counter create hit Codename: Renegade: The Inside Account of How Obama Won the Biggest Prize in Politics - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Codename: Renegade: The Inside Account of How Obama Won the Biggest Prize in Politics

Availability: Ready to download

Written by British political reporter Richard Wolffe, Renegade is an election epic as well as an insightful biography of the new President of the United States. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama told Wolffe that, 'You'll get more access than anyone else', resulting in a riveting first-hand account of the 21-month journey from candidate to president. Wolffe cov Written by British political reporter Richard Wolffe, Renegade is an election epic as well as an insightful biography of the new President of the United States. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama told Wolffe that, 'You'll get more access than anyone else', resulting in a riveting first-hand account of the 21-month journey from candidate to president. Wolffe covers the campaign in untold detail as well as revealing how Obama learned his personal and political skills in his youth and early career, which led him from his university lecturer's office in Iowa, to his nomination as the Democratic candidate, and finally to the Oval Office in Washington. Combining history, political psychology and biography, Renegade is an essential guide to understanding the president.


Compare

Written by British political reporter Richard Wolffe, Renegade is an election epic as well as an insightful biography of the new President of the United States. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama told Wolffe that, 'You'll get more access than anyone else', resulting in a riveting first-hand account of the 21-month journey from candidate to president. Wolffe cov Written by British political reporter Richard Wolffe, Renegade is an election epic as well as an insightful biography of the new President of the United States. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama told Wolffe that, 'You'll get more access than anyone else', resulting in a riveting first-hand account of the 21-month journey from candidate to president. Wolffe covers the campaign in untold detail as well as revealing how Obama learned his personal and political skills in his youth and early career, which led him from his university lecturer's office in Iowa, to his nomination as the Democratic candidate, and finally to the Oval Office in Washington. Combining history, political psychology and biography, Renegade is an essential guide to understanding the president.

30 review for Codename: Renegade: The Inside Account of How Obama Won the Biggest Prize in Politics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    I will be all over the graphic version when it comes out. I will be all over the graphic version when it comes out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I cried reading this the first time - at work - and I cried rereading it now. It's a little fawning over Obama but...it works for me. This will sound cheesy but I'll read the part about election day a lot, because I never want to forget that day, or that moment. I think it will be one of those days, like when JFK was assassinated, or 9/11, when people ask each other for the rest of their lives where they were at that moment. I'll always remember and I like to read about that moment from Obama's I cried reading this the first time - at work - and I cried rereading it now. It's a little fawning over Obama but...it works for me. This will sound cheesy but I'll read the part about election day a lot, because I never want to forget that day, or that moment. I think it will be one of those days, like when JFK was assassinated, or 9/11, when people ask each other for the rest of their lives where they were at that moment. I'll always remember and I like to read about that moment from Obama's perspective (ish). And of course, about everything else that happened up to that moment.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Of all the self-styled pundits on television, Richard Wolffe is the smartest, most low-key, and circumspect. Come to think of it, he is the ONLY smart, low key and circumspect teevee talking head. That's why when I heard he'd written a book about Obama, I had to read it, immediately. Glad I did, too. In addition to the fact that he had direct and frequent access to Obama throughout the campaign and after (which means, of course, that he has lots of inside stuff to tell us), he weaves various time Of all the self-styled pundits on television, Richard Wolffe is the smartest, most low-key, and circumspect. Come to think of it, he is the ONLY smart, low key and circumspect teevee talking head. That's why when I heard he'd written a book about Obama, I had to read it, immediately. Glad I did, too. In addition to the fact that he had direct and frequent access to Obama throughout the campaign and after (which means, of course, that he has lots of inside stuff to tell us), he weaves various timelines and storylines together competently, patiently, and methodically. The result is surprisingly compelling, even though we know the ending before we begin. Apparently, Obama suggested to Wolffe, midcampaign, that he write such a book as this one. Wolffe dismissed the suggestion for a while, but changed his mind, thank heavens. If you're an Obama fan, you'll be glad to learn that Obama is, indeed, the decent, good, and scary smart person you thought/hoped/believed him to be, and that he was/is truly committed to changing the tenor of American political discourse. If you're not an Obama supporter, you probably won't be reading this book anyway, so the facts as Wolffe presents them won't be challenging your preconceptions. This is an important record for the rest of us.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Ziesler

