From one of Obama's closest aides comes a revelatory, behind-the-scenes account of his presidency and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.
For nearly ten 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 and kept much of it to himself. Now he tells the full story of his partnership and, ultimately, friendship with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.
Rhodes was not your normal presidential confidant and this is not your normal White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail from someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most consequential, tense, and poignant moments of the Obama presidency waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, confronting the resurgence of nationalism and nativism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump.
Rhodes pulls back the curtain on what it was like to be there from the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and above all Barack Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama's worldview and presidency, and an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade.
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