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The Amateur

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,732 ratings  ·  557 reviews
Klein, who is known for getting the inside scoop on everyone from the Kennedys to the Clintons, reveals never-before-published details about the Obama administration's political inner workings, as well as Barack and Michelle's personal lives.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Regnery Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is another book that I know going in will be disliked by some before they ever pick it up (actually they'll never pick it up, so...). Only a few days ago I accidentally got into a "discussion" here. Someone was informing others that President Obama was really a moderate. He used the phrase, "right of center". I tried to be diplomatic but had to answer (knowing I was probably about to ignite a fire storm) that the President was anything but moderate. He had one of most liberal or left wing v ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes reading about the seedier side of politics
According to Ed Klein, President Obama's White House is run by amateurs and those hungry for power. This easy to read book is like a soap opera without the sex. I do admit that while reading, I feel like a rubbernecker that can't look away from a horrible accident. It is the juiciest gossip a conservative could hope to find. It also seems so believable; perhaps because I want to believe it.

While Klein interviewed many on the right and left, and the book contains a bibliography, I am researching
This should be an easy book to rate. People on the right will love it as a factual expose', and people on the left, if any even bother to read it, will dismiss it.

In my case, this book just wasn't what I was looking for. I was really interested in an independent assessment and review of the Obama performance to date. By the title, it was clear that it would be critical of the Obama Presidency, and that was fine with me. There are many valid reasons one can find to be critical of this President,
Hillari Delgado
I feel a little bit ashamed, admitting to you that I read this. It's like you caught me reading porn.

Oh, not because I'm a liberal offended by a hack job on 'my candidate.' Full disclosure here, I'm quite conservative, politically speaking. I've lived enough decades to embody the old saw of being a liberal in my youth and a conservative in my--let's call it--my 'seniority.

No, my embarrassment springs from knowing better and still buying and reading this. I had heard 'The Amateur' had more subst
Brian I.
I will state upfront that I did not vote for Obama last time and I will not vote for him this time. I read this book to validate my original theory behind not voting for Obama because I felt that he was too inexperienced to be President and that his term in office would be amateur hour. So how could I pass up a book called "The Amateur"? The book pretty much validated my hypothesis. Obama has been a rank amateur and has surrounded himself with the same.
So why only 2 stars you ask? Let's start w
Although the intellectual level and writing style found in this book is not nearly as polished as I'd've liked it to be, I will not count that as a negative at all, simply because the people who most need to read this are those who would most likely not understand, or at least endure, anything much deeper or much more sophisticated.

Why do I say that? Simply because much of the content in this book is readily apparent to any intelligent, open-minded, globally-aware, inquisitive person. It's those
What a fascinating and frightening in-depth look at Obama's presidency and just how much damage his policies have done to this country. Each chapter touches upon individuals, groups, races, and countries this man has used and tossed aside, or fucked up: Oprah; Caroline Kennedy; Reverend Wright; African Americans who fought to get him elected; Israel, and more. And most of the interviews are from people on his side who have witnessed him performing his job as POTUS who are as fed up with him as t ...more
THE AMATEUR: A Top Notch Expose

If only for the sake of the argument, let’s put aside one’s political ideology for the moment, and let’s simply take a good long look at temperament. If President Barack Obama’s temperament as discussed in great detail here in Ed Klein’s stellar political portrait, THE AMATEUR, is only on display one-fifth of the time, then that’s twenty percent too often for the leader of the free world. Whether you’re Conservative or Liberal – Republican or Democrat or even Liber
George Stankow
I know that I only have myself to blame for reading through this crapfest, but I didn't realize it was a Regnery book and thought it might have some level of objectivity to it. I was wrong. The sole redeeming feature of "The Amateur" was its display of how easy it is to spin anything -- anything -- into an attack. At various turns (some of them on the same page), this book excoriates Barack Obama for not letting go of his inner circle and elevating them far beyond their ability, while crying cro ...more
Mike Crews
This was a quick read on why Barack Obama is a failure as a president. Obviously it's written with an agenda, but it does make what I consider valid points. The best part of the book was the concluding challenge:

To win reelection in 2012, Barack Obama must divert the country’s attention from his record of incompetence and amateurism.
He doesn’t want to remind people that America lost its triple-A credit rating on his watch—a downgrade that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Published in May of 2012 by Regnery Publishing

Edward Klein's The Amateur is reminiscent of the late Andrew Breitbart's vetting of the Barack Obama for the 2012 election. It is a job that many believe should have been done in 2008 but some in the media are finally getting around to it for the 2012 re-election effort. The title of the book comes from an argument between Bill and Hillary Clinton that happened in front of guests at their home in New York in August of 2011. Bill was encouraging Hil
Damaging ...