    On the face of it Renegade tells the story of the Obama campaign for the primaries and the historic Presidential Election of 2008. This in itself is a story worth telling. In fact it presents a much more profound and interesting story than merely providing us with another campaign account. Wolffe was granted unrivaled access to the Obama campaign. He used that access wisely and well. Wolffe, with his journalist's eye for detail and his sharp ear for the telling phrase, narrates his way through t On the face of it Renegade tells the story of the Obama campaign for the primaries and the historic Presidential Election of 2008. This in itself is a story worth telling. In fact it presents a much more profound and interesting story than merely providing us with another campaign account. Wolffe was granted unrivaled access to the Obama campaign. He used that access wisely and well. Wolffe, with his journalist's eye for detail and his sharp ear for the telling phrase, narrates his way through the critical months of Obama's rise to power interweaving vital biographical background to provide us with more satisfying and complete picture of the candidate than any other commentator. What makes his account unique are the numerous personal asides, comments and insights given by Obama to the author as they trek together through the arduous months of the campaign trail. Of course we all know the eventual outcome of one of the most iconoclastic and improbable campaigns of modern times but Wolffe's major success is in bringing alive the key moments of the campaign such as the setbacks like losing the New Hampshire primary, the intimate details of the campaign, Biden pounding on McCain's door in anger because McCain had refused to take a phone call, being one of my favorites, the moments of genuine doubt and of course the eventual triumph. An interesting recurrent theme in the book is Obama's love of and dedication to basketball. He had played good high school level ball and had even dreamed of trying to make the professional grade. Although he ultimately found an outlet for his energies and skills elsewhere he never lost his passion for the game. His love of basketball was something he shared with Wolffe who had also played at high school and college. There a numerous instances in the book of Obama grabbing a few free moments to play some pick-up ball with his team to get away from the intense pressure of events, to mentally recharge and to reconnect himself with the tangible ideas of teamwork, dedication, skill and common effort towards victory that are so familiar to anyone who has ever played a team sport. The victory was in large part due to Obama's personality: his directed intelligence, his calmness in a crisis, his ability to sum up difficult situations and take decisive action to effective address the problem, his discipline and hard work, and above all his ability to motivate and lead a team towards achieving a difficult objective. Wolffe also reflects that one of the purposes of the long election process in the US is to stress-test the candidate for their ability to cope under pressure. It may be an imperfect process but it certainly has merit in testing the metal of a candidate over a prolonged period for their fitness to hold the highest office in the land and the most powerful elected position in the world. It is very instructive in following the 2016 presidential campaign to consider which of the two presidential candidates displays similar traits. As we discover right at the end of the book the original idea was to provide an answer to the question with which Wolffe challenged Obama as the campaign drew to a close, "just who is Barack Obama?" Wolffe succeeds admirably in answering that question in depth and in detail.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gerry Sacco

