Revival, by best-selling author Richard Wolffe, is based on exclusive and extensive interviews with President Obama and his inner circle inside the West Wing. It is an intimate and revealing portrait of the Obama White House at work in a critical period for the country and for the president.
With unrivaled access to the president and his senior staff, Wolffe has written a natural sequel to his New York Times best seller Renegade: The Making of a President. Wolffe is a veteran journalist and MSNBC political analyst who covered the Obama campaign along the candidate's entire 21-month journey to the White House, from his announcement in Springfield, Illinois, to election night in Chicago's Grant Park.
©2010 Richard Wolffe (P)2010 Random House
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I don't disagree with the theme of this book. Obama is a revivalist who wants good for America. Republicans are bad. Yet I don't like the way the case for those conclusions has been made.
Richard Wolffe is not one of those partisans who are biased to one side over the other. He present himself (or at least I see him) as a journalist whose opinions are based on facts and grounded into reason. And in making the case for any of those conclusions, he would demonstrates the facts and reasons for those conclusions. Unfortunately, this is not the case here.
While the book is full of analysis to the transformation of the Obama campaign as it moved to the White House and faced the realities of governing, it's light on reporting. There are no new insights into the White House as you find 'Game Change' does to the 2008 campaigns.
One thing I really didn't like is making assertions about people and policies without explaining how did you jump to those assertions. One example is the description of Larry Summers.
The book maybe right about conclusions but that is not what you look for in a book. You can get that in a short TV segment. Maybe my expectations were wrong.
The book makes a good case for Obama. It's a good chance to see things how Obama sees them. It reflects the authors knowledge of the president.
Most of us like to have a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes.
He has a perfect voice for this kind of book - that is of course especially because he wrote the book and because he was there on many occasions descriped in the book.
Two steps forth - one step back.
The book became lengthy at moments but I am not sure what should have been left out. It is a very thorough book and I am not sure something less thorough would have made it a better book.
"A must listen for political pundits"
Listening to Richard Wolffe, with his British accent, quote President Obama was a hoot! This being said, the book is a very serious, well-researched look at the insides of the White House. The author shows that a lot has been accomplished in a short period of time in the Obama Administration, despite being faced with heavy handed obstructionism. Wolffe is very good at in-depth coverage, like a professional journalist should be.
Revival lacks the punch that Obama fans are used to when reading about their favorite president. Wolffe jumps from story to story and the pace is lugubrious. There are few interesting tidbits and the book needs divine help. Wolffe is much better on tv.
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