMENT, which chronicles FDR's first hundred days in office. In his acknowledgments, Alter says that writing this book felt like both a marathon and a sprint. Perhaps President Obama would say the same of his initial year in office. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2010.
- Political Science, History, Biography + Autobiography
- United States / General, Presidents + Heads of State, General
- May 18, 2010
- May 18, 2010
- Jonathan Alter