    I very much enjoyed this book. It read as a very fair, and accurate portrayal not just of a once in a lifetime campaign, but also on a once in a lifetime president. I’ve always been a Barack Obama supporter, my mom was much later on, as she was a Hillary supporter. But we both have a great adoration for the man now. From saving the economy, to helping push marriage equality, to giving millions, including my mom, the right to healthcare, he has achieved many great things. But, to get there, he ne I very much enjoyed this book. It read as a very fair, and accurate portrayal not just of a once in a lifetime campaign, but also on a once in a lifetime president. I’ve always been a Barack Obama supporter, my mom was much later on, as she was a Hillary supporter. But we both have a great adoration for the man now. From saving the economy, to helping push marriage equality, to giving millions, including my mom, the right to healthcare, he has achieved many great things. But, to get there, he needed to win. And this book is quite the journey of just that, his historic win. It was so interesting seeing someone who is so brilliant be flustered and even annoyed at times. Someone who is so charismatic fail to win over people. It’s also really something else to see someone have the guts to continuously refuse to go low in the campaign trail, and even go so far as to yell at his staff when they do it behind his back, and then make sure it never happens again. It’s also beautiful to see him invite his secret service members to thanksgiving dinner table, because they’d be away from their family’s to protect his, and, why wouldn’t you? Only to then find out it was a big deal because no one had before. My girlfriend likes to put quotes in each of her reviews. And honestly, of all people, how could I not? It’s funny because I compare him a lot to JFK, and in this book, the same comparison is drawn a few times. So of course, you could have quotes for days. I guess the one I would pick is, “It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children. But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.” I very much enjoyed his discussions about religion and race. His honesty and earnestness were exactly what I’d expect.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jana Perskie

    On March 18, 2008, presidential candidate Barak H. Obama spoke to the American people from Philadelphia. He addressed race in a manner that has rarely been discussed in a public forum before. But Barak Obama was a historical candidate running for the presidency of the United States of America in extraordinary times. And he spoke as someone from both inside and outside the African American experience. Two days after this address, he approached award-winning journalist Richard Wolffe, who had been On March 18, 2008, presidential candidate Barak H. Obama spoke to the American people from Philadelphia. He addressed race in a manner that has rarely been discussed in a public forum before. But Barak Obama was a historical candidate running for the presidency of the United States of America in extraordinary times. And he spoke as someone from both inside and outside the African American experience. Two days after this address, he approached award-winning journalist Richard Wolffe, who had been covering the Obama campaign for Newsweek Magazine ever since the candidate announced his run for the presidency on January 16, 2007. Wolffe, while interviewing Obama, told him that his story was largely unknown, even though he had written a bestselling memoir, "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance." Wolffe said, "People want to know who you are. Who are you? That's the question people are going to ask six months from now, and six years from now." The candidate agreed with Wolffe's assessment, and asked the journalist to write a "Theodore White kind of book" about the campaign. Mr White won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1962 for his book, "The Making of the President, 1960," about the campaign between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. He then went on to write outstanding books about the 1964,1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns. Wolffe dismissed the notion of authoring a "Making of a Present-type" book. He said there was already too much press coverage. He told the future president, to my great dismay, that "publishers want partisan screeds nowadays. They don't want reporting." Wolffe then went on to say or think, "Teddy White. How archaic. The poor man, (Obama), doesn't understand the media." The condescension of the author is outrageous, as he terms obsolete the ever relevant Mr. White, and the "what sells in print naivetee" of Obama. That was a real turn-off for me. Given the very nature of candidate Barak Obama, his lovely family, the historical significance of an African American man entering the presidential campaign, with a woman, Hillary Clinton, as his leading contender, his eventual opponent, John McCain, with his own historic and dramatic story, and the unlikely choice of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential candidate - a journalist would have to be a total flop to write a bad book about such events. And Richard Wolffe is certainly no slouch. Drawing on some twenty-four months of coverage and countless interviews with Barak Obama, Wolffe has attempted to answer the "Who is he?" question. Because of all the media coverage of all the candidates and campaigns, there is little that surprised me in "Renegade," which, by the way, was the Secret Service's name for Obama during his candidacy. There are a few new tidbits, especially about events surrounding Hillary Clinton's appointment as Secretary of State. I did find myself wishing for a Theodore White kind of book, however, with more objective coverage about both Democrat and Republican campaigns, their conventions and platforms, and more gossipy details of infighting, etc., from behind the scenes. "Renegade gives us a more biased look at the amazing story of Barak Obama's presidential run and his big win in November 2008. The reader is given a ring-side seat to the candidates long journey - from freshman senator, (99th out of 100 senators in seniority), who had trouble gaining admission to the Democratic convention in 2000 - to President of the United States. What a ride! Yet, there is something lacking here - perhaps the tension and excitement which would have come from a more bipartisan coverage. I enjoyed the read, but I was a Hillary supporter long before I fell in line and campaigned for Obama. I would have liked to read, at the very least, an Obama & staff summary of why she lost the nomination. What were her biggest mistakes? The biggest mistakes her staff made? I'd like to know why in the world John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential candidate. There are portions of the book, however, which are quite moving. I learned that the future President Obama is, in fact, a man of moral character, a family man and a brilliant man, with a natural ability to lead and the strength to tackle difficult issues with tremendous energy, and an openness and realistic optimism that inspires. There are passages like: "His memoir revolved around something and someone not present in his childhood: his African father and his African American identity. Even that was a partial view, obscuring the role of his mother and grandparents: the white family that raised him. He was obviously black, yet he grew up with a white perspective. He was American, yet he grew up with an international perspective. He was a Democrat who sought to understand the Republican perspective. He was a moderate who spoke the language of radical change, and a progressive who spoke in moderate tones." Now that is wonderful descriptive writing and right on target! Unfortunately, Mr. Wolffe's prose does not flow. He is all over the place with his timelines. In one paragraph he writes about an incident which takes place during the campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination, and two paragraphs later he has the now president-elect making cabinet decisions. A few pages along, the reader gets excerpts of Obama debating McCain, and then we are back at the Iowa, and Nevada caucuses. There are few segues which allow the reader to smoothly make the transitions in time and place. I really expected more from this journalist, whom I respect and admire. And I would like to know who edited the book! So, if you are an Obama fan, as I am, try to buy the book used or borrow it. I won't tell you not to buy it at full market price, because I did, and am really not sorry. I would have been hard-pressed to wait for the paperback edition. I give it 3.5 Stars for the writing and 4 Stars for the content.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    This book tells the story of a freshman senator with a funny name, and no money, and how he overcame insurmountable odds, hurdles, and obstacles to make a successful run for the presidency of the United States. Given the code name: Renegade by his secret service team, Barack Hussein Obama provides a series of exclusive interviews while on the campaign trail an up-close, ground level look into who he is in the public eye and during his private moments.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian Ayres

