The Center Holds:

Obama and His Enemies

A New York Times Bestseller

A USA Today Bestseller

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.

In this sequel to his bestselling The Promise, Jonathan Alter digs into the back story of the campaign and Obama’s performance as president. This will be the most penetrating account of how Obama won or lost the election and how he confronted the implacable forces arrayed against him—a sluggish economy, vicious partisan opposition, his own failures as a politician and communicator.

The book will bring to life today’s climactic clash over the fate of the middle class and the future of the American Dream. On the ground and in the air, the 2012 election pits Obama’s still-formidable citizens’ army versus Mitt Romney’s Super PAC moneyed elite.

Alter takes readers deep inside Obama’s Chicago headquarters and Romney’s Boston-based campaign, as the candidates battle over jobs, their records, and who is more out of touch.

Alter explains why the 2012 election will be long remembered as a pivotal contest. At stake, he writes, is not just the presidency but the role of government and our definition of what we owe each other.

Obama has always believed he could hit the three-point shot at the buzzer. Alter takes us on the court with the president as he tries to nail the last big shot of his political career.

Editorial Reviews

“Highly informed, energetically reported…Alter gives us a lucid picture of the toxic, highly partisan political environment in which today’s controversies are occurring.”

New York Times

“An elegant, intelligent, crisply constructed account…One of America’s most highly respected political journalists, Alter…makes a singular contribution by capturing Obama’s famously inscrutable political persona and demystifying it in the context of his daily work as president.”

Washington Post

“Alter’s book abounds in such peeks inside the competing campaigns…Excellent reporting.”

Los Angeles Times

“Lucid, entertaining, and alive to the reality behind the posturing, Alter’s report reveals the high stakes and far-reaching import of the 2012 decision.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Author Biography

Jonathan Alter is an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. He is a former senior editor and columnist for Newsweek, where he worked for twenty-eight years, writing more than fifty cover stories. He has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, the New Republic, and other publications. He is the author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One and The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, both New York Times bestsellers, and Between the Lines, a collection of his Newsweek columns.

Titles by Author > See all

Reader Biography

Jonathan Alter is an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. He is a former senior editor and columnist for Newsweek, where he worked for twenty-eight years, writing more than fifty cover stories. He has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, the New Republic, and other publications. He is the author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One and The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, both New York Times bestsellers, and Between the Lines, a collection of his Newsweek columns.

  • Summary
  • Reviews
  • Editorial Reviews
  • Related
  • Author Biography
  • Reader Biography
Digital Audiobooks With Zero Restrictions