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Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

Regular price: $20.65

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Publisher's Summary

If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this....

Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears and lots of briefing binders. But for every historic occasion - meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm - there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican.

Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a White House official is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon).

Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is the brilliantly funny, frank and inspirational memoir from a savvy political star.

©2017 Alyssa Mastromonaco (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

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  • Michelle M. Whalen
  • 09-15-18

Very Enjoyable, Not an Obama Story

I listened to this book because my best friend recommended it. Mastromonaco does an amazing job as a storyteller and narrator. I found it wonderful to picture my government run by people like myself, not just old, suited Gentlemen wearing monocles on golf courses. It occurs to me that since I was worried I'd be listening to a hard hitting political book, I was happily surprised. And then I read the other reviews and realized that this book really suffers from a failure of expectations. I can see that.

But I find I'm really hoping that Mastomonaco writes another book. I don't expect the next one to be about politics either, but I will buy it regardless of topic.

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  • Susie
  • 08-25-17

Great book!

Thanks Alyssa, what a great insight into Life at the White House! You are an inspiration!

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  • Duncan Mackechnie
  • 08-30-17

Maybe Alyssa thought this was a good idea.....

What disappointed you about Who Thought This Was a Good Idea??

The author comes across as a 16 year old that cant quite believe that she worked in the White House and I have difficulty in believing it too ! Her obsession with personal detail - Tampax machines, IBS , her toilet habits are cringeworthy - she appears totally self obsessed - I am no prude but her continual use of the F work and Shit become totally tiresome. The result is that that you know nothing more about the main events of the presidency than before.

Has Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? put you off other books in this genre?

No

How could the performance have been better?

The book is clearly pretty awful , but, the listening experience would have been better if we did not have to listen to Alyssa.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Nothing as positive as that - its 5 hours of my life I wont get back.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kai1
  • 03-10-19

This was a great idea!!

SO good! Loved listening to this after listening to Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" cos it felt like it was in-keeping with the theme. I'd never heard of her before and honestly as an english chick living in Australia my interest in american politics starts and ends with Obama. My only criticism is it felt a little short and i wanted to hear MORE MORE MORE about her time at the whitehouse.

What is there is good though, and she really has a great narrative style and it kept me at the gym longer than i normally would so i could listen some more. I think listen to this if you liked Michelle Obama's book or Sheryl Sandbergs Lean in.

Just to let you know, I work for Audible, but the views expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-19

Overall amazing!

Such a wholesome reminder that politics when Obama was around used to be better! Good for you, Alyssa!

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  • Jennifer
  • 08-28-17

Disappointing

Although the topic is interesting the reader's voice was irritating and childish. And the constant referrals to her period, tampons and bowel movements was annoying. Overall a disappointing listen.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful