The Center Holds

The Center Holds

Obama and His Enemies

Book - 2013
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From the bestselling author of The Promise , the thrilling story of one of the most momentous contests in American history, the Battle Royale between Obama and his enemies from the 2010 midterms through the 2013 inauguration.

The election of 2012 will be remembered as a hinge of history. With huge victories in the 2010 midterm elections the Republican Party had blocked President Obama at every turn and made plans to wrench the country sharply to the right. 2012 offered the GOP a clear shot at controlling all three branches of government and repealing much of the social contract dating back to the New Deal. Facing free-spending billionaires, Fox News, and a concerted effort in 19 states to tilt the election by suppressing Democratic votes, Obama repelled the assault and navigated the nation back to the center.

In The Center Holds , Jonathan Alter produces the first full account of America at the crossroads. With exclusive reporting and rare historical insight, he pierces the bubble of the White House and the presidential campaigns in a landmark election that marked the return of big money and the rise of big data. He tells the epic story of an embattled president fighting back with the first campaign of the Digital Age.

Alter relates the untold story behind Obama's highs and lows, from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound to the frustration of the debt ceiling fiasco to his unexpected run-ins with black and Latino activists. There are fresh details about the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist, Roger Ailes, and the online haters who suffer from "Obama Derangement Syndrome." Alter takes us inside Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's Boston campaign as well as Obama's disastrous preparation for the first debate. We meet Obama's analytics geeks working out of "The Cave" and the man who secretly videotaped Romney's infamous comments on the "47 percent."

The Center Holds will deepen our understanding of the Obama presidency, the stakes of the 2012 election, and the future of the country.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451646078
Branch Call Number: 973 .932 ALT
Characteristics: xiii, 428 p., 39 p. of plates :,ill.;,25 cm
Alternative Title: Obama and his enemies


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Oct 13, 2013

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

Jul 18, 2013

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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