Muhammad Ahmad's Reviews > Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President

Confidence Men by Ron Suskind
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's review
Oct 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: economics, politics

Like his previous book, an otherwise excellent work of investigative journalism is marred by an excess of superfluous detail. This book wouldn't suffer from losing at least 200 of its pages. Suskind writes in the non-fiction novel style of Bob Woodward, though he is a much better writer. But unlike Woodward, he has a tendency to easily get lost in unnecessary embellishment through novelistic details about minor characters.

Like Woodward's last book, Confidence Men paints an unflattering picture of a president clearly out of his depth and routinely played by his advisers. Obama's over-riding concern seems to be to present himself as an 'establishment' guy, who is not there to rock the boat. His compromising disposition has bred contempt which allows his subordinates to frequently ignore his orders. In the most telling quote from the book, Lawrence Summers speaks about being 'home alone' without 'adult supervision' something that 'Clinton would never do'. There could hardly be a more serious indictment.
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