The Promise

  • by Jonathan Alter
  • Narrated by Jonathan Alter
  • 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Barack Obama’s inauguration as president on January 20, 2009, inspired the world. But the great promise of “Change We Can Believe In” was immediately tested by the threat of another Great Depression, a worsening war in Afghanistan, and an entrenched and deeply partisan system of business as usual in Washington. Despite all the coverage, the backstory of Obama’s historic first year in office has until now remained a mystery.
In The Promise, Jonathan Alter, one of the country’s most respected journalists and historians, uses his unique access to the White House to produce the first inside look at Obama’s difficult debut.
What happened in 2009 inside the Oval Office? What worked and what failed? What is the president really like on the job and in off-hours, using what his best friend called “a Rubik’s Cube in his brain"? These questions are answered here for the first time. We see how a surprisingly cunning Obama took effective charge in Washington several weeks before his election, made trillion-dollar decisions on the stimulus and budget before he was inaugurated, engineered colossally unpopular bailouts of the banking and auto sectors, and escalated a treacherous war not long after settling into office.
The Promise is a fast-paced and incisive narrative of a young risk-taking president carving his own path amid sky-high expectations and surging joblessness. Alter reveals that it was Obama alone—“feeling lucky”—who insisted on pushing major health care reform over the objections of his vice president and top advisors.
Alter takes the listener inside the room as Obama prevents a fistfight involving a congressman, coldly reprimands the military brass for insubordination, crashes the key meeting at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, and bounces back after a disastrous Massachusetts election to redeem a promise that had eluded presidents since FDR.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

the only way to read a book like this

I loved the book. I never would have gone through it if I had to read it. but listening to it suited my life style very well. It was interesting to the end and J. Alter's voice was perfect for the book
Even though it had many details it kept my attention to the end.
I look forward to the second year.
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- Adriana Fantes

goes way beyond the headlines and soundbites

Jonathan Alter's latest book provides an interesting and detailed "behind the scenes" view. His terrific narration, coupled with great research, makes you feel you were actually in the room. This book delivers colorful detail into the machinations from the run-up to the election through Obama's first year in office. Best of all, it is going to help me better understand how Obama will lead us going forward.
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- Andy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio