As a political junkie, I followed what was happening in the depth ceiling debate, etc. But the inside story of the negotiations was fascinating. A good reminder that what we see on t.v. in real time is really only a superficial glance. Woodward's style kept the story moving right along. I was amazed at how every twist and turn was political with no apparent concern for the consequences for the country. Are there no statesmen left? It totally reinforced my opinions of the players involved, unfortunately.
Incredible inside view
The full access that Woodward was granted and his even handed reporting.
Direct conversations between the President and the Speaker of the House.
We get frustrated watching the creation of important legislation from the outside but our frustration is nothing like that of the people engaged in the dance.
Woodward still has his mojo.
Amazingly in depth.
Very similar in style to Obama's Wars. Both have a remarkable range of interviews with the principle actors involved in the actual decision making.
I really enjoyed the story of Obama telling off Eric Cantor and walking out of a meeting.
Truth really is stranger than fiction.
If you want to know the full story behind the clown show that led to the recent Fiscal Cliff and the next impending debt ceiling crisis then you should check this book out. Woodward presents a bipartisan spreading of the blame, though I believe he lets the facts speak for themselves (i.e. it's mostly the House Republicans fault). His access is so complete that you begin to wonder if he's making some of this stuff up. But then you will remember that if he did make it up, you would never believe it. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
If you want to understand the main actors in Washington DC, the debt ceiling negotiations, or the state of the Republican party, you should listen to this book.
Most surprising: Who comes off best in this novel? Joe Biden - who would have ever guessed? 2nd runner up -- perhaps John Boehner?
Obama's lack of political skill is clearly displayed. I think he is really more of an academic stumbling around in the world of politics.
Eric Cantor and his Tea Party fellows are revealed as completely intransigent, preventing any actual progress being made. The problems inside the Republican party are shown in Speaker Boehner's inability to whip the votes of his own party. (And that happened again in late 2012 after this book was released.)
A very interesting read covering a very interesting and tough time in America's history. The book gives you an inside view of the debate.
I am by no means a political junky, I would never represent myself to be. I can hardly keep the names of the folks on TV straight. That being said I really liked this book.
I actually downloaded this because I had a long car trip coming up with my elderly father who likes to lecture me on subjects that frankly make no sense to anyone except him and I hoped it would keep him interested.
It worked for him for a while but I was totally fascinated, he actually wound up sleeping most of the way so I could enjoy this book in peace.
It is really a well researched look into the White House and the people that we still see in the news today. For someone such as myself who may watch the news at night but does not follow politics as closely as I obviously should it gives a very indepth look at what was happening back in 2007 and gave me a much better understanding of all the gamesmanship. It gave me a fairly good background on the individual players involved including their strenghts and weakness's both physical and emotional. I could picture Boehner with his drink, smoking while Obama had his iced tea, likely envying that smoke.
It pointed out that they were human and sometimes were just trying to avoid being thrown under the bus such as when the Republicans walked away from the table after being told the Democratics were planning to do this same thing only to be vilified in the press. Sometimes there is no right answer.
It just made me question why the my way or the highway attitude seemed so prevelant, why the seemed to be able to get to say 800 billion but then tried to get to the next step they seemed to have to start all over again and everyone would walk away with their hands in the air. Maybe I did not understand all the terminology, I thought I did but it just seemed to be that these guys were incredibly stubborn and unwilling to compromise even when they know what the outcome would be if they fail to make a deal. It almost appears that they enjoy playing chicken which just left me scratching my head.
I would not listen again because th subject does not need further review or explanation
How does he do it? How does Woodward get these politicos to give him the detail and inner comments on this subjects. It really is a 'you are there' narrative.
Yes! Listening to this book was like getting inside the meetings going on right now.
I had to try really hard not to confuse the current physical cliff drama with what is going on at present.
This is a must have for the political junkie on your gift list.
Very informative. I wish I had more time for books like this. Excellent work.
I must not be one for political books, this is about the 3rd one i've tried, and i find them very difficult to get through. I vow not to buy another one no matter how intriguing it sounds (fingers crossed). I did find the details very interesting considering i recall most of these stories as they played out in the news. But it is still just hard to be immersed in these political books, and i am very into politics, just not the books. For those who are, this will probably be a good read.