Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era” as Want to Read:
The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  678 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
The New, New Deal is a riveting story about change in the Obama era—and an essential handbook for voters who want the truth about the president, his record, and his enemies.

In a riveting account based on new documents and interviews with more than 400 sources on both sides of the aisle, award-winning reporter Michael Grunwald reveals the vivid story behind President Obama’
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Simon & Schuster
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The New New Deal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The New New Deal

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Will Byrnes
Mar 22, 2013 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
I’m pretty tired of this depression we’ve been having. Unemployment that hit 12% in 2009 and kept rising, states from ocean to ocean laying off tens, hundreds of thousands of public employees each. No more auto industry, and vast swaths of the Midwest losing jobs and industrial capacity faster than Mitt Romney changes policy positions. And things have not been looking up either. The federal government is investing nothing in alternate energy R&D, leaving such things to private enterprise, an ...more
Feb 03, 2014 John-Paul rated it liked it
If you hate Obama, this book won't do you any good.

If you hate government, this book won't do you any good.

If you think Obama has been a disappointment, you should read this book. It won't make him NOT a disappointment, but it will provide you with context and help you to see what he has done so you can be more aware of what he hasn't done.

If you work in the media, you must read this book. There's an old joke that the dullest headline imaginable is "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative." Well, this b
Zack Ward
Sep 20, 2012 Zack Ward rated it really liked it
Recommended to Zack by: Internet
It is unfortunate that The New New Deal is perhaps the only book on the market that offers a positive review of Obama's Recovery Act. It would make this book seem less biased if the narrative that preceded it hadn't been so negative.

Anyway, my impressions were positive overall. Grunwald goes to great lengths to explore the debate from both sides of the political aisle starting just a little before Obama's election in 2008 and ending in March of 2012. He sat in several meetings on Capital Hill wi
Aaron Arnold
This is probably the best book I've ever read about a single bill. Grunwald does a magnificent job recounting the genesis, drafting, passage, and effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus, an act so vast that not even its supporters fully appreciate the range and depth of its impact. The economics that prompted the bill's passage remain controversial in the political world, as do its contents, but Grunwald's evenhanded and fairly comprehensive reporting wo ...more
Robert Owen
Nov 16, 2014 Robert Owen rated it liked it
Michael Grunwald's “The New New Deal” belongs filed on the “Barack Obama: The Man, The Myth, The Legend” shelf. Look, I’m gonna say good things about this book and I’m gonna say bad things about this book, then I’ll give it three stars and leave it up to you to figure out just what the hell those stars mean.

Let me start with the good stuff first:

Grunwald does an excellent job of taking the reader behind the scenes of the Obama Administration’s remarkably competent response to the 2008 financial
Sep 01, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it
So if you live in Philly--and I think most people who follow me do--you've probably noticed that the old trash cans have been largely replaced with solar-powered trash compactors. Apparently it has cut the frequency of trash collection by more than a third, saving the city a substantial amount of money. They're now so commonplace as to be basically invisible, like Greenpeace canvassers or the homeless, and they're one of the many unheralded achievements of the stimulus bill. Another is Race To T ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
“Without cocaine monkeys, there's no tax cuts and no roads.”

Lone anecdotes cannot begin to explain how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act became law in 2009, but coked up primates comes as close as any.

But let’s back up.

If you reside in a state of existence where you do not believe in facts, this is not the book for you. The New New Deal is hilariously, painstakingly nuanced, and Mike Grunwald goes to great lengths to lay it all out. Why the economy was unraveling. What Obama’s economic
Nov 04, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Who would've guessed that a book about the much-maligned "stimulus plan" of 2009 would be not only a compelling and witty read but also the best book-length defense of Obama's first-term accomplishments I've read? It certainly surprised me. I did pick up the book expecting that Grunwald would be fundamentally sympathetic to the cause and to Keynesian policies in general, though he proves more than willing to call out Obama and his advisors for their naivete, their missteps, and their utter failu ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Shawn rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book a lot, which was surprising to me given how information dense it was. The author did a really good job of mixing in stories around the events from the people making decisions with the facts that he was writing about.

I also learned a lot about the stimulus (and TARP, which like most people I managed to attribute to Obama instead of Bush) and how it managed (will manage?) to fundamentally shift a lot of important things for this country.
Dec 24, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Michael Grunwald has written an impressive defense of the Recovery Act (i.e., "the stimulus"), which is so frequently lambasted from both Right and Left.

