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Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  7,220 ratings  ·  720 reviews
From Obama's former communications director and current co-host of Pod Save America comes a colorful account of how politics, the media, and the Internet changed during the Obama presidency and how Democrats can fight back in the Trump era.

The Decade of Obama (2007-2017) was one of massive change that rewrote the rules of politics in ways we are only now beginning to under
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Twelve
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 ·  7,220 ratings  ·  720 reviews

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Agatha Lund
I miss President Obama.
As a fan of Dan Pfeiffer on the podcast Pod Save America, I knew I wanted to read his book as soon as I heard about it. It offers an insightful look at the author's time in the Obama administration, the difficulties faced and the pleasure to work for a man he so respected. The book is cynical at times, but left me with a message of hope that things can and hopefully will get better. Recommended!

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Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you listen to the pod, you're already getting this book and you know what to expect. I really can't say what this book would be like to read if you aren't already a Friend of the Pod. It's good. Not great, but good. There are some funny anecdotes. It doesn't get into the weeds, it's not that kind of book. It was interesting hearing his back story a little bit, but it's not really too gossipy either. It's more of an extended tweet of his. Which, if you follow him on twitter, you might recogniz ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Dan Pfeiffer and I'm definitely a friend of the pod "Pod Save America." This book was enjoyable as long as you know what you're in for.

It's not:
- an Obama biography.
- a complete rehash of the 2016 election.
- a hatchet job on Clinton and/or Sanders.

It is:
- A memoir of Dan Pfeiffer's time in politics.
- Snapshot's of Obama's White House.
- A prescription (in broad strokes) for how to proceed politically in these dark Trumpian days.
- An honest, neurotic, silly look inside Dan's head.

If that so
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid and substantive. It's really interesting to see how someone got to such a high level at such a young age, and Pfeiffer's work ethic and intellect certainly comes through. My only criticism is that it's more of a prescriptive politics and campaigning book than a book of anecdotes about life at the White House and as a top level Obama staffer. I think there's a lot of value in laying out what went right with Obama, what has gone wrong to get us to Trump, and how our relationship to the media ...more
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — President Barack Obama
How the **ck do we ended up here, and what do we do now? are the core questions Dan Pfeiffer answers, examines, and illuminates in his memoir, “Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump” as he share & recount behind-the-scene stories from his time in politics, working for President Barack Obama and
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why? Why do I torture myself by reading books written by President Obama's staff? I actually burst into tears when I read the last lines of this book. Because I never realized how much I could miss a President.

I read them because it reminds me of what we are capable of. I read them because I have hope (which never dies!) that we can and will elect another smart President who staffs his or her administration with smart people. I read them because I love my country and want it to succeed, but not
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am an avid Pod Save America fan, and I am always happy to invest in safe advice from the funniest political commentators around.

This book had some really good advice for Dems moving into 2018 and 2020 that I hope is heeded, and some even better stories of life in Obama's White House.

I think this book struggles some in knowing whether it wants to be a memoir or a manifesto and so never quite pulls off either. I'm also not sure if 12 is a new publishing house, but I struggled to understand som
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, 2018
Really enjoyed reading this one by Pod Save America host, Dan Pfeiffer. He writes just like he talks on the podcast, so I could "hear" everything the way he says it. I liked how he told stories about his time in the Obama White House, including his own missteps, and I also liked how he could talk about the pros and cons and the way forward for communication in the Twitter/Facebook age. ...more
Sean Tenaglia
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If we play their game, we lose. We have to change the game.”- Barack

People like Dan give me hope that there’s so much that (still) can be done to move our nation toward a more equitable and democratic society.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This probably wasn’t the right book for me to read right now, but it was both easily accessible and a book I could at least get myself through. I enjoyed Dan’s voice a lot, as always, and I gave this book some extra credit for the stellar event at the 92nd Street Y.

Hey, I finished a book. At this point, I’ll take anything.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since the election it has been hard to be positive about the state of our country. I read as much as I can stomach and listen to as many podcasts as my ears will tolerate and have been to more marches in my life, but this book does offer a sense of hope and lays out some steps on how to regain our country.

Dan Pfeiffer has always been a fave of mine, he always states some straight forward advice without sugar coating the bad parts and I have always appreciated that. This book shows what he did in
Cathy D
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a fan of Pod Save America, so I’m familiar with Dan’s delivery of information. I like a book that, when I’m reading, I can hear the author speaking - and that’s what this does. I needed to read this; a nice bit of looking back on the Obama years, and some great advice for moving forward now. I especially liked the parts of discussion about the changing media and its effect on politics, distributing a candidate’s message, and influence on the elections.
(Note: if you’re with the GOP, you may
I have a hard time putting a rating on this, because Dan is my favorite and this is really good, but this was absolutely the wrong time for me to read this book. Three stars it is.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s been a glut of Obama WH memoirs hitting publishing lately and I’m here for them. A few weeks back, I blazed through Dan Pfeiffer’s “Yes We Still Can” enthralled with his recounting of his years as Obama’s communications director. If you’re a friend of Pod Save America, you already know Dan’s style—sarcastic and entertaining, scathing and super intelligent.

Dan didn’t set out to write this book … until Trump won. So if you pick this up, you’ll read a LOT about his frustrations with the cu
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Ive said it before, but Goodreads really needs the ability to add a DNF rating.

