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Renegade: The Making of a President by…

Renegade: The Making of a President

by Richard Wolffe

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Well written and interesting book. I enjoyed learning about Barack Obama. The story is largely about his presidential campaign but also provides some information from other times in his life. I recommend the book and now am interested in reading some of Barak's books. ( )
  GlennBell | Nov 19, 2013 |
Reading Richard Wolffe's Renegade in the context of the last four years, instead of less than a year after Barack Obama's 2008 victory, helps one realize how pragmatic the then junior of Illinois really was in his political thinking even as he challenged the establishment. Throughout the book, Wolffe threads the narrative of the nearly two-year campaign with Obama's biography and life experiences to help give an informed view of Barack Obama and how he used those experiences to shape his campaign and political policies he used. But this book wasn't a glorification nor idealization of Obama himself nor was to a glowing account about how perfect his entire campaign was, as Wolffe shows Obama angry and frustrated like anyone who was campaigning for President of the United States and highlighted the small and large mistakes members of the campaign made.

There were a few problems I had with the book, though both were how Wolffe decided to structure the material he presented and both played into one another. The transitions between Obama's personal experiences that helped shape him with the campaign issue that brought about said experience were not always ideal, which occasional resulted in some rough reading. Combined with this was that Wolffe would jump back and forth along the two-year timeline in which the campaign took place, though it was partly understandable as Wolffe wanted to give the whole narrative of the issue he was covering but then returning to earlier in the timeline with the next issue was a little jarring.

Given both the positives and negatives this is a book I would recommend for anyone who seriously wants to understand how Barack Obama came to his policy views and how he changed from the junior senator from Illinois to major party nominee to President of the United States. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jan 8, 2013 |
Richard Wolffe is a journalist for MSNBC and shares his interviews and experiences as he covered the Barack Obama's political campaign for President. The book is aa little confusing because it does not follow in chronological order. ( )
  annmil | Mar 24, 2012 |
Based on exclusive interviews with Barack Obama, his friends, his family and his advisors, Renegade: The Making of a President is an intimate look inside Barack Obama's life, including his childhood and family, his college years, and his years as a community organizer in Chicago. ( )
  06nwingert | Aug 16, 2010 |
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The book is so loaded with details it can’t help containing something of interest for nearly every reader curious about our enigmatic president. This, however, does not exactly make for a compelling read. While knowing what exactly Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod ate for lunch on election day and the name of the deli where he bought it could possibly be of interest to some future historian, there should be a notice for casual readers on the first page: “Warning: Slogging ahead.” . . .

The book is based on numerous exclusive interviews and on Wolffe’s presence at any number of intimate moments on the campaign trail. He makes the most of it, and the book really does feel as if it is full of unguarded comments. . . . Time and again, though, Wolffe lets an intriguing statement drop; he must keep swimming ahead, on to the next insignificant detail, like some authorial shark. . . .

I salute Wolffe’s attention to detail — but anyone can straightforwardly report what happened and what was said. Real insight demands the application of critical faculties. This is especially true when moving from the realm of political reportage to substantive long-form journalism. That is the difference between this useful book and an interesting and insightful one.
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Election day starts, in the small hours, where the candidate has spent most of his last 626 days: on a plane.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307463125, Hardcover)

Before the White House and Air Force One, before the TV ads and the enormous rallies, there was the real Barack Obama: a man wrestling with the momentous decision to run for the presidency, feeling torn about leaving behind a young family, and figuring out how to win the biggest prize in politics.

This book is the previously untold and epic story of how a political newcomer with no money and an alien name grew into the world’s most powerful leader. But it is also a uniquely intimate portrait of the person behind the iconic posters and the Secret Service code name Renegade.

Drawing on a dozen unplugged interviews with the candidate and president, as well as twenty-one months covering his campaign as it traveled from coast to coast, Richard Wolffe answers the simple yet enduring question about Barack Obama: Who is he?

Based on Wolffe’s unprecedented access to Obama, Renegade reveals the making of a president, both on the campaign trail and before he ran for high office. It explains how the politician who emerged in an extraordinary election learned the personal and political skills to succeed during his youth and early career. With cool self-discipline, calculated risk taking, and simple storytelling, Obama developed the strategies he would need to survive the onslaught of the Clintons and John McCain, and build a multimillion-dollar machine to win a historic contest.

In Renegade, Richard Wolffe shares with us his front-row seat at Obama’s announcement to run for president on a frigid day in Springfield, and his victory speech on a warm night in Chicago. We fly on the candidate’s plane and ride in his bus on an odyssey across a country in crisis; stand next to him at a bar on the night he secures the nomination; and are backstage as he delivers his convention speech to a stadium crowd and a transfixed national audience. From a teacher’s office in Iowa to the Oval Office in Washington, we see and hear Barack Obama with an immediacy and honesty never witnessed before.

Renegade provides not only an account of Obama’s triumphs, but also examines his many personal and political trials. We see Obama wrestling with race and politics, as well as his former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright. We see him struggling with life as a presidential candidate, a campaign that falters for most of its first year, and his reaction to a surprise defeat in the New Hampshire primary. And we see him relying on his personal experience, as well as meticulous polling, to pass the presidential test in foreign and economic affairs.

Renegade is an essential guide to understanding President Barack Obama and his trusted inner circle of aides and friends. It is also a riveting and enlightening first draft of history and political psychology.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:07 -0400)

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Presents an insider's view Barack Obama's run for the presidency, describing his many personal and professional triumphs and obstacles he encountered on the campaign trail and his eventual election as the nation's forty-fourth president.

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