The Promise:

President Obama, Year One

A New York Times Bestseller

New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2010

A 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction

A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Veteran journalist and author of the bestselling The Defining Moment, Jonathan Alter’s portrait of Barack Obama—and his close-knit team—is the first intimate look at a president and an administration that took authority even before the inauguration.

Alter, a native of Chicago who has known Obama and his circle for nearly a decade, provides a fast-paced inside account of the breakneck speed with which President-elect Obama, and then President Obama, began making critical decisions and assuming the burdens of office amid the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

With dozens of exclusive details about everything from the selection of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state to the president’s secrets for running a good meeting, Alter paints a fresh and often surprising portrait of a highly disciplined and self-aware president and his colorful team. We see a young president of extraordinary temperament grappling with the task of stimulating the economy, bailing out large banks, taking over the American auto industry, making the crucial decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan, deciding whether to negotiate with Iran about its nuclear program, and fighting for a major reform of the country’s health care system. Alter explains what Obama is like as a person, how he operates, and why he is so insistent on leading the country and the world into a new era of wrenching change.

Editorial Reviews

“An impressively reported, myth-debunking, and timely combination of journalism and history.”

New York Times

“An exceptionally well-written account of President Obama’s first year in office. Brimming with fresh and judicious ideas, his book fuses political analysis, subtle insights into the president’s mind, and policy debates into a fast-paced, crisis-filled story.”

Washington Post Book World

“Alter’s prose is swift and subtly inspiring; the ‘Yes, we can!’ motto rarely appears but provides an undercurrent for his record of accomplishment. Readers interested in political process and the reality of progressive politics will enjoy this well-considered take on the current administration, a ‘second draft’ of history from a dedicated journalist who wisely anticipates ‘dozens more versions to come.’” 

Publishers Weekly

“Presidential chroniclers won’t have the advantage of hindsight for some time, but when it comes…to the first draft of history, The Promise is more polished—and far more thoughtful—than most.”

Bookmarks

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.

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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.

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