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The X President

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A masterful blend of political satire and edgy social commentary, here is a wildly entertaining trip through recent American history and into the impending future. An incisive look at how we love and hate our political leaders, and how they love and hate us back, The X President touches the very heart of what it means to be president—and what a president means to America.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Bantam
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  112 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
How to rate a book where the central character's most substantial action is deciding to make a bankshot on a pool table? The bulk of this sci-fi political romp consists of following a helpless academic biographer that is shanghaied from one scene to another and then through time, all the while a victim of circumstance, never in control or attempting to assert much influence on the flow of events. Not promising for the apparent protagonist of this walkabout narrative. There are a few entertaining ...more
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ok, I was oblivious to politics in my teens, so now I need to look some stuff up to see what was fact and what was fiction about BC's presidency :)

I enjoyed the book. I'm not usually too keen on political books, but the time travel/scifi aspect carried me through.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
The first book I have seriously contemplated abandoning, The X President is part political thriller and part science fiction. BC is, of course, a thinly vailed reference to Bill Clinton, and since the only parts of Bill Clinton’s presidency I remember are “it depends on what your definition of is is” and people burning photos of Hillary Clinton in protest of a national health care system, the tweaking of Clinton’s history to produce an all out war was totally far fetched for me.

The X President i
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Is there anything more frustrating than a book with a good idea that has no idea what to do with it? That's the case with this novel, based around the idea that Bill Clinton - through no fault of his own - sets in motion a chain of events that leads the world to unite against America, and his biographer is recruited to go back in time and steer him away from this path.

At least, that's what the back cover and reviews say. I got to page 80 (out of 369), and not only has our heroine not yet travele
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
A science fiction novel about a near future America under strain due to a war with China and an ever growing internal rebellion due to White supremacist militias who eventually control much of the mountain West. And the cause of all of this...a horrific tobacco settlement enacted by Bill Clinton! A historian (and an expert in Clinton who is writing a biography of the then very old Bill Clinton) is sent back in time as part of a military mission to warn the young Bill Clinton of his terrible erro ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I loved the concept. It was very creative, and Philip is such a deep thinker--most things he comes up with are well thought out and well researched.

It felt uneven, though. Much of the book felt like writing exercises for the author's benefit that don't necessarily need to be in the finished product: sketches of a particular character's backstory, highly detailed descriptions of a place or technology that aren't consistent with the level of detail elsewhere in the book, character interactions th
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book has been on my "to-read" list for over 2 years, but none of my local libraries had copies, until last month. I was excited to read it because the premise sounded so intriguing and, don't tell my husband, buy i've always been a closet clinton fan. I know, I know, some people think he's evil incarnate, but i can't explain it. not that i want him to get a 3rd term or be an ANY position of power, but there's something about him i find intriguing.
Anyway, the book really didn't do much for
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
ok, i admit, i got through over half the book before i realized BC is supposed to be bill clinton... lol im a ditz we know. this book is about a woman who starts out as bc's biographer, way way in the future when he's about 130 or something. the whole world's at war, even on us soil. the government finds a way to go back in time, and they take her (against her will) to go on the mission, to change the past. i dont know whether bill clinton was that important of a president or not, im bad at poli ...more
Christopher McKitterick
A fascinating book, true SF/alternate history/time travel stuff written by a literary writer with considerable insight into character. She’s a historian in 2050 or so who’s working on the first and only authorized biography of someone who is NEVER called anything but BC, but is absolutely Bill Clinton: quotes, scandals, and everything. The plot is dense, and there’s a rough info dump at the start that takes a little getting over, but it’s a fascinating mix of political analysis, psychology, and ...more
The Angry Lawn Gnome
An amusing summer read, but also choc-a-block full of elements that truly strained my credulity. viz, the US in a war against essentially the entire world based upon a judgment handed down from a World Court over cigarettes? That something like one-third of the country had de facto seceded...and the central government was essentially powerless against them? And I could go on, but the whole book was just too amusing for me to truly hold these and similar items against it. Well, except for the par ...more
Dale Lane
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sci-fi plus historical commentary in one. (yay for time travel stories!)

There are a couple of sections that were a bit hard-going, but I'm glad I persisted, cos overall I loved it.

(Made me feel a little stupid because I took way too long to work out who the main historical protagonist was! Obvious in hindsight, but I missed it for the first chunk of the book. Glad I didn't know ahead of time, because the "ah! so that's who he is!" moment was kinda cool.)
Sue Davis
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-travel
In the year 2055 Bill Clinton is 109 years old. The U.S. is losing the war against the Eastern Alliance (EA) so the NSC kidnaps Cllinton's biographer and takes her back to the year 1963 to kidnap the young Clinton and take him to 1995 to meet himself. Idea of possibilitiy of changing history and inventing historical characters based on reading of history: James Carvel was one of the agents from 2055 who stayed in 1963 to be James Carvel. A lot of details about Clinton and scandals.
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feb08
My only quibbles with this book are that: 1) I could have used more of the 108 year-old bionic Bill Clinton and 2) I will spend the remainder of my life with some sort of uncomfortable, low-level crush on James Carville. Perhaps that will suffice as a suggestion of its awesome powers.
Apr 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
mmm mmm good! Terrifically well-written (of course it's Philip Baruth!) I especially enjoyed the twisted historical references, the part of the plot that takes place in Burlington and the fact that one really had no clue what was going to happen next.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
3 1/2 stars. Read for book group and author came to our meeting. I enjoyed the meeting and the book, it was imaginative, entertaining and food for thought on the Clinton presidential years with some time travel/ sci-fi, Vermont tie-in and political satire thrown in.
Karen Miller
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Just different. Not my cup of tea I guess. Slow in the beginning. Got interesting in the middle, then finished up different.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it liked it
it's not horribly well written but not bad enough to stop reading... hopefully the plot will go from 'trite' to at least 'remotely interesting'
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really fun book, I suspect I would have liked it even more if I followed politics so the characters were a bit more familiar going in.
Garrett Moon
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Interesting and entertaining plot, but this wasn't a page turner for me.
Nick W.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Ok...the ending was WEAK. Interesting concept, a neat blend of recent history and time travel sci-fi. Plenty of better books out there to read.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Another time travel story. Bill Clinton came off better than he deserved.
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I love a good "what if this happened" book. Read it many years ago so I'll need to reread again to give an accurate review.
Bob Kogut
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Apr 20, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jun 18, 2009
Anthony Gierzynski
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Nov 03, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2018
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Aug 03, 2013
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Dec 24, 2013
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Dec 04, 2007
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May 14, 2011
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Philip Baruth is a novelist, and has spent twelve years as a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His commentary series, “Notes from the New Vermont,” focused on both the national and the local, the deeply political and the undeniably absurd.

In addition to Vermont Associated Press awards for commentary on Howard Dean and the effects of 9/11, Philip won a national Public Radio News Directo

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