The Center Holds

Obama and His Enemies

Alter, Jonathan

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Center Holds
A narrative thriller about the battle royale surrounding Barack Obama's quest for a second term amid widespread joblessness and one of the most poisonous political climates in American history.

Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, c2013.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451646078
Characteristics: xiii, 428 pages, 16 pages of plates :,illustrations ;,25 cm


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Oct 13, 2013
  • pokano rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Jonathan Alter brings the 2012 US Presidential election and the events leading up to it into clear focus.

Jul 18, 2013
  • floy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The author is a good writer and I felt moved by his prose to finish the whole book although I had only intended to read enough to decide if I wanted to buy it. Jonathan Alter wrote a previous book about Obama (The Promise - President Obama, Year One) that was very good and this one continues further into Obama's first term and the campaign for re-election. Alter introduces readers to many people (both Republican and Democrat) who had important roles to play in the administration and/or in the campaigns. He devotes several chapters to the opposition - Romney, of course, but also the people who persisted in the ridiculous birther movement, the super-wealthy people who funded Romney ads, and the Republicans in Congress who consistently refused all of Obama's efforts at compromise and bipartisanship. There's an important chapter devoted to exposing the efforts by Republicans to suppress voting in the 2012 election that were just reprehensible. Alter also reports that the Obama family has received more death threats than all other presidential families combined but doesn't give any details about those threats or what the prosecutorial outcomes were. He also reports that Obama felt the 2012 election was more critical than the 2008 election because, if Romney won, all of Obama's efforts in the first four years would've been erased. Any question about Obama being elected the first time just so America could show it would elect an African American president were eliminated by his re-election. Obama felt vindicated and chosen for what he had actually accomplished and not just for who he is as a symbol. Although Alter praises and criticizes in this book, he is upfront about believing that a Romney presidency would've been a disaster. Although on some things, I wish the author would've been more comprehensive, overall his book is worth reading and worth buying.


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