Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House

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New York Times bestseller!
If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this...

Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders.

But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican.

Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a "White House official" is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon).

Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is a promising debut from a savvy political star.

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About the author

Alyssa Mastromonaco served as assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance at the White House from 2009 to 2011 and as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House from 2011 to 2014. She currently works as chief communication and talent officer at A+E Networks and is a contributing editor at Marie Claire.
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4.3
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Additional Information

Publisher
Twelve
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Published on
Mar 21, 2017
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781455588213
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Political
Political Science / Political Process / Campaigns & Elections
Political Science / Political Process / Leadership
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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For a decade, award-winning New York Times journalist Amy Chozick chronicled Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of the presidency. Chozick’s front-row seat, initially covering Clinton’s imploding 2008 campaign, and then her assignment to “The Hillary Beat” ahead of the 2016 election, took her to 48 states and set off a nearly ten-years-long journey in which the formative years of her twenties and thirties became – both personally and professionally – intrinsically intertwined to Clinton’s presidential ambitions.

Chozick’s candor and clear-eyed perspective—from her seat on the Hillary bus and reporting from inside the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters, to her run-ins with Donald J. Trump and her globetrotting with Bill Clinton— provide fresh intrigue and insights into the story we thought we all knew. This is the real story of what happened, with the kind of dishy, inside details that repeatedly surprise and enlighten.

But Chasing Hillary is also a rollicking, irreverent, refreshingly honest personal story of how the would-be first woman president looms over Chozick’s life. And, as she gets married, attempts to infiltrate the upper echelons of political journalism and inquires about freezing her eggs so she can have children after the 2016 campaign, Chozick dives deeper into decisions Clinton made at similar points in her life. 

In the process, Chozick came to see Clinton not as an unknowable enigma and political animal but as a complex person, full of contradictions and forged in the political battles and media storms that had long predated Chozick’s years of coverage. 

Trailing Clinton through all of the highs and lows of the most noxious and wildly dramatic presidential election in American history, Chozick comes to understand what drove Clinton, how she accomplished what no woman had before, and why she ultimately failed. Poignant, illuminating, laugh-out-loud funny, Chasing Hillary is a campaign book like never before that reads like a fast-moving political novel.

Who will be president in 2008? Many believe that the White House is Hillary Clinton's to lose. As long-time strategists Dick Morris and Eileen McGann reveal in Condi vs. Hillary, however, Hillary's plans for higher office are vulnerable to a challenge from a most unexpected quarter: the Bush administration's secretary of state and former national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice.

Rice is the only figure on the national scene who has the credentials, the credibility, and the charisma to lead the GOP in 2008. And, as this first book on the subject demonstrates, a race between these two commanding, but very different, women is a very real possibility -- and would inevitably prove one of the most fascinating and important races in American history.

Blending insider insight and political foresight, Condi vs. Hillary surveys the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates, finding persuasive clues about what we might expect from each of them as a chief executive. It traces their very different childhoods -- Hillary Rodham's in unchallenging suburban comfort, Condi Rice's in Birmingham, Alabama, during the civil rights era -- and finds in each the roots of their latter-day selves. It explores their career in public life -- Hillary's as an ambitious liberal who attached herself to a governor on the rise, Condi's as a woman of broad and deep talents who has earned her own way. It turns a discerning eye on how each has spent her time in government, contrasting Condi's growth and maturation in office with Hillary's record of underachievement as both first lady and senator from New York. And it reveals how a draft-Condi movement could sweep the secretary of state into the presidency even as she forgoes campaigning to address her responsibilities as secretary of state.

America, in short, may be on the verge of a perfect storm of twenty-first-century politics, pitting two of America's most popular -- and controversial -- women against each other, and offering Americans a choice between fulfilling the ambitions of one of our most polarizing figures . . . or changing history by electing not just the first woman, but also the first African American woman, to lead the free world into the future.

Every path to adulthood is strewn with missteps, epiphanies, and hard-earned lessons. Only Reggie Love’s, however, went through the White House by way of Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mentored by both Coach Krzyzewski and President Obama, Love shares universal insights learned in unique circumstances, an education in how sports, politics, and life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.

Power Forward tells the story of the five years Love worked as a personal assistant to Senator Obama as a candidate for president, and President Obama, and it is a professional coming of age story like no other. What the public knows was well put by Time magazine in 2008: “[Love’s] official duties don’t come close to capturing Reggie’s close bond with Obama, who plays a role that is part boss and part big brother.” What the public doesn’t know are the innumerable private moments during which that bond was forged and the President mentored a malleable young man. Accountability and serving with pride and honor were learned during unsought moments: from co-coaching grade school girls basketball with the president; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly his own; being tasked with getting the candidate up in the morning on time for long days of campaigning.

From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the president-elect to the White House, to eventually bringing LeBron, Melo, D-Wade, and Kobe to play with the President on his forty-ninth birthday, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to losing (briefly) the President’s briefcase, figuring out how to compete effectively in pick-up games in New Hampshire during the primary to secure support and votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of responsibility.
An Amazing Adventure is a groundbreaking memoir, the personal recollections of Senator Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, of their 2000 vice presidential campaign. There has never been such a frank account of the American way of running for national office. The Liebermans' voices alternate throughout the book as they describe the excitement, their sense of the honor of being chosen, the extraordinary and sometimes exhausting demands, and the satisfactions and joys of the hard-fought campaign they waged as a team.
From the second they find out that Joe has been chosen by Al Gore as his running mate, the Liebermans' lives are drastically changed -- privacy vanishes as political handlers take over. Joe and Hadassah recount the excruciating vetting process, the exhilaration of the Democratic National Convention, the tension of the debates, and finally, the drama of Election Day and of the contentious weeks that followed.
Thrilled to be running in a national campaign that they regarded as immensely important to the national purpose, and profoundly moved by the audiences that came to see and hear them, the Liebermans nevertheless admit that it was a complicated and demanding experience. They describe its ups and downs in personal, frank, and witty ways.
Woven throughout this inspirational but cautionary tale are the Liebermans' opinions, including their take on Joe's being the first Jewish vice presidential candidate and on Hadassah's debut to a national public as a first-generation American and child of Holocaust survivors.
An honest, high-spirited, revealing, and ultimately optimistic book from the candidate and his wife.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.

In her new preface, Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.

Why is America living in an age of profound and widening economic inequality? Why have even modest attempts to address climate change been defeated again and again? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? In a riveting and indelible feat of reporting, Jane Mayer illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats—headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys—who have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Mayer traces a byzantine trail of billions of dollars spent by the network, revealing a staggering conglomeration of think tanks, academic institutions, media groups, courthouses, and government allies that have fallen under their sphere of influence. Drawing from hundreds of exclusive interviews, as well as extensive scrutiny of public records, private papers, and court proceedings, Mayer provides vivid portraits of the secretive figures behind the new American oligarchy and a searing look at the carefully concealed agendas steering the nation. Dark Money is an essential book for anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize Finalist
PEN/Jean Stein Book Award Finalist
Shortlisted for the Lukas Prize
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