Based on 18 months of reporting, Woodward's 17th book The Price of Politics is an intimate, documented examination of how President Obama and the highest profile Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Congress attempted to restore the American economy and improve the federal government's fiscal condition over three and one half years. Drawn from memos, contemporaneous meeting notes, emails, and in-depth interviews with the central players, The Price of Politics addresses the key issue of the presidential and congressional campaigns: the condition of the American economy and how and why we got there.
Providing verbatim, day-by-day, even hour-by-hour accounts, the book shows what really happened, what drove the debates, negotiations, and struggles that define, and will continue to define, the American future.
©2012 Bob Woodward (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
Even though this book is about as gripping as watching C-Span, I still rank it as one of my favorite reads because of how much it reveals not only about Washington politics, but the true depth of the US debt crisis. I have been reading other books such as The Real Crash by Peter Schiff and Endgame by John Mauldin that have been panned as being too alarmist and radical for suggesting the possibility of future weakness is the US government bond market. Bob Woodward's account reveals that by the end of the debt ceiling debate in 2011, Timothy Geithner was warning that we were literally hours away from a market panic, followed by the failure of a US bond auction that would set off a worldwide financial meltdown and a depression that would be worse than in the 1930's and the effect would resonate for generations. The deal that finally averted this disaster resolved nothing and simply kicked the can down the road until after the election. Round two is known as the fiscal cliff.
Overall, I thought this book was very even handed showing both parties strengths and weakness. Bob Woodard did a very detail account of going behind the scene to expose how complicated this political discussion was. He also captured the divides within each camp which convoluted the negotiation and even caused a having this debt ceiling crisis done one month earlier (as oppose to delaying the decision to the failed Super Committee). My only complaint is how detailed Bob did go within this book. Did I really need to know that Senator Jon Kyl rented equipment by the hour to do yard work? There were other passages that I felt didn’t add to the over story of this crisis. However, those personal quirks didn’t detract too much from this good book.
From Bob Woodward’s (All the President’s Men) prolific pen now comes The Price of Politics. In this volume Woodward sets out to report how the Obama administration, Democratic and Republican legislators sought to remedy the economic meltdown. Woodward provides a hour-by-hour, day-to-day, blow-by-blow account of the negotiations between the three and it is one scary tale. Readers brave enough to continue past the second chapter will learn what the debates were like, how the negotiations progressed (if negotiation is the proper term) and how the talks broke down. Sometimes I read passages that just made me want to throw my hands up in amazement. Other times, passages brought on pure disgust. I will not repeat comments made by other reviewers. Suffice it to say, that anyone interested in how the legislative process works, decision making in general, or organizational behavior will be rewarded for wading through this book. If you don’t want grinding detail, don’t open this volume. If you do stay for the entire show, you will be rewarded for turning these pages. The reading of Boyd Gaines is excelent.
Children run Washington
Shows that politics means more than the country in Washington - from both parties.
One of the top books
The extreme details. I would like to know how Bob Woodward was able to get the insite for this book
Just wasn't a compelling story. Back and forth bickering leading back to square one, then a few steps forward. Nothing intriguing about this at all.
Boyd Gaines is an EXCELLENT voice.
I might if I had the time - its a long listen. Gives about as fair an assessment of the both sides of the budget debate as you will find. Really an interesting read. Not a flattering picture of either the President nor of the other participants in the negotiation process.
Woodward's a great investigative writer so there is an impressive amount of factual detail about the discussions and the issues involved. Because of his stature in his profession, he has access to people in the highest levels of government.
Eric Cantor. I really felt as though he captured his style of speaking. It seemed as though he was reading his own quotations in the book.
When Obama asked for an additional $400 billion in revenue after he and Boehner had agreed on the framework of a deal.
Most of the book consists of re-hashes of daily meetings of the president and congressional figures over the debt ceiling crisis, with balanced re-hashing from all sides' points of view.
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.
I would not recommend it to a friend, as I feel my friends would not have the patience to listen to it.
It clarified exactly what happened during the budget negotiations during the last two years of President Obama's current term.
I was amazed to learn that the Speaker of the House took more than 24 hiours to respond to a phone call from the President. According to the author, this had never happened in the past. It dramatized the extreme gulf between the two sides. I felt it showed disrespect for the office of the President.
If you want to know what really went on, this book will tell you. It is factual and even-handed in its presentation. There is equal criticism of both sides.
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