An unassailable case that, in the eyes of history, Barack Obama will be viewed as one of America's best and most accomplished presidents.
Over the course of eight years, Barack Obama has amassed an array of outstanding achievements. His administration saved the American economy from collapse, expanded health insurance to millions who previously could not afford it, negotiated an historic nuclear deal with Iran, helped craft a groundbreaking international climate accord, reined in Wall Street, and crafted a new vision of racial progress. He has done all of this despite a Left that frequently disdained him as a sellout and a hysterical Right that did everything possible to destroy his agenda even when they agreed with what he was doing.
Now, as the page turns to our next commander in chief, Jonathan Chait - acclaimed as one of the most incisive and meticulous political commentators in America - digs deep into Obama's record on major policy fronts - economics, the environment, domestic reform, health care, race, foreign policy, and civil rights - to demonstrate why history will judge our 44th president as among the greatest in history.
Audacity does not shy away from Obama's failures, most notably in foreign policy. Yet Chait convincingly shows that President Obama has accomplished what candidate Obama said he would, despite overwhelming opposition - and that the hopes of those who voted for him have not been dashed despite the smokescreen of extremist propaganda and the limits of short-term perspective.
©2017 Jonathan Chait (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
This is an engrossing book; it helps put in perspective the 8 years of the Obama presidency. It starts with the premise that the election of the country's first African American president was a remarkable event which has had a significant and ongoing impact on our culture.
This book and its story of the Obama phenomenon genuinely helps one understand the Trump election as a natural result of the course of a nation still in denial about race.
The only complaint is the narrator -- his flat and deadpan delivery makes for hard listening.
I think the Obama years will be judged very favorably by history, particularly compared to what came before and after. This book breaks down some of the complexity during that time and makes it easy to understand the motives of the actors involved - on both sides.
Mike Chamberlain narrated E.J.Dionne's book. In a review of that book I said that he sounds like Bob Costas to me. That struck me again this time. I usually will give no more than 4 stars for performance if a non-fiction contemporary work is not narrated by the author but I relented this time. The narration is very clear and I haven't heard Chait speak more than once or twice.
If you have a negative view of President Obama then you might think the author should have taken a harsher stance but I think this book is fairly balanced and maybe just a bit too critical. It is not a hagiography.
As far as content is concerned, it was a solid book with many facts and ideas to reflect upon. The narration was dry and felt flat even for a factual heavy book. All in all I would say it could have been better but it could have been worse. In the first chapter the book tells the reader that it is not a book that will detail the administration. Even with that being put out in the open there were times I felt that the book missed the mark or failed to deliver.
During non-fiction books I don't mind the narrator being on the dry side but there was something about this performance that felt difference. It was almost as if you could tell it was a recording. Some of the immersion effect was lost.
There were some very good comparisons made that I had not thought of or were aware of. those were the moments that most captivated my interest. Other than that it was a very to the point book that did not get overly carried away with emotion.
Once I got past the premise of the book not really being an outline of his time as president I enjoyed the book for what it is. It did a good job of showing many of the ways that Obama was able to accomplish tasks with the obstacles that were placed before him. If you are looking for a detailed look at his accomplishments this might not be the book for you.
Great account of how partisan politics and messaging holds back the great American potential and how Barack Obama succeeded in changing the country nonetheless.
The author is preoccupied with the justification of the progressive movement. If one likes the idea of being treated like livestock, enjoy the book; drink the kool-aid.
Get past his agenda... Real life (at least where I live and work) is very different from the much of the pigeon holed "analysis" offered. Is it too much to ask government personnel to properly amend the US Constitution or honor their duty to uphold the law as written? Apparently it is. Thanks to the delusional thinking of people like Jonathan Chait, we now have President Trump.
Narrator did a great job.
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