With political rants being published at an alarming rate, it is difficult to choose a political-themed book that is substantive, credible and non sleep-inducing. With THE AMATEUR being a mainstay on the non-fiction best-seller list for weeks and not even a squeak of opposition as to its content from anyone or anything of importance ... I gave it a shot. I was rewarded with an addictive page-turner that concisely presents a clearer picture of the media-generated façade that is the 44
Unlike Trickle Down Tyranny, by Michael Savage, which was an undisguised attack on President Obama and his usurpation of power (which unfortunately has since been borne out, not only by his own actions, but also by the recent decisions of the Supreme Court, which has given unprecedented power to tax, to a President who chose to intimidate them), this book is an unemotional analysis of the President, using a forum of in-depth interviews with people who knew and interacted with Barack Obama, Miche ...more
Ed Klein: We Don't Need Mainstream Media Any More

Friday, 01 Jun 2012 08:41 PM

By Jim newsmax

if any more evidence is needed that the media is behind obama, and has been since before he was elected to the senate, the story above is it.

the dark side of obama

a quote from Mark Twain: every man is a moon and has a [dark] side which he turns toward nobody; you have to slip around behind if you want to see it.

"this is a repor
Die hard conservatives will praise this book as truth while die hard liberals will despise it from cover to cover; however, I found this book to be fairly easy to follow and strikingly adept in its assessment of the President. Any work of this genre will leave itself open to criticism, but the book does a wonderful job detailing the many flaws of President Obama. These flaws have been and will continue to be ignored by the Liberal Media Elite (MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, etc), so it is nice ...more
Deborah Tate
I want to be careful. I have friends and family on both sides of the political spectrum and it's not my desire to alienate any of them. That being said, I just finished reading The Amateur by Ed Klein (NY Times reporter). Based on hundreds of interviews with Obama insiders, friends, and foes, the Obama presidency is an unmitigated disaster. It wasn't Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity who labeled him as an amateur. That harsh rhetoric is Bill Clinton's summation of BHO. Clinton says that Obama's unwi ...more
Edward Klein did a pretty thorough job interviewing a lot of people, both on and off the record, about Obama's thin skin, lack of experience, micro-managing (which compounds the lack of experience problem), close-mindedness, and megalomania. So, I give him and his book some credit for the in-depth approach to analyzing the president's personality. Doing so gives us a frame of reference to the president's ideology...which is useful knowledge. We can understand better the "why" behind much of Obam ...more
"The Amateur" is easy to read, especially for a current events book. Klein writes in a breezy style that anyone can enjoy, without getting bogged down in countless footnotes or references to obscure events. Barack Obama is described by those who knew, or know him, as "callow, thin-skinned" and "arrogant" among other things. Klein tells how Michelle Obama ended up keeping Oprah out OF The White House because she is overweight and is seen as a poor role model. Obama is also described as being unin ...more
If you happen to think that Barack Obama is doing a fine job and deserves to be reelected skip this book. Proceed instead to the ad hominem filled review in The New York Times ( If you're on the fence or over the fence this is a fascinating peek at the last four years. As noted in the NYT review there's lots of unsourced quotations (pace Bob Woodward et al) but there's lots of delicious White House gossip. This ain't no policy book but neither is it like the review. There ar ...more
Edward Klein interviewed 200 people who knew Barak Obama inside and outside the White House. Some had known him for over 20 years. Many comments about Obama were remarkably consistent. Essentially he is described as being out of his league, introvert, arrogant, egotistical, taking credit for the efforts of others, taking advantage of others, not willing to listen to others' points of view, disdaining Washington and conventions of modern politics, and casting aside those who thought they were his ...more
Read a non-fiction book and you are dependent on the skill, integrity, and nous of the author. Sadly Mr Klein comes across as a bit of a numpty and an anti-Obama troll.