"It was the biggest and most transformative energy bill in U.S. history, financing unprecedented government investments in a smarter grid; cleaner coal; energy efficiency in every imaginable form; "green-collar" job training; electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them; advanced biofuels and the refineries to brew them; renewable p
Oct 13, 2012 Phil rated it it was amazing
Michael Grunwald is a young journalist with Time magazine. The New New Deal is a justification of the Obama Administrations 787 billion dollar stimulus. This is a book of factual presentation of the politics behind the Stimulus amd the implementation and the various technologies the stimulus has helped to underwrite. Some of the energy technologies were new to me. The stories about High Speed (Bullet) train development in the US are something I was not aware of, other than our own high speed tra ...more
Apr 05, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This book showed massive evidence that the money from the bail out which our last election GOP commercials claimed were "wasted" on programs actually were NOT wasted. It is a tough read, tons and tons of testimony and reports and other means from a journalist who tried really hard to sort through the political muck and get to the truth.

This book helped shed light on how much the GOP was fibbing in their review of the Obama administration. As an registered Independent I had to go to this length
Lars K Jensen
Jan 09, 2013 Lars K Jensen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: us, obama, economy
Do you know those books that just make you feel constrained by Goodreads' 1-5 scale? Well, for me this is one of them.

Grunwald has gone where apparently no other (or, at least only a very few) have gone: Actually explaining what was in Barack Obama's Recovery Act (signed by POTUS in February, 2009) and what it has done to the US labor market, economy and research.

In 'The New New Deal' Grunwald both tells the story of the how the act came to be and how it passed through Congress, despite heavy op
Sep 16, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This book knocked my socks off. Grunwald has the knack of making complex and somewhat dry details of law-writing, economic theory, and political maneuvering both lucid and fascinating. He slips into a slightly snarky tone at points, and it's clear where his political sympathies lie, but I did not find that he misrepresents facts or skews the logic of his argument to suggest an untruthful explanation. And he has the research and sources to back his writing. Being somewhat of an ostrich about curr ...more
Michael Berman
Sep 05, 2012 Michael Berman rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-events
The short version: Obama won the policy battle (the Recovery act provided both short-term stimulus and allowed Obama to implement many of the objectives on which he campaigned) but lost the politics war (how many times will the word "stimulus" be mentioned at the DNC this week?).

The author is a bit breathless on the topic of the green initiatives in particular, but he makes the case on the short-term stimulus quite well. No less a center-right authority than The Economist reviewed this favorabl
Jan 07, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing
The notion that President Obama wasn’t “focused” enough on jobs and the economy is an absurdity. Setting aside the dubious criticism that the President was so “distracted” by health reform that he ignored the economy—as if it were impossible for a president to walk and chew gum at the same time—the fact is, Obama did focus on recovery. Constantly. To wit, within four weeks of taking office, Congress passed, and the President signed, a massive $800 billion economic and jobs package—one which, mea ...more
Kevin Kazokas
Jan 03, 2017 Kevin Kazokas rated it really liked it
Michael Grunwald brings a deeply reported look at one of President Obama's landmark and mostly forgotten legislative pieces in "The New New Deal."

Before the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare) and several executive orders directed at monumental reform, the nation's first black president had to deal with a much more urgent matter -- the crashing economy. Things were spiraling so quickly, not even unprecedented stopgap economic measures by the exiting Bush administration could
Mar 15, 2013 Joey rated it liked it
Probably one of the better three-star books I've read. I dropped it from four-stars to three because of an unforgivable stretch of something like 50 pages with arcane and technical details of the Recovery Act's green energy successes. I'm all for green energy, but it felt like this wasteland of technobabble just threw the brakes on what was up to that point a very enjoyable read. I never really recovered after that.

But to be fair, Grunwald is clear and persuasive with his thesis: the Recovery Ac
One of the definitions I have for a great book, psrticularly a non-fiction or current affairs book like this, is that it pierces through the haze of my own preconceived notions and reveals something in a new, startling, and unbiased way. This book is definitely one of those books. Mr. Grunwald has written a book that will rewrite the narrative on the Recovery Act, Pres. Obama's $800 billion stimulus that was passed in his first 100 days in office. While partisans on both sides of the political d ...more
Robert J.
Mar 15, 2013 Robert J. rated it it was ok
It's kind of like the Obama administration. You really want to like it, but the more you learn, the more you realize it just doesn't get there. The main thesis of the book is that the Obama administration is underrated and that the stimulus act in the first term is actually a glorious new deal for sustainable energy and infrastructure. The trouble is, the facts are not on his side, so the author simply ignores them. Before reading this book, read The Escape Artists by Noam Schieber and Predator ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
I thought I had a good grasp of the Stimulus Package the Obama Administration put together in 2008/9 but after reading this book - I am shocked at the amount of information - TRUE information - I was missing. I think my biggest take-aways from this book are as follows:

1) the media did an incredibly poor job of reporting THE FACTS about the Recovery Act. The majority of the media outlets - regardless of political affiliation (which they shouldn't have) - only showcased rumors and misdirections fr
Apr 29, 2013 Ben rated it it was ok
In many ways a perfect example of something that would have worked better as maybe two or three articles or Kindle singles than it does as a book. The beginning part discussing the behind-the-scenes creation of the stimulus is probably the most interesting and previously unreported part of the book.

