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The Amateur Hardcover – May 15 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (May 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596987855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596987852
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 7 2012
Format: Hardcover
President Obama has been one of the most controversial political figures in American history. Too many of his proponents and detractors have ascribed this polarization to several salient facts about his political inclinations or to the particulars of his biography: his far-left ideology, his race, his family background. However, to many fair-minded people and me one thing about him stood out above everything else: his total lack of experience. In order to help elect the first black president the mainstream media had completely abdicated any pretense of impartiality and had foregone any attempts to scrutinize his career and background. He was portrayed as a transformative figure for whom the ordinary laws of politics and career progress don’t apply.

In “The Amateur,” the bestselling author Edward Klein gives an unparalleled insight into the full extent of Obama’s massive incompetence. The book is based on literally hundreds of interviews conducted over the course of a year. Many of the people interviewed, such as Jeremiah Wright, were or are still very close to Obama and his inner circle, and have had an unprecedented access to the President at various stages of his life and career. The sum total of their observations and opinions paints a very unflattering picture. After reading this book I am even more appalled by Obama’s rank amateurism. Furthermore, unlike some of his predecessors who were able to “grow in the job,” Obama’s narcissism prevents him from learning from his mistakes and adapting to a more pragmatic approach to the job. Granted, many of the people interviewed had their own axes to grind as they’ve fallen out of grace with Obama, but even with that caveat it is clear that he is not, and never has been, the right person for this job.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2013
Format: Hardcover
Edward Klein interviewed nearly 200 people who have known and worked with Barack Obama. The author does not paint an admiring portrait of the President. He concludes that Obama is "...temperamentally unsuited to be the chief executive and commander in chief of the United States of America. ...something new in American politics--The Amateur--a president who is inept in the arts of management and governance, who doesn't learn from his mistakes, and who therefore repeats policies that make our economy less robust and our nation less safe."

Statements from some of the author's sources:

- Bill Clinton: "I've had two successors since I left the White House--Bush and Obama--and I've heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I've heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president--none whatsoever. Obama doesn't know how to be president. He doesn't know how the world works. He's incompetent. ...Barack Obama is an amateur."

- Walter Anderson: "Obama has a political sense, but he lacks an executive sense. He has the same vulnerability that many legislators have; he's skillful at getting elected, but he's often lost when it comes to governing and inspiring others. In my view it's a mistake to compare Obama to Jimmy Carter, as some do. Carter was micromanager in all things. Obama is anything but."

- Tavis Smiley: "Obama is politically astute. I was in awe of how well run and on message his presidential campaign was. In all my life, I never saw a campaign run so brilliantly. And so it's been interesting to see how off course and off track Obama has gotten in the White House.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Derek Butler on Jan. 22 2013
Format: Hardcover
There is ample material and evidence on which to base an assessment of the first Obama term in critical terms. This book fails to present it in any credible manner. Woodward's The Price of Politics might be the better choice. The Amateur captures the effort as much as the subject.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prospective buyers of this book should be aware that this is a very partisan book. The author, former New York Times Magazine editor Edward Klein, is not a supporter of President Obama.

But this is still a very interesting book. Over the course of a few years, Klein conducted interviews with a few hundred people who knew Barack Obama before and after he became President. The people interviewed ranged from Obama's former paster, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to members of Chicago's African-American elite who bankrolled Obama's first forays into campaigning for elected office, to leaders of the Jewish community who supported Obama in 2008 but became very disillusioned over his stance on Israel, Oprah Winfrey and some of Oprah's inner circle, members of the Kennedy clan, members of the Clintons' circle, members of the Congressional Black Caucus and many others.

The portait of Barack Obama that emerges is not a flattering one. Michelle Obama, Obama advisors like Valerie Jarrett and most of Obama's inner circle do not fare much better.

This book is certainly worth reading before the upcoming US Presidential election.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2,138 reviews
1,256 of 1,437 people found the following review helpful
slanted but worth reading May 22 2012
By book lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those who think Obama walks on water and have their minds made up will not like this book. Those who think Obama is the devil will love it, but have probably heard all the stories already anyway. For those who fall in between, I think the book is worth reading. Yes, it's slanted, but if you read beyond that you'll come away with some insights into this president and his administration. The first chapters are the most incendiary and the least informative since they rehash old stuff. But the second half gets into some behind the scenes stuff that's worth knowing. What disturbs me most is how far in over his head Obama is and how he surrounds himself with people who feed his ego and/or protect him rather than providing him with a broad understanding of the issues. He is a politician not a leader and I find that both sad and frightening.
1,316 of 1,511 people found the following review helpful
A Can't Put Down Book that Will Withstand the Obama Attack Machine May 21 2012
By Kris Zane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought Edward Klein's The Amateur the day it came out; the day Klein revealed on Sean Hannity's radio show that he had audio tapes of the pastor that Obama threw under the bus, Jeremiah Wright, stating that in 2008 Obama crony Eric Whitaker had offered him $150K to keep his mouth shut until after the election. Contrary to the naysayers of Klein's previous exposé on Hillary Clinton, critics' ad hominem attacks on Klein regarding The Amateur this time are ringing false, as the Top Ten slot on Amazon's best seller list shows. Klein names names, interviewing over two hundred people for the book, including Obama's two-decades-long former doctor, who makes the claim that Obama is basically a hollow shell, with no real emotion, and no connection to people. Klein "has the goods," so to speak: in regard to the Eric Whitaker bribery, it is not merely a hidden microphone that caught Wright stating this. It is within an open, 3 1/2 hour interview, where Wright not only states he was bribed, but has the email to prove it. Wright makes other statements, such as Obama's Muslim background, his fickle belief in Christianity, and his two-decades-long allegiance to Trinity United Church of Christ for purely political reasons.