There are so many examples of Mr Klein's bumbling, demonstrated ironically as he tries to stick to his theme of dubbing his victim as amateurish. So an Obama appointee refuses to agree that the US are chasing "Islamic fundamentalist terrorists" preferring the label "Al Qaeda" operatives. To Mr Klein this preciseness is an example
I have never been a supporter of the policies of President Obama. I disagree with the big government approach to problem solving...i.e. all student loans are government issued, healthcare, EPA, GITMO, stimulus for government jobs only, bank bailouts, takeover of car industry. So if that discounts this review, you should stop reading. The title, The Amateur, is a name that President Bill Clinton gives to President Obama.

This book made me very sad for the Obama family and in some ways uneasy about
“The Amateur is the best book I’ve read on how Barack Obama is wrecking our country. I urge everyone who cares about America to read Edward Klein’s eye-opening book.”
—Donald J. Trump

“This is a racy, entertaining, informative book that illuminates aspects of Obama and his team that have not been previously reported. A necessary antidote to the Obama worship that is sure to characterize the election debate.”
—Dinesh D’Souza, president of The King’s College and bestselling author of The Roots of Oba
Patricia  Scholes
Edward Klein interviewed over 200 people for this book, both liberals and conservatives. Both sides stated reasons for concern over Obama's handling of the presidency over the last three years, plus the fact that he has not seemed to learn from his mistakes. Klein mentioned Obama's thin skin when criticized, and that it appeared he always seemed to need to be right. He hesitated when he needed to act, and he acted inappropriately when he finally acted.

Klein did not ever come across as angry or b
Brian Colton
In making a decision this election, it does come down to the REAL people running. While this particular book is focused on O'bama in a negative light, it does bring some salient facts about him to light. Romney was correct in a way, even though he did not state it very well, about where the outcome of the election does lie. It lies in the hands of those who are Independent or Undecided in the states where the electoral votes could go either way. It is becoming increasingly difficult for that gro ...more
This is a very well researched and written about the incompetence of our current President, Barak Housein Obama. There were few surprises in this book. But it was nice to read the proof of what most Americans are coming to believe and understand about Obama. Sorry, but I can't bring myself to call him President. He has certainly not earned the title. He was given it by default due primarily to the liberal media and all the other liberal politicians who have "drunk the Obama Kool-Aid." Now you kn ...more
I usually take these kinds of political books with a grain of salt, as each author has his or her agenda in writing, especially as it relates to the polarizing figure of Pres Obama. However...I find it quite refreshing that a NYTimes journalist would write such a virulent critique of Pres Obama. Free of your typical partisan rhetoric, the book focuses its core argument on statements, interviews, etc. from people who know Barack Obama in a variety of settings.

The one problem: the author's critiqu
A quick read. I downloaded this on my Kindle right before take off. For 3 hours later we were landing and I couldn't believe I did not even finish my beverage. Not usually a fan of political opinions, but this was different. Most of the people interviewed used to be supporters of Obama and over the years have developed interesting opinions.

The book is filled with stories of rudeness, ignorance and depicts the President as an amateur. It is one thing to make a mistake and learn from it. It is a c
In the introduction of The Amateur, Edward Klein poses the question of whether or not the “Hope and Change” Obama of four years ago was only ever a figment of the American public’s imagination. The rest of the book sets out to prove Klein’s contention that while Barack Hussein Obama has donned different disguises throughout his political career, he is ultimately an “ideological wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

As per the book’s prologue, the moniker “amateur” (and ultimately the book’s title) was coine
This is most definitely an anti-Obama book. While I found a lot of the stories helpful in understanding President Obama, I’m naturally suspicious of any book that has really nothing positive to say about him. It doesn’t do anything to explain his appeal and how it is that he gained such a wide following and meteoric success as a candidate.

Here are a few excerpts form the book:

"Ever since I've known him, Obama has had delusions of grandeur and a preoccupation with his place in history," one of
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“Every man is a moon and has a [dark] side which he turns toward nobody; you have to slip around behind if you want to see it.
-Mark Twain
From introduction to The Amateur.”
“What you have with Barack Obama is a lack of character.” 0 likes
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