    I must admit that I voted and support Barack Obama, which might cloud the issue of why I read and enjoyed Richard Wolffe's analysis of his rise to power. However, Wolffe's book, while a touch long, is well-written and well-sourced and is not simply a blow-by-blow account of the 2008 primary and general election campaigns. Wolffe does steal a lot from Obama's two books, particularly Dreams from My Father, his autobiographical struggles with his racial identity. Wolffe uses Obama's words and exper I must admit that I voted and support Barack Obama, which might cloud the issue of why I read and enjoyed Richard Wolffe's analysis of his rise to power. However, Wolffe's book, while a touch long, is well-written and well-sourced and is not simply a blow-by-blow account of the 2008 primary and general election campaigns. Wolffe does steal a lot from Obama's two books, particularly Dreams from My Father, his autobiographical struggles with his racial identity. Wolffe uses Obama's words and experiences to illustrate just how Obama rose from Illinois obscurity to the presidency. Yes, Wolffe is a homer, having been given a dozen full-length interviews with Obama over the course of the campaign. I did find it a bit much when Wolffe continued to illustrate the literal emotions Obama evoked from senior staff like David Axelrod and Marty Nesbitt after speeches or rallies. But Wolffe does successfully show why Obama was a POLITICAL renegade. He did not wait in line after Hillary Clinton and took what he felt he could win. And he did it with his ideas and style. It is in this regard as to why Obama is angering those on the progressive left of the Democratic party, particularly by not overreaching on health care with a single-payer plan or upsetting teachers' unions by devising strategies to fire bad teachers. Don't let the Audacity of Hope rhetoric fool you. Obama is a realist and wants to keep winning. I like Obama not only for his ideas and intellect but because he was willing to turn pages on certain history, particularly the old tired arguments of the 1960s. While his win was truly historic and Wolffe's account amounts to a first draft, it is my hope that Obama's victory in 2008 will lessen the implicit biases of race and party. Call me naive, but isn't that what Hillary Clinton and John McCain called Obama until he won?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gary Charles