I downloaded the book to my Kindle within hours of its release, and read it over a day and a half period, only pausing to sleep. Probably the two most enjoyable-to-read revelations are that 1. Bill Clinton urged Hillary to challenge Obama in 2012. 2. The Kennedy clan despise Obama, despite deceased Ted Kennedy's tireless support of the Community Organizer-in-Chief.

An anecdote is described where Bill and Hillary Clinton are having an argument that took place over several days (a screaming match actually, with a dozen people present); that, because Obama had basically destroyed the economy, caused the downgrade of the U.S.'s credit rating for the first time in history, etc., etc.; that Obama was, according to Bill Clinton, an "Amateur" (this is the source of the title of the book); that Hillary needed to challenge Obama in 2012 in order to save the country from sliding off the cliff.

The Kennedy clan anecdote is jaw-dropping. All of the Kennedy clan (save Robert Kennedy, Jr.) had stood behind Obama in 2008. But after Obama's coronation and repeated miffs by the First Family: 1. The Obamas ignored an invitation to the Kennedy Compound while vacation at Martha's Vineyard. 2. Michelle Obama treated Caroline Kennedy (daughter of JFK) like hired help while at the White House, shaking her hand coldly, taking a quick photo, and making a quick exit--after these and other miffs the Kennedy royalty at a pow wow had had enough (at one point Robert Kennedy, Jr. shattered a glass in his hand) and got the message from the Obamas loud and clear: rich people are evil, and wanted no more to do with the former community organizers.

Contrary to Obama's 'Attack Watch' claim of the book being totally discredited (whereby they don't actually reference anything in the book, but simply go on an ad hominem attack), the book is meticulously researched and at the same time highly readable. It is at the time of this writing #9 on Amazon's bestseller list, and hopefully it will reach #1, whereby at that point the majority of Americans will have read about the current "Amateur" in office being completely unqualified for the job; and realize that when a person is unqualified for a job, are incompetent, that the only remedy is either resignation or being fired.

