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Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House
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Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  159 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Revival is the dramatic inside story of the defining period of the Obama White House. It is an epic tale that follows the president and his inner circle from the crisis of defeat to historic success. Over the span of an extraordinary two months in the life of a young presidency, Obama and his senior aides engaged in a desperate struggle for survival that stands as the meas ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Crown (first published January 1st 2010)
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John Luiz
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love Richard Wolffe, and while I enjoyed this book, I found it, at least in the early sections, much less compelling than Renegade. My reaction may have been partly influenced because the early part of the book focuses so much on the impact for the administration and the Democtrats of losing the Massachusetts Senate seat to a Republican. While that was significant at the time, it pales in comparison to the more recent developments of the mid-term elections when the Democrats lost their majorit ...more
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
I don't disagree with the theme of this book. Obama is a revivalist who wants good for America. Republicans are bad. Yet I don't like the way the case for those conclusions has been made.
Richard Wolffe is not one of those partisans who are biased to one side over the other. He present himself (or at least I see him) as a journalist whose opinions are based on facts and grounded into reason. And in making the case for any of those conclusions, he would demonstrates the facts and reasons for those
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: current Obama Supporters, people who voted for him
I like the idea of this book, to outline what President Obama wants to do and how that conflicts with what he has to do as part of his job and getting things done.

The problem is the book lacks objectivity for at least the first half if not 2/3. Once the author stops fawning over the President, the book improves greatly. It's an interesting inside look at the chaos inside the White House and the difficultly in picking a staff that has the necessary credentials and ability to work together. That
Carlos Smith
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
This book claims to give exclusive insight into the struggle between two competing factions inside the Obama White House. The revivalists; former top campaign aides to the president, and survivalists; Washington insiders who want a more pragmatic approach to governing. The material only covers a 30 day period from February to March 2010. After reading the book, I don't feel like I've learned any new insight on the presidency. Very few nuggets of information were actually new, and his analysis of ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
In theory the what Wolfe set out to provide is the sort of reporting that journalism should be providing. However the lack of an editor or need to maintain journalistic standards to some level hamper this book, finding Wolfe often seemingly defending the president the way one would a good friend who is facing criticism, not the way a journalist which--which, to my reading is what Wolfe wants to be seen as. Overall the book provides some good prospective on Obama, his thought proccess and what ac ...more
Really 2.5 stars - the author obviously put a lot into the book, and it didn't suffer from being particularly dry, for such a wonky topic. However, it did seem a bit dated (even after barely a year). Unfortunately for Wolffe, Jonathan Alter came out with a similar, somewhat (though not entirely) overlapping book The Promise: President Obama, Year One first. I listened to the audio, and must confess that Wolffe's British accent was a bit disconcerting when he read the voices of the American perso ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Sub-Woodward (the comparison is not meant as a compliment) political tick-tock. Some illuminating moments, but mainly unsurprising if you have occasionally read the New York Times over the course of the past three years. Pedestrian, self-serving interviews are its backbone so I suppose that's not surprising. Even more frustrating, these pedestrian observations are bundled to support grandiose pronouncements. And, damn, its transitions are unwieldy. Still, it is a breezy four sitting read and fea ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the book, though it felt a little unfocused and meandering in places. Overall, Jonathan Alter's "The Promise" offers a much more in-depth analysis of Pres. Obama's first year-plus in office, but if you're looking for a somewhat quicker read which primarily focuses on the period between the Massachusetts election and the passage of health care reform, this book might be for you.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
I agree with other reviewers that this book lack objectivity and reporting. It was to focused on only a short period of time. I would not recommend it. I still like Richard as a pundit, but I would do a better job reviewing the book prior to buying it.
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Some interesting insight and access to Obama, but a bit disconnected as it looks at the health care debate and some of the foreign policy issues around 2010. Kind of blends in to the many other Obama inside access books that have come out recently.
Leisha Wharfield
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is written by an insider who loves Obama, and it's not very informative. It's sympathetic, cheerleading, and would have benefited from another round of careful editing -- Wolffe's prose is mainly good, pleasant, and easy to read, so occasional lapses in its quality are noticeable.
Alvin Scott
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: political
Good accounting of President Obama's struggles to get things done with a politically divided Congress. Also, does a good job characterizing the President and his inner circle of cabinet members and advisors.
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
this book highlights the struggle behind the scene of the white house team to pass the healthcare law
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked reading about the situation within the White House - an inside look - i like Wolffe generally - an interesting book for those who suffer from a severe case of enjoying politics too much
Rick Cheeseman
Eh...can't figure out if my dislike for this book was over the auther or the subject.
Ben LaMothe
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It was at times a bit too heavy on the Obama-adoration early on, but it got more focused/impartial near the middle. I learned a lot, too.
I love Richard Wolffe. I think maybe my disappointment with Obama shaded my ability to love this one...
Nancy Sopko
Dec 27, 2010 is currently reading it
Just started, but it seems to be a pretty in-depth look into the Obama White House just as the healthcare bill is signed into law.
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