    Renegade This book is interesting because it actually put you in the shoes of the president, through everything. The pressure, the elections and the life as president. This book is detail in how things works in the white house. In this book there is only one main person I whould like to be and that is barrack Obama. Because it is a bibliography on one specific person it is hard to choose. When I read this book I felt somewhat inspired to try my best because reading this book makes you realize tha Renegade This book is interesting because it actually put you in the shoes of the president, through everything. The pressure, the elections and the life as president. This book is detail in how things works in the white house. In this book there is only one main person I whould like to be and that is barrack Obama. Because it is a bibliography on one specific person it is hard to choose. When I read this book I felt somewhat inspired to try my best because reading this book makes you realize that not everything in life is easy. The book showed how Obama was little living with his grandparents and how he had to work every day. But while working he still managed to have time for school. I complain all the time on how my life is so hard but this book showed me that my life is easy compared to what some people had to do because I know if I had to go through all the stuff that Obama did as a child I would not know how to handle it. My favorite line is actually a quote that Obama told to a group of students in Washington. He said “in school you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson” and I have never heard that quote before but when I read it I was somehow instantly connected and understood the message that he was trying to put out to the kids. When Richard Wolffe wrote this book his intentions was to educate people on political life and the struggles of becoming president. The part of the book that caught my attention was the part in the book when Obama became president. Well since the book was about Obama and his Life I could somewhat predict how the book would end and that him being president of the United States of America.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    Disappointing. I was expecting mostly a descriptive, behind the scenes narrative of the campaign. What I got was more of an argument, and a pretty oppressive one at that, for why President Obama is so awesome. A subset of that argument is most definitely how awful all the other options were (Clinton, McCain, former President Bush). It's fine to provide nuance or correct some misstatement propagated by Obama's opponents, but this was invariably followed by a dig at the aforementioned other option Disappointing. I was expecting mostly a descriptive, behind the scenes narrative of the campaign. What I got was more of an argument, and a pretty oppressive one at that, for why President Obama is so awesome. A subset of that argument is most definitely how awful all the other options were (Clinton, McCain, former President Bush). It's fine to provide nuance or correct some misstatement propagated by Obama's opponents, but this was invariably followed by a dig at the aforementioned other options. For example, Obama misspoke at an event -- but his misstep was NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD as the TERRIBLE, FOOLISH MISTAKE made by Senator McCain. Why is that necessary? Unsurprisingly, the author's bio on the jacket insert notes that he appears frequently on the Keith Olbermann show. The author does provide some amusing and/or interesting tidbits and stories that were at least new to me. "Interesting" is a relative term, though. I would not characterize this as a page turner. Also, the organization was thematic rather than chronological. (It wasn't difficult to follow because I followed the campaign, but it was choppy and might become more difficult for a reader as time passes.) Just further indication that the real point of this book is more to praise "the renegade," less to report on his story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Irfan