But hearing how Jason Furman and others put together the package is only about 50 to 60 pages. And unfortunately, a lot of the rest suffers. The part on political wrangling on the Hill doesn't feel l
May 17, 2014 Lars rated it it was amazing
Shelves: us, obama, economy
Do you know those books that just make you feel constrained by Goodreads' 1-5 scale? Well, for me this is one of them.

Grunwald has gone where apparently no other (or, at least only a very few) have gone: Actually explaining what was in Barack Obama's Recovery Act (signed by POTUS in February, 2009) and what it has done to the US labor market, economy and research.

In 'The New New Deal' Grunwald both tells the story of the how the act came to be and how it passed through Congress, despite heavy op
Jan 09, 2013 Mason rated it really liked it
Election-cycle literature tends to be either hyperbolic (To Save America) or overly simplistic (It’s The Middle Class, Stupid!), or, if you’re Sean Hannity, both. Therefore, this 500-page piece of even-handed, thoroughly researched, energetically relayed investigative journalism is a breath of fresh air. Unlike so many political writers, Grunwald doesn’t begin at his conclusion and then argue towards it—he spends months and months taking in every meeting, poring over every record, learning the O ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Kay rated it liked it
I definitely learned some things and this book really achieved the goal of retelling extremely recent events in a way that makes you think about them ever so slightly differently. I think Grunwald is a great reporter and a good writer -- if he weren't, a book about the bureaucratic successes of the economic stimulus package known as the Recovery and Reinvestment Act would be much more difficult to digest.

He does a good job of addressing the limitations of what made the stimulus less effective t
Nov 26, 2012 Toni rated it it was amazing
One reviewer called this "A tale that reads like a book-length episode of The West Wing," which pretty much sums it up.

Love this guy's writing. A sampling, from one 3-page span:

"It was hard to imagine a more complex legal and technical issue with higher financial stakes [than the information superhighway], raising thorny questions about natural monopolies, wireless spectrum, network neutrality, and the inalienable right of all Americans to download stupid cat videos."

On the drafting of the gree
Oct 17, 2013 Dayla rated it it was amazing
I loved this book by Michael Grunwald. It should be required reading for everyone still believing in trickle down economics. How Team Obama took the bull by the horns and started to plan for the Stimulus package months before he hit the white house floor running. The near $800 billion stimulus was distributed to "reinvent the economy to seize the future." Grunwald tells the story of "Obama's most ambitious and least understood piece of legislation" (that is, until the Affordable Care Act). Obama ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Mlg rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
After reading this you really don't want to know how the Stimulus got passed anymore than how sausages are made. In this sympathetic retelling, we see Obama coming into office just as the economy was going off the cliff. This gets into the nuts and bolts of why the Stimulus was passed, what elements were added and subtracted, and how Republican obstructionism reached a whole new level.
Yes, Progressives were disappointed that some of their pet projects were not included, but the book makes you r
Dec 31, 2012 Pierre rated it it was amazing
"In real dollar terms, the Stimulus was 50% bigger than FDR's New Deal and more than the Louisiana Purchase and the Marshall Plan combined." That statistic alone, cited by Grunwald in the introduction, shows just how big and important the 2009 Stimulus Bill was for our economy at the time (i.e. to avoid a cataclysmic economic depression), laying the groundwork (Obama's "New Foundation") toward building the next generation infrastructure for healthcare, energy, IT and education that is necessary ...more
Nov 01, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
apparently obama's stimulus plan was a huge success, maybe the most successful government plan ever, and no one even knew it. tons of jobs were created, tons of projects happened that never would have happened without it, many people who would have been out of work were kept on or rehired because of it, and no one knew it because republicans convinced us it was a failure. there was very little abuse of funds but republicans lied and said there was and the evil press bought it. i guess the bottom ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party
  • Great Divergence, The
  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism
  • The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns
  • The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent
  • The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality
  • Days of God: The Revolution in Iran and Its Consequences
  • The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production
  • Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives
  • What′s the Matter with White People? Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was
  • The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
  • Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street
  • The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century
  • Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
  • The Crisis of Zionism
  • The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism
  • China Airborne
  • Here's the Deal

Share This Book