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Publisher's Summary

A deeply-reported, firsthand account of how Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have come to embody two competing visions for the role of the United States in the world - and what that means for the 2016 presidential election.

New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler takes us behind the speeches and press conferences, to the Situation Room debates and picnic-table lunches, where Obama and Clinton honed their two competing worldviews: his, cautious, inward-looking, suffused with a sense of limits; hers, muscular, optimistic, unabashedly old-fashioned.

Alter Egos is about two ambitious political archrivals from very different backgrounds who became partners for a time, trailblazers who share a common sense of their historical destiny but who hold fundamentally different beliefs about how to project American power. With all the sweep of a grand history - and enlivened by an insider's access and plenty of news - Landler digs deep into the complex relationship between these two leaders and gives us a different way to think about Obama's legacy and Clinton's promise.

©2016 Mark Landler (P)2016 Recorded Books

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 07-14-16

Lots of Anecdotes

This book is an informative study of the relationship between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Mark Landler is the White House correspondent for the New York Times. His main question is: Would Hillary actually preside over a more robustly interventionist foreign policy than Obama? Or, is she simply adopting a hawkish viewpoint to swing voters?

Landler states there is no doubt tension exists between the two. There is a profound clash over foreign policy visions between them. When she was Secretary of State her requested aids were refused and she could never penetrate the Obama inner circle. Landler goes beyond the tracing of events to prove his thesis. In his view, Obama and Hillary “are more than just two of the most riveting political figures of our time. They are protagonists in a great debate over American power—one that will decide the direction the nation will take against the forces of disorder”. To me I do not think the difference is enormous between the two except Hillary maybe more of a pragmatist.

The book is well written and researched. Landler conducted many interviews as well as the usual basic data research. As a journalist he attempts to be neutral and just report his findings. The book does bring the reader into the inner circle of the Obama presidency.

Jason Culp does a good job narrating the book. Culp is a well know film and TV actor as well as a voice over artist and narrator of audiobooks.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A must read for voting Americans

Don't pass this up because you're a republican or card caring Hillary or Obama hater. Worth the educational value alone, this book provides a reasonably unbiased insight to eight years of important policy and decision making regardless of which side of the fence you reside on the issues themselves.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A companion reader to Clinton's Hard Choices

Hillary's book is slightly better written and read because it benefits from details inaccessible to a journalist, even if he was in the state Dept. beat under Clinton. This book provides a third party perspective on her sometimes spinful boasts, without being critical.

The author's careful dance of not offending either politician sacrifices the point of view for the sake of neutrality.

Author is not a policy wonk, so no deep analysis here or anything you haven't already read in NYTimes plus Hard Choices.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Deb
  • Concord, MA United States
  • 10-12-16

Narrator

Riveting book on politics and diplomacy marred by narration. Please? do not attempt foreign accents.

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Rivals and Teammates

I only wish they were the leaders of the two parties instead of the extreme divisiveness of the Dems and the GOP. What an American story it would be to see party leaders working together across the aisle instead of the digging in of heels that gets us nowhere.