I vote for being fired.
402 of 460 people found the following review helpful
The Great Obama-Oprah Feud May 17 2012
By James R. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the eastern-most part of the Midwest (Kentucky) of the USA there was once a famous feud between two clans of mountain folks called the Hatfield's and McCoys. The leader of the Hatfield's was named "Devil Anse Hatfield." The feud described in this book was between fellow Chicagoans Oprah Winfrey and the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, although Oprah was probably unexpectedly blindsided by the behind-the-scenes attacks by the very women she helped get into the White House. Rather than a war between two midwestern families this particular battle might be better described as a catfight since it only involved the women folks but it did remind the reader of that other famous Midwestern feud.
After one of the world's richest and most popular women, Oprah Winfrey decided to help out a relatively unknown candidate for President named Barack Obama, she was credited with providing him with more than a million votes. The popularity of her own national television program suffered greatly from this political position, but her candidate and friend Barack won.
But once the Obama's were in the White House several jealous staff members of Michelle Obama quickly grew to detest the influence they felt Oprah was exercising on the President. Soon, Oprah was frozen out of the White House by a jealous wife.
This tale of political intrigue and fighting within the Obama White House is only one of the fascinating stories reported in this excellent peek into the Obama administration provided by author Edward Klein.
In five major sections containing a total of 22 chapters with titles such as "The Dark Side of Obama"(Introduction), "As Bill Sees It"(Prologue), "Hollow at the Core, You Keep Out of This, Drinking the Obama Kool-Aid, Bungler-in-chief, Clark Kent, Valerie v Rahm, The Wrath of Michelle, Oprah's Sacrifice, Snubbing Caroline, The Jewish Problem with Obama, Mind-Meld, The Rise of the Humanitarian Vulcans, The Search for the Real Obama" and "The Low Road" the author shines a spot light on the most mysterious and little known or understood President of the USA.
Chapter 5 is entitled "The Man Who Prepared Obama For The Presidency." It's about Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Like much of the material in the book it has been labeled lies and fiction by many of the Obama spin-doctors in the media. However, the author recorded his three and a half hour interview with Reverend Wright. The controversial parts of the interview have been running on the Fox News Channel this week. Wright really does say the things reported in Klein's book. Since Klein recorded most of these 200 interviews for the book, it's a good bet he can back up the information he has written in this expose.
In addition to actual quotes galore, the tales described in this book make perfect sense. They back up what the general public has witnessed on the nightly news, but not been able to explain such as the obvious brush off of Oprah. "According to sources for this book, Oprah told Gayle King that she felt like getting Michelle on the phone and really letting her have it. Oprah raged: `Michelle hates fat people and doesn't want me waddling around the White House.'"
Michelle "still believes Oprah has been getting too close to Hillary, whom Michelle calls a snake."
While much of this review has focused on the Obama-Oprah Feud, that's not the most important part of this book. Its just good gossip. Although it does point out how much influence Michelle exercises over her husband, public policy and she shares his redistribution of wealth and power theories.The other sections of the volume are much more enlightening and scary. The title of the book, by the way, comes from Bill Clinton. "Barack Obama," said Bill Clinton, "is an amateur!"
That's one of the nicer nicknames for Obama. The author has collected many that are much worse. As he writes, "I chose to launch my investigation in Chicago, where Obama first donned his disguise as an ideological wolf in sheep's clothing." In another reported outburst by Clinton regarding Obama, "Obama doesn't know how to be president. He doesn't know how the world works. He's incompetent. He's...he's..."
This is an unexpected page-turner.
162 of 183 people found the following review helpful
Confirmation that he is "over his head".... May 24 2012
By Barbara McArthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You hear it once - okay. You hear it twice - you listen; you hear and read it many, many times from the mouths of not only right-leaners, but from his old Chicago buddies, Rev. Wright, members of his own team, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle - how many times do we have to hear and read it enunciated before we believe it?? The president gives a good speech and is a master campaigner - but he does not know how to really connect with the people and convince them that he honestly cares about all of us and how his programs impact our lives. We've got a president who cannot "own" his mistakes (of which there are many) - and his view of how our country should work is way off the path of our guiding principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility. I very much fear how big a hole this man can dig for our country if he has four more years to work on it.

The 200 plus folks who were interviewed by Klein for this book used the same phrases over and over: Haughty, arrogant, aloof, personally disconnected, only interested in listening to his own voice, only interested in hearing from those who agree with him, etc. He doesn't know how to lead, he doesn't know how to manage - he's had no experience running a large company and employees, etc. The sheer volume of consistent observations should give cause for concern.

One thing was very upsetting - his aversion to using the phone to call people - just to chat, for advice, to console, to assure, etc., etc. All the past presidents have called each other - reached out for counsel and advice - or just called to acknowledge that being president is one tough job. Not Obama - he doesn't need anybody's help - so he blunders his way through, very rarely admitting that he botched something. And, what kind of a friend asks for help when he's trying to climb the ladder, and then doesn't take the time to thank those who made his success possible?

I know this book is being dismissed as "cyber-babble" - but I think that everyone who is mature enough to believe that there are two sides to every story should read this book. Don't be content to just "drink the koolade" of one side or the other. This election coming up is too important to just join one camp because you've always voted one way or the other. This book will add information you need to make an educated decision about what is important to you and your family - and who is the man who most clearly represents your views.

This is a quick read -it moves right along and makes you think!
1,126 of 1,303 people found the following review helpful
Failure without remorse May 13 2012
By Edmund Jimenez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since the 2008 campaign season, books critical of Obama examine the fruits of his policies, in varying degree, and tend to fall into one of three divisions:

1. Highlighting of Obama's extremism, and his various coteries of like-minded extremists;

2. Attempts to lay bare the interior Obama, and understand his motivations;

3. Logically flawed, and emotionally driven.

Remarkably, Edward Klein has combined the above first two items along with the words and opinions of many principal, and lesser, actors from the world of Obama.

Surprisingly, in relatively few pages (258 of them, and widely spaced), and in the fourth year of Obama's reign, Klein clearly demonstrates the failure of Obama as President--and his inability to learn from his failures; Obama's incompetence and intellectual one-dimensionality are simply stunning.

Interestingly revelatory, are the words of the people Klein interviewed: Democrats, Republicans, friends, past and present supporters of Obama. The racist opportunist and talented hater, Jeremiah Wright, actually comes across as highly intelligent and sympathetic when discussing the younger Obama, and the volatile period during and after the 2008 campaign.

Superficially, Klein's detractors might see this book as a scholar's compendium of modern political gossip. In fact, Klein is analytical and highly perceptive in examining Obama's record. The words of those interviewed expose the reader to insights about Obama that are certain to enlighten--and occasionally entertain.

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