The Center Holds by Jonathan Alter
Obama and His Enemies

75%

6 Critic Reviews

The book...fills in some inside details of the frenetic campaign — from the efforts of conservative media...to the backstory of the Florida bartender who secretly taped Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks...
-NPR

Synopsis

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.
 

About Jonathan Alter

See more books from this Author
Jonathan Alter is a columnist for Bloomberg View and an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. He is a former senior editor and columnist for Newsweek, where he worked twenty-eight years, writing more than fifty cover stories. He has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, 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.
 
Published June 4, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 449 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon15
Peak Rank on Jun 23 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Center Holds
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jun 02 2013

Mr. Alter’s highly informed, energetically reported but often tiresomely familiar new book, “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies,” is less a sequel than a chronicle of the president’s fight to win re-election...

Read Full Review of The Center Holds: Obama and H... | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 14 2013

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.

Read Full Review of The Center Holds: Obama and H... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Good
on Jun 20 2013

The book...fills in some inside details of the frenetic campaign — from the efforts of conservative media...to the backstory of the Florida bartender who secretly taped Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks...

Read Full Review of The Center Holds: Obama and H... | See more reviews from NPR

Kirkus

Good
on May 15 2013

The president’s supporters and, really, all political junkies will love this.

Read Full Review of The Center Holds: Obama and H... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Will Lester on Jul 24 2013

Alter's viewpoint is sympathetic, and he clearly identifies Obama's mix of shortcomings and skills as president while writing about his brilliant campaigning and the cutting-edge campaign team he put together.

Read Full Review of The Center Holds: Obama and H... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by David Lauter on May 31 2013

Alter has focused on "detailing the backstory of the big events of 2011 and 2012." Unfortunately, most of those events appeared small even at the time — polling blips whipped into a soufflé of pseudo-significance to fill cable news airtime.

Read Full Review of The Center Holds: Obama and H... | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for The Center Holds
74%

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