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5.0 out of 5 starsMade Me a Believer in Obama
Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2016
Written so that a "non-political" person such as myself could understand it. Learned a LOT about President Obama - he is very clever and works behind the scene much more than ANY of us know. This book just pointed out to me how so many of us have been WRONG about him and what good he has accomplished - especially the Republicans!! I believe this book - if you JUST READ IT - can clarify just how much President Obama can be relentless in working for the people. And what a wonderful President he really is. He always worked tooth and nail on behalf of the American people - IN SPITE OF the Republicans! Made me a believer!
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2012
One critical review starts out, "There is not a lot of substance here." I wonder if the reviewer even read the book. Also, it's instructive to read the negative reviews, then compare them with the positive ones. The negatives simply hurl names; the positives actually try to analyze the book and the events they cover. There's a lesson here.
Okay, to the book itself. "Showdown" recounts the legislative aspects of calendar year 2011 (roughly), in which Obama had to deal with the "shellacking" his party received in the 2010 midterm elections and the Tea Party-ized congress. There is plenty of true substance here, not just details for the sake of reporting. Occasionally there's too much. In fact, it's amazing how deep into the weeds David Corn was able to get. We learn about the Gang of Six, the Big Cross, and the unenviable position of John Boehner (really, I almost felt sorry for the guy after reading this book...almost). We also learn about just how long a game was being played by Messina, Plouffe, Axelrod, and, of course, Obama.
This book stops at the start of 2012, so there is little about the election. But many of the themes of both parties' campaigns were clearly at play during 2011, hence the subtitle of the book: "How Obama Battled the GOP to Set up the 2012 Election." I was tempted to deduct a star for length and depth of detail; this book occasionally read like a great 300-page book crammed into 400 pages, as the saying goes (I read it on my Kindle so I don't have the actual page count).
As you can probably tell from the reviews, the book is definitely pro-Obama. But there is plenty of criticism, too, and I did not feel like Corn was spinning or propagandizing. Corn gives us analysis, not a recitation of talking points. I thought "Showdown" was worth far more than the $2.99 it costs to buy for the Kindle.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Turning Point of the Obama First term.
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2013
This book was written around the struggle between the Obama Administration and the tea party controlled Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The exact turning point in that struggle occurred in the spring/summer of 2011 when the Tea Party threatened to not raise the debt limit to pay the nation's bills. This was the first debt ceiling showdown which was followed by another debt ceiling struggle in 2013. Unlike the second debt ceiling struggle in 2013, the Obama administration was forced to make a deal with the Tea Party majority in the House which drastically cut government services for the poor and middle classes. This was the extreme low point in this struggle between the Obama Administration. It strengthened the resolve of the Obama Administration to never again be held hostage by the debt ceiling or by any threatened government shutdown. This book aids the reader in understanding the battle that led up to the re-election of President Obama and the administration's new position of strength that allowed the administration to deal more efrfectively with the combined government shutdown and debt ceiling struggle of 2013.
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2013
I, like most Democrats, was quite frustrated in 2011 that President Obama didn't aggressively push back against the Republicans in the House. At times I gave him the "wimp" title during the fight over the budget and the National Debt. This book changed my thinking and gave me a new respect for Obama. His very quiet, non-publicized strategy eventually paid off and revealed him as what we need from of our political leadership; effective governing. Unfortunately, Boehner, Ryan and the Tea Party Republicans didn't get it the first time around and we were treated to the same mess in 2013; maybe even worse. Again, the same strategy paid off for Obama in overcoming the extreme right-wing obstructionism of the Republican party in 2013. Very much recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsShowdown Analysis-- Take a Deep Breath
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2013
Well done book. This book analyzes what happened after the dust settled and shows how well Obama really handled this debt ceiling GOP "manufactured" crisis even though he had been dealt a bad hand with the 87 Tea Party freshmen and the loss of the House in 2010. Reading the 2011 "breathless" accounts online or in newspapers, one got a negative impression of Obama's handling this GOP mess. Instead, he set the situation up well for a values contrast over the economy with Romney in 2012, and now has the upper hand in the fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, and sequester problems we face. This book reminds us all how fortunate we are to have Obama at the helm in the Oval Office.
5.0 out of 5 starsRevealing strategy on making governent work
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2012
While I was much relieved to learn our president hadn't been hiding in the White House during his first four years in office, I had the feeling that the author gave away his strategy to the opposition making it more difficult to negotiate in the next four. Nevertheless, the book was a page turner only relieved by the fact I already knew how it ended. David Corn's research and multiple interviews with people involved instills a sense of truth to his story.
5.0 out of 5 starsFinally, an inside story told by someone other than the biased new media.
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2013
This book kept me interested the whole way through. This book also gives you a first hand account of what transpires in the White House during the decision making processes. Regardless of how you feel about our President...he is NOT a stupid man by any stretch of the imagination. What did come to life however, was just how ridiculous the GOP has acted since Mr. Obama was elected by the MAJORITY of the voting public.
4.0 out of 5 starsShowdown - a great, impartial account of Obama's presidency
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 4, 2013
It's hard to find a decent book about Barack Obama's administration. Most books currently in circulation all seem to be written by right-wing fanatics who probably believe Obama is a secret socialist out to destroy America. Those books are far from an impartial account of history and offer nothing but the author's narrow opinions and an unfair reflection of events.
David Corn has written a book which offers a relatively impartial account of Obama's time in office from early 2010 to the end of 2011. It covers, in detail, the aftermath of the Mid-term elections, Obama's at first cautious handling of the Arab Spring, the raid on bin Laden's compound, the debt ceiling crisis and Obama's campaign to get Congress to pass the American Jobs Act.
Although Corn does appear to be an Obama supporter he quotes Obama aides and critics. The critics are often Democrat politicians including Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - people you would expect to support Obama no matter what. Corn's writing style allows readers to debate the president's actions and draw their own conclusions.
When I finished reading this book, I felt I had been well-informed rather than lectured. Essentially reading for the politically aware.