Synopses & Reviews
The Price of Politics
chronicles the inside story of how President Obama and the U.S. Congress tried, and failed, to restore the American economy and set it on a course to fiscal stability. It spans the three and a half tumultuous years beginning just before Obama’s inauguration in early 2009 and lasting through the summer of 2012.
Woodward pierces the secretive world of Washington policymaking once again, with a close-up story crafted from meeting notes, documents, working papers and interviews with key players, including President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
At the center of The Price of Politics is a high-stakes personal and political struggle between the president and the speaker. The Price of Politics takes the reader through the electric 44 days during the summer of 2011 with day-by-day, often hour-by-hour, accounts as the two attempt a “grand bargain” to cut entitlement spending and increase tax revenue.
As they struggled through the most intense moments of the crisis, each contended with powerful conflicts in his own party. At the prospect of serious budget cuts, Obama told Woodward, “Our friends on the left would howl and act as if we had dismantled the New Deal.” In the House, Boehner was looking over his shoulder, worrying that his second-in-command, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, was undermining him in concert with extreme conservative House members and others with ties to the anti-tax Tea Party. At the same time, Boehner described the president as “moaning and groaning and whining and demanding. Threatening. He was pretty desperate.”
The Price of Politics shows why the grand bargain was never reached, and how the president, the speaker and the Congress settled for stopgap measures that delayed any serious deficit reduction until 2013.
With extensive documentation and firsthand accounts, Woodward reveals how the broken relationship between the White House and Capitol Hill drove the U.S. economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff, where it remains.
"Woodward critically examines the recent economic challenges that the nation has faced and limns the political shift from a rhetoric of togetherness to one of confrontation as Congress and the president have worked to resolve the debt crisis. Woodward zeroes in on the middle of 2011 and political battles that occurred as government officials struggled to prevent a massive shutdown. As he did in his previous examinations of the Bush administration, Woodward pulls no punches here and provides a fascinating history and analysis. Narrator Boyd Gaines boasts a commanding voice that proves suitable for the important issues covered. His deep, slightly raspy voice and deliberate narration will grab the listener's attention from the very start. But despite strong prose and a great performance, this abridged audio edition is likely to disappoint. Listeners may find themselves confused and struggling to keep up without some of the more important excised sections. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A highly detailed dissection of the debt-limit negotiations. … A remarkable achievement. …Woodward, being Woodward, digs deeper and draws more out of the protagonists than anyone else has.” —The Washington Post
“Bob Woodward, in characteristic fashion, does his competitors one better by filling in blanks and providing even finer detail.” —The Daily Beast
“Almost every bookshelf in the U.S. capital holds a thin volume called 13 Days, Robert F. Kennedy’s account of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Memo to Washington: Make room on those shelves for Bob Woodward’s latest behind-the-scenes book, The Price of Politics, which might as well have been called 44 Days. The centerpiece is a riveting account of the tedious negotiations to reach a ‘grand bargain’ on the federal budget.” —Bloomberg Businessweek
Like his twelve #1 national bestsellers from All the President's Men to Obama's Wars, Bob Woodward's new book takes us inside the rooms where the nation's business is negotiated at the highest levels.
Based on 18 months of reporting, Woodward's 17th book The Price of Politics is an intimate, documented examination of how President Obama and the highest profile Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Congress attempted to restore the American economy and improve the federal government’s fiscal condition over three and one half years. Drawn from memos, contemporaneous meeting notes, emails, and in-depth interviews with the central players, The Price of Politics addresses the key issue of the presidential and congressional campaigns: the condition of the American economy and how and why we got there. Providing verbatim, day-by-day, even hour-by-hour accounts, the book shows what really happened, what drove the debates, negotiations, and struggles that define, and will continue to define, the American future.
About the Author
Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked for thirty-seven years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for the Post's coverage of the Watergate scandal, and later for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored twelve #1 national nonfiction bestsellers. He is the author of Obama's Wars, The War Within, Bush at War, Plan of Attack, and State of Denial, among others.