- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Sept. 11 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451651104
- ISBN-13: 978-1451651102
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 658 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #400,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Price of Politics Hardcover – Sep 11 2012
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“A highly detailed dissection of the debt-limit negotiations. … A remarkable achievement. …Woodward, being Woodward, digs deeper and draws more out of the protagonists than anyone else has.” —Jeff Shesol, The Washington Post
"Groundbreaking" —David Gregory, NBC's Meet the Press
"Takes us inside the room once again." —Charlie Rose
"Fabulous book and great reporting." —Norah O'Donnell, CBS This Morning
“Bob Woodward, in characteristic fashion, does his competitors one better by filling in blanks and providing even finer detail.” —Miranda Green, The Daily Beast
"A book everyone is talking about." —Diane Sawyer, ABC
"A very revealing, insightful book." —Sean Hannity, Fox News, "Hannity"
"Required Reading" —Elizabeth Titus, Politico
“Almost every bookshelf in the U.S. capital holds a thin volume called 13 Days, Robert F. Kennedy’s account of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Memo to Washington: Make room on those shelves for Bob Woodward’s latest behind-the-scenes book, The Price of Politics, which might as well have been called 44 Days. The centerpiece is a riveting account of the tedious negotiations to reach a ‘grand bargain’ on the federal budget.” —David M. Shirbman, Bloomberg Businessweek
About the Author
Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked for forty-four years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for The Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal, and later for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored twelve #1 national nonfiction bestsellers. He has two daughters, Tali and Diana, and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, writer Elsa Walsh.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power." -- Revelation 9:3 (NKJV)
Anyone who wants to understand why the United States is in a fiscal crisis should read this book. It's a carefully documented tale of people putting their own interests ahead of the citizens. There's also enough arrogance, ignorance, shallowness, and incompetence to make anyone seethe about the people in the other party. As an independent voter, I found myself annoyed by both parties.
Those who like to think of the president as an empty suit who gives good speeches will find evidence to support their beliefs. Those who prefer to see Republicans as willing to stop at nothing to hold down taxes for rich people will find what they are looking for, as well.
Are these truly the political heirs of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt? See what you think.
Nice job, Mr. Woodward! Keep up the good work! I can hardly wait to see what you write about the recent election.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Woodward's writing is what I would call reportorial. He takes care to avoid coloring sentences with unnecessary and potentially misleading adjectives. Description is kept to a minimum in the narrative. As a result, the reader must rely on the dialog and recollections of the subjects, some of whom express themselves better than others. I found it helpful to pause at various dates and think about what I was doing at the time and what I recalled about the issues and people involved.
For example, I realized I had developed a strong negative impression of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. I was surprised that he seemed more reasonable and less ideological in the book. Similarly, I was surprised and impressed with Joe Biden's role. In the popular media, he has been relegated to "class clown" status.
Other take-aways: Congress is all about politics and little about policy. Also, we don't have a do-nothing Congress. These men and women are working very hard. But accomplishment is the prize and there is very little of that to go around. And nobody works longer or harder than the staffs of these elected officials.
Woodward's reputation and singular access in the halls of power provide his readers with important, actionable insights. The story is harrowing. The serious national issues continue to fester. Many of the people in "The Price of Politics" are up for reelection and your vote may change after reading it.
The book provides a blow by blow event of the budget and debt negotiations between Congress and the President in 2011. You learn about the various motivations and pressures that motivated each party and the White House. This description of events is much like a sporting event. This side offers this, the other side offers that and so on and so on. The down side of this method is you miss some of the big picture of events. You won't be able to see the forest through the trees kind of situation.
That blow by blow routine does get a little boring through the first part of it. Stick with it, the ending makes it all worth the work. I think a reader will gain a lot through the book. That is where your eyes will open through the collective story.
You will learn about the various personalities on both sides via what they did and a little through what they say in the book. I think you will learn things about people that the media and PR consultants miss. This side of them will shock you and not sit with your preset ideas.
You will also leave the book feeling a bit depressed. The book will make you re-look at those events of 2011. You will have to make your own analysis. Bob is sort of weak on that description. You realize how close we all came to disaster back then. The news then made it seem like everyone involved wanted the 11th hour deal for theatrics. The book makes you realize that deal was by luck, not by intent.
Through the book you will think we are in trouble. The book makes it very clear how difficult the budget situation is. Both sides were unable to come to a deal due to several political reasons. It is like democracy may have come to an end. It seems each party's collective pride prevents us from coming to a collective deal.
I found there were two big things that jumped out of the book. One was the description of the White House and President Obama. Bob Woodward's own words said "It seems no one is in charge". Any reader will pick that up when you read it. It seems that policy was all over the map. Points were changing all the time. For example in the book after the President gets a deal with the Speaker he calls back and ups the stakes. That killed a deal. The other fact is how the nature of the budget problem evolves around various sacred cows of medicare, social security, and other programs. That was all that the negotiators talked about. That is where all of the money is. People tend to talk about about the easy things like parties in Vegas but that isn't where the money is. The big issues is what is tying up the country and seem not to be able to be fixed.
"The Price of Politics" deals with the negotiations between President Obama and Congress that failed to achieve "The Grand Bargain" sought by both men, and led to the sequestration that began on March 1. There are many revelations along the way -- Eric Cantor is no demon, Joe Biden is no fool, the Senate seems largely interested in avoiding having to vote on anything and yes, administration officials first raised the sequestration idea, somewhat based on the somewhat successful Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act of the early 1980s.
What is most striking about the Washington of "The Price of Politics" is its appalling lack of leadership. Unlike the cinematic "Lincoln," there are no closers here, no bare-knuckled drive to accomplish something. And that gives a good clue why we are where we are today.