Jonathan Callies

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  • The World as It Is

  • A Memoir of the Obama White House
  • By: Ben Rhodes
  • Narrated by: Ben Rhodes, Mark Deakins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,717
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,550
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,548

For nearly 10 years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration - first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Brief, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. Now, he tells the full story of his partnership with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A work for posterity, not tomorrow's talking points

  • By Josh on 06-14-18

An immersive read; a thoughtful book; a tribute to

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I ordered the audio book and am absolutely flabbergasted by the imerssiveness of Ben Rhodes' writing style. A piece from the New York Times articulates well the thoughts I have on Rhodes' work:

"Ben Rhodes is a charming and humble guide through an unprecedented presidency. He writes well, even though he has a master’s degree in creative writing, and he has a good eye. He observes that the national security adviser Jim Jones “had a strange habit” of giving advice to Obama “while looking at someone else in the room.” He describes furniture in Cuba “that went out of style so long ago that it’d be trendy in Brooklyn.” And that’s about as ferocious as he gets. There is no retributive backbiting of internal opponents like Hillary Clinton or Stanley McChrystal. In fact, Rhodes is far more candid about his own foibles. He drinks hard liquor, to the point of an occasional hangover. He smokes, furtively. He eats Chinese takeout, to excess. And he grows. He never quite loses his idealism; in a crass political era, he impressively avoids becoming a cynic. As a result, his achievement is rare for a political memoir: He has written a humane and honorable book."

40 of 42 people found this review helpful