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Download The Promise: President Obama, Year One Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Promise: President Obama, Year One, by Jonathan Alter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (716 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Alter Narrator: Jonathan Alter Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”


  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2010
  • A 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Keith Koeneman | 2/16/2014

    " A fast-paced, well-written narrative of Obama's first year as President. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Leo | 2/10/2014

    " Insightful, I think it will help his supporters better understand why things like healthcare and the stimulus played out the way they did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nwcade | 2/8/2014

    " The highlights of this book are the humanizing, behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Obama and his team. Alter does not shed light on anything new (presuming his reader and target audience are relatively well-informed) and his opinions are not revelatory. Still, it's fun to learn that Obama's oath of choice is used so frequently that his chief security advisor refers to "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tim | 2/7/2014

    " Almost laughably biased and generous toward Obama but still an entertaining insider account of the White House. That said, it spends too much time on the "soft" elements of Obama's administration and not enough on the real policy wonk stuff that I was hoping for. For people who've followed the news carefully over the past year, there won't be many stunning revelations. There will be better histories of the Obama White House, for sure. "

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