Former Obama White House Communications Director (and current host of Pod Save America) Dan PFeiffer's book Yes We (Still) Can is part memoir and part political road map for the future. While I quite enjoy Dan's brand of humor and his politics, I didnt feel the need to finish this one. Im ready to move on to a more substantial book.

Still, it did make me very much miss having an intelligent, thoughtful, well read Presi
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This one is hard for me to review. I love Pfeiffer (Friend of the Pod) and was happy that this is not another Obama White House memoir but it was a bit too polemical for me. It’s a really nice deconstruction of WTF just happened and what can we do going forward.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump by Dan Pfeiffer

“Yes We (Still) Can” is a surprisingly good and insightful account on the Obama campaigns and in the White House and the current state of politics. Former communications director and current co-host of Pod Save America, Dan Pfeifer tells his story and provides readers some interesting and candid observations. This perceptive 305-page book includes the following eleven chapters: 1. Started from the Bottom, 2. How
Angela Juline
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Dan Pfeiffer - I couldn't bring myself to read it when it first came out, but I needed to hear some words of encouragement at we approach this presidential election in the days of COVID.
I could hear Pfeiffer's voice in every word I read. I'm a little nervous still, because I don't know if the Democrats can present a consistent, simple message (he uses the example presented by Jason Kander:
Imagine, he said, a lawyer making a closing argument to the jury and that lawyer makes a
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Dan Pfeiffer is coming soon to a bookstore near me, promoting his new book, Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again. Since I’m attending that event, I decided it was high time I read his first book. And I think I’ll be glad I read them closer together.

Pfeiffer is a former Obama campaign and White House communications professional. In 2016, he also started podcasting with the Pod Save America crew. Right away, you know which side of the aisle he stands on. And that’s okay by
Soesja Schelling
I love politics, particularly American politics. I study political science, I follow the news regarding all things Trump religiously, and almost all the podcasts I listen to are about politics (Pod Save America is, of course, one of them). However, there was always one thing that I just could not seem to get into and that is reading actual politics-themed books. I don't know why, maybe because they always feel too much like reading for my studies to enjoy them for casual reading. Nonetheless, ev ...more
John Barry
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this book. As a supporter of President Obama and a huge fan of Pod Save America, I was very excited to read Mr. Pfeiffer’s book. I enjoyed the personal anecdotes woven into the background on what was going on behind the scenes during the Obama campaigns and presidential terms. If you are looking for an objective non-left leaning book, this is not it. Pfeiffer clearly makes this statement and lays out exactly what this book is and is not in the first pages. One who finishes this boo ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was among the better ones of the post-Obama memoirs and believe me, I have read them all. There is a familiar story that runs through them-so much life-changing home, can't believe they win, then surprise at how cool Obama is and so chill, impressed by being in the WH day to day, then growing disappointment with politics, and shock at Trump. Maybe we all feel this way in one form or another--except for the access to Obama. The book is interesting and Dan is funny and approachable. It's pitc ...more
This was a really excellent deconstruction of how we went from Obama to Trump, focusing on messaging and communication both from the White House and the media. I felt like this book, more than any of the political memoirs I've read, really dove into what happened, what the larger societal forces were, and how things went down. It also has an unabashed liberal bias (Pfieffer was Obama's communications director & senior advisor, so he's going to be pro-Obama), but I felt like it was a really smart ...more

I almost didn't want to read this because I miss Obama so much. (Remember when we had a president that read full books? Many of them? And then shared his recommendations?) However, some days the only news I can handle consuming is brought to me by Crooked Media, so I figured I should give the book a shot. Listened to the audiobook, read by Dan, which made me think this was a 7-hour episode of the podcast. It's a pretty quick read, funny, and also with an eye toward the future. If you read this a
Verity W
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading my way through a lot of books about American politics at the moment and this is probably the one with the clearest perspective on what went wrong for the Democratic Party and sets out the clearest plan for what the author things they should do next. If you listen to Pod Save America, a lot of the ideas won't be new to you but they're set out here in a clear, logical manner along with Pfeiffer's own experiences in the White House and working for President Obama. Very readable as well ...more
Ryan Humphris
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-challenge
Just the book I needed. Part therapeutic reminiscing of the good old Obama days and part a focused approach for the way forward, Yes We (Still) Can will give you a brief escape from the current insanity but also provide hope that we actually might survive. Will probably need to read again before the midterms...
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was more like a memoir than I expected. I think in the intro he even said it wasn't a memoir, but I think it was. There are some practical ideas for coming elections, but it's more descriptive than prescriptive. ...more
Favorite line by far: "Most politicians (see: Mitt Romney) interact with pop culture like aliens visiting earth for the first time." If that doesn't sum up every politician trying to be "relatable," I don't know what does!

This was a fun walk down memory lane with Pfeiffer, providing entertaining and informative insight into what life in politics really looks like, from the late nights of a campaign to the, well, late nights of working in the White House. Fans of the Pod Save gang will enjoy all
Rebecca Davis
I enjoyed this, and would recommend it. It's yet another lens on the inner workings of the Obama White House. But my expectations were higher for Pfeiffer, whose contributions on PSA are especially illuminating. I think he might be someone who is better on his feet than with a pen.

The title is confusing. I wanted more forward-looking prescriptions, and on that I think it fell a bit short. The book (and a lot of Democratic conversations) is strangely silent as to the overall health of the party,
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