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Extended Audio Sample Power Wars: Inside Obamas Post-9/11 Presidency Audiobook, by Charlie Savage Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charlie Savage Narrator: Dan Woren Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2015 ISBN: 9781478960973
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Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charlie Savage’s penetrating investigation of the Obama presidency and the national security state

Barack Obama campaigned on a promise of change from George W. Bush’s “global war on terror.” Yet from indefinite detention and drone strikes to surveillance and military tribunals, Obama ended up continuing—and in some cases expanding—many policies he inherited. What happened?

In Power Wars, Charlie Savage looks inside the Obama administration’s national security legal and policy team in a way that no one has before. Based on exclusive interviews with more than 150 current and former officials and access to previously unreported documents, he lays bare their internal deliberations, including emotional debates over the fates of detainees held on torture-tainted evidence and acts of war that lacked congressional authorization. He tells the inside stories of how Obama came to order the killing of an American citizen, preside over an unprecedented crackdown on leaks, and keep a then-secret National Security Agency program that collected records of every American’s phone calls.

Savage also pieces together the first comprehensive history of how American surveillance secretly developed over the past thirty-five years, synthesizing recent revelations and filling in gaps with new reporting. And he provides lucid explanations of legal dilemmas in a way that non-lawyers can understand. Highlighted by new information about the pivotal aftermath to the failed Christmas underwear bombing and the planning for the Osama bin Laden raid, Savage’s own eyewitness reporting at Guantanamo, and detailed accounts of closed-door meetings at the highest levels of government, Power Wars equips readers to understand the legacy of Obama’s presidency.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Power Wars will almost certainly stand as the most comprehensive account of the Obama administration’s policies, views, theories and bureaucratic battles over national security laws and the legacy of the 2001 attacks. His account is thoughtful and consistently fair-minded…no small achievement.”

    New York Times

  • A New York Times Editors' Choice
  • Named one of the best books of 2015 by ABC News and The Guardian
  • Offers a master class in how to think seriously about crucial aspects of the [war on terrorism]. ... comprehensive, authoritative ... anyone truly interested in foreign policy or national security should find it essential and enthralling, thanks to the author's intelligence, objectivity, legwork and literary skill. ... Savage's superb book should stand as an indispensable guide to the debate. Gideon Rose, New York Times Book Review
  • Power Wars "will almost certainly stand as the most comprehensive account of the Obama administration's policies, views, theories and bureaucratic battles over national security laws and the legacy of the 2001 attacks. His account is thoughtful and consistently fair-minded... no small achievement. James Mann, New York Times
  • Both the most comprehensive and the most engrossing look at how Obama morphed from a candidate beloved by the civil liberties community into what many saw as a continuation of George W. Bush...could not be more timely. Trevor Timm, The Guardian
  • Already classic.... Savage's 700 page book, with access to a staggering 150 current and former top officials, including executive branch lawyers normally terrified of the press, paints a picture like no other. Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post
  • Deserve[s] to be widely read, by the public at large and by those who will staff the next administration...Will stand among the definitive accounts of the United States' approach to national security and law over the past decade and a half. Dawn Johnsen, Foreign Affairs
  • A rich blow-by-blow account of how and why the Obama administration determined the legality of its war-on-terrorism policies. Jack Goldsmith, The New Rambler
  • Extraordinarily comprehensive. Marty Lederman, Just Security
  • There is "no more comprehensive guide to today's debates over national security and civil liberties. Dina Temple-Raston, The Washington Post
  • The most comprehensive account to date of the Obama administration's approach to national security law and policy-making. Matthew C. Waxman, Time
  • Power Wars covers "in intricate detail nearly every major issue in Obama's national security policy: detainees, military commissions, torture, surveillance, secrecy, targeted killings, and war powers. Its behind-the-scenes story will likely stand as the definitive record of Obama's approach to law and national security. ... His main interest is presidential power in its perennial struggle with Congress and the courts. Ultimately, the stakes are high: whether we will continue to have, in John Adams's words, 'government of laws, and not of men.' David Luban, The New York Review of Books
  • Power Wars "offers a unique and thorough history of the American surveillance policy post-9/11, the inner machinations of the executive branch at the highest levels, the legal battles, the battling personalities, and the strange evolution from Bush to Obama in this critical area of law and policy ... As one who has studied and written about the Snowden phenomenon, I can't imagine a better, more total and fair inside history of that dramatic event. Ronald Goldfarb, Washington Lawyer
  • The most essential explanation of modern-day American national security policy.... Anyone who has followed current events on drone strikes, surveillance, and encryption, and other essential issues at the forefront of modern America--and wants the entire inside baseball play-by-play to go with it--will love this book. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica
  • Delves deeply into the nooks and crannies of every significant national security debate touching on the intersection of national security and law. The product of prodigious research and interviews with seemingly every player, Savage's book provides a revealing picture of the inner workings of the Obama presidency. Gabriel Schoenfeld, The Weekly Standard
  • The book has much broader appeal than to those in the national security law bubble... [Deeply sourced] is an understatement, as Savage reveals the contents of never-before released documents, memos, and internal deliberations across a variety of topics. Cully Stimson, Lawfare
  • Over the years, Savage has become one of the most knowledgeable and tireless reporters chronicling the civil liberties and war powers controversies under the Obama administration. ... Savage has written a book that will clearly be the comprehensive historical account of these controversies. Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
  • It is hard to imagine many journalists capable of writing a book on this topic on the scale, and with the ambition, of this one. Robert Bauer, Time
  • "The value that Savage brings to his book is in reporting out how Obama's lawyers, who were often the toughest critics of Bush when they were out of power, wrestled with and ultimately sanctioned this retrenchment. Eli Lake, Bloomberg View
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie Savage is a Washington Correspondent for The New York Times. His first book, Takeover, a bestselling and award-winning account of the Bush administration's efforts to expand presidential power, was named one of the best books of 2007 by The Washington Post, Slate, and Esquire.
About the Narrator

Dan Woren is an American voice actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He has worked extensively in animation, video games, and feature films. He is best known for his many roles in anime productions such as Bleach and as the voice of Sub-Zero in the video game Mortal Kombat.