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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller 

"[This] breezy page turner is essentially Bridget Jones goes to the White House." (The New York Times)

"Obama administration memoirs are rolling in, but in a refreshing twist From the Corner of the Oval swaps policy for good old-fashioned workplace drama." (Entertainment Weekly)

Recommended for summer reading by theSkimm, Jane Green on NBC's Today show, Entertainment Weekly, Refinery29, Bustle, PopSugar

In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein is working five part-time jobs and just scraping by when a posting on Craigslist lands her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama's stenographers. The ultimate DC outsider, she joins the elite team who accompany the president wherever he goes, recorder and mic in hand. On whirlwind trips across time zones, Beck forges friendships with a dynamic group of fellow travelers - young men and women who, like her, leave their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president. As she learns to navigate White House protocols and more than once runs afoul of the hierarchy, Beck becomes romantically entangled with a consummate DC insider, and suddenly the political becomes all too personal. Against the backdrop of glamour, drama, and intrigue, this is the story of a young woman making unlikely friendships, getting her heart broken, learning what truly matters, and, in the process, discovering her voice.

©2018 Beck Dorey-Stein (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Who knew the West Wing could be so sexy? Beck Dorey-Stein’s unparalleled access is obvious on every page, along with her knife-sharp humor. I tore through the entire book on a four-hour flight and loved reading all about the brilliant yet hard-partying people who once surrounded the leader of the free world. Lots of books claim to give real insider glimpses, but this one actually delivers.” (Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada)
 

“If you’ve ever felt like you were out of your element, in over your head, or working without a net, you will love this book. Beck Dorey-Stein reveals an endlessly fascinating perspective on power and history in the making. This memoir is funny, fast-paced, and so emotionally true that it hurts.” (Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black)

“Love and heartbreak, ambition and jealousy, whirlwind travel to exotic locales, and more page-turning drama than your favorite addictive novel. Consider yourself warned: This is not your father’s White House memoir.” (Camille Perri, author of The Assistants)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

West Wing - it's about the work, loves, and life

This might be the best book I've "read" on Audible. Writing was beautiful and totally enjoyable to listen to. My favorite character was Pathahad (read the book to learn more!). I recently rewatched the West Wing TV series and was left with an intense curiosity on how the White House staff functions - when do they sleep, where do they live, how do they dress so well on meager incomes. This book doesn't reveal all but gives me a feel for the non-political backdrop to working in the White House.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Memoir about her love life.

The book was performed well. The storyline book was disappointing for me. I expected more like TV series "West Wing" or "Madam Secretary", but reminded me more of TV series "Scandal". This chronicles her travels as a White House employee, her being impressed with #44, but the majority covers her love life, love affair with another employee and her desire to become a writer. It reminded me more of a Harlequin love story and caused wonder if it was a work of fiction. I would have been more impressed had it been presented as a fictional work with all fictional characters.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I kept waiting

I kept waiting for her to stop making idiotic choices over and over and over again. I kept waiting for her to stop being self-obsessed and self-destructive and to start telling more stories about important things like the White House and the trips they made to other countries, and to tell fewer stories about moronic boys who treated her like crap. I waited, right up to the very end. Two stars, only for the few stories she actually did share that were anything remotely pertinent to her former position in the White House.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it

Love that it is read by the author! Makes me miss former President Obama, who the author got to run next to on the treadmill more than once.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not an insider view

Book is all about cheating on her boyfriend and being cheated on. Also puts down other women. Not what I expected. Would not recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

i expected more

i hoped it'd be a story about someone close to obama's presidency, but it's almost all about the author's love life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A
  • 08-08-18

Painful and Disappointing

I had so much hope for this book, but I was very disappointed. While the writer is skilled in creating interesting descriptions, the book point was confusing and came across like a soap opera. The author was constantly saying that she despised "D.C. creatures," for various behaviors. At the same time, she was also often name dropping throughout the book--a behavior that seems to align with the characteristics she described as being unattractive. The book has a painful pattern: travel for work, get extremely intoxicated, and make terrible choices. Finally, the author came across as arrogant (e.g., flaunting her perceived basketball, running, humor skills) and a bit hypocritical (e.g., dissing on other women when she seemed to be promoting a message of lifting one another up). I'm not sure what the take away is for this book. I think the author would still be in the same dead-end relationship if it was possible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Missed Opportunity

Thought this would be an interesting insight into the life and doings of the Presidency ("from the corner of the Oval"). Here she gets the opportunity of a lifetime...what many would only dream about. And the chance to write about it. Only to turn the bulk of it into a personal story of her relationship with her boyfriend and the man she cheats on him with while she travels with the President and his staff. The more I read it and the more she continued on about these relationships (if you can call them that) it just made me angry as I could care less about her sexual trysts. Honestly I got exactly halfway thru it and was just so disappointed I quit reading it. If I wanted to read a romance novel I would have bought that. Sad to have missed such an opportunity with that kind of insight. She could have written not only a great book about the Presidency but about a Great man as well.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen!

Really enjoyed this book and her reading it. Can’t wait for more. A part of me wishes she could have stuck it out with Trump because the book would have been PHENOMENAL!!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling and poignant for every minute

A powerful, uplifting, and honest portrayal of the human aspects of life in Washington DC -- the tumult of casual but intimate relationships, the unyielding pressure to pursue power and prestige above all else, the heartbreak of loss and loneliness, the grounding and cathartic nature of true friendships, and the sacrifices faced by all who find success in the Swamp. Could not stop listening -- even found myself moving around plans just to finish some chapters.