    This book is about a hero and his dream to make the best of his abilities. That hero is a hero of Americans and foreigners all around and certainly my hero. That person is Barack Obama. Richard Wolffe explains Obama and his dream in such an impressive way that it makes an Obama hater stop and admire a man as brave as him. I have always said to people all around that we are a point in our lives that history is being made in front of us. RENEGADE is the untold story of a poor person and his struggl This book is about a hero and his dream to make the best of his abilities. That hero is a hero of Americans and foreigners all around and certainly my hero. That person is Barack Obama. Richard Wolffe explains Obama and his dream in such an impressive way that it makes an Obama hater stop and admire a man as brave as him. I have always said to people all around that we are a point in our lives that history is being made in front of us. RENEGADE is the untold story of a poor person and his struggles into becoming the President of the world's most powerful nation.The story takes you behind the scenes of how Barack Obama managed to be so brave in his campaigns and how his moves turned out to be just right in becoming a leader.Due to his access to Obama within the campaigns, Richard Wolfe is able to tell the behind the scenes story of Barack Obama and his journey towards his president-ship. Out of this whole book, my favorite part would when Obama is told that he doesn't have to run for President but he stills wants to because as said by Richard Wolffe on Page 58 "Barack Obama's challenge was not making the decision: it was surviving and thriving in what followed." I would recommend everyone to read this book because it was a fun read for me. This was an amazing book that tells how Barack Obama became the first Black President of the United States of America.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I love Richard Wolffe. He and Keith have kept me nodding in agreement for years, it seems, and as soon as Keith mentioned this book, I knew I had to request it. It did occur to me that there is part of me that LIKES having Obama on a pedestal, because generally once I realize someone is flawed and human, it detracts a bit from my positive vibe, but in this case, reading the more human side of Obama than that carefully served up by the media and seeing behind some of the events I watched so close I love Richard Wolffe. He and Keith have kept me nodding in agreement for years, it seems, and as soon as Keith mentioned this book, I knew I had to request it. It did occur to me that there is part of me that LIKES having Obama on a pedestal, because generally once I realize someone is flawed and human, it detracts a bit from my positive vibe, but in this case, reading the more human side of Obama than that carefully served up by the media and seeing behind some of the events I watched so closely last year leading up to election just made me admire and respect O. more...and be incredibly glad that he is Prez. Anyone who like political campaigns, Obama, Richard, or Keith would like this one!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Perkimom

    Lord knows, I'm a huge fan, but while I learned new things here and there it was a struggle to finish and I'm headed to a trashy chick-lit novel as a reward. Lord knows, I'm a huge fan, but while I learned new things here and there it was a struggle to finish and I'm headed to a trashy chick-lit novel as a reward.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Where Game Change was a sprawling, often second-hand, account of all the major 2008 candidates, with Renegade, Wolffe provides the only total-access, first hand account of the Obama campaign. To my knowledge, no reporter during the election was a close to Obama as he was, as evidenced by the many conversations with the candidate/president that were quite candid, personal and detailed. While Wolffe's presentation can at times feel biased towards the Obama camp and so immersed in their campaign th Where Game Change was a sprawling, often second-hand, account of all the major 2008 candidates, with Renegade, Wolffe provides the only total-access, first hand account of the Obama campaign. To my knowledge, no reporter during the election was a close to Obama as he was, as evidenced by the many conversations with the candidate/president that were quite candid, personal and detailed. While Wolffe's presentation can at times feel biased towards the Obama camp and so immersed in their campaign that it almost feels as though he's part of the staff, it is still an exhilarating read, one I'd recommend to anyone interested in the inner workings of Obama's positive approach to politics. While the Kindle version of the book sports many grammatical and punctuation errors (especially the latter), the content, the timeline of the story and emotional impact are able to overcome such deficiencies. An entertaining and informative read

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Hanlon

    Interesting to see an outsider suggest that Obama was more self-directed than he professed in his memoirs and shocking to read of Hillary Clinton's wishes that Obama cover her 2008 campaign debts before dropping out of the Democratic primaries. A good look behind the curtain during the campaign. Interesting to see an outsider suggest that Obama was more self-directed than he professed in his memoirs and shocking to read of Hillary Clinton's wishes that Obama cover her 2008 campaign debts before dropping out of the Democratic primaries. A good look behind the curtain during the campaign.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    Enjoyed the book. It jumps though back and forth in time so some times I had to check the time frame I was reading about. Love following the journey.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John

    A detailed step by step story of his campaign trail. Not what I was expecting.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Reading Richard Wolffe's Renegade in the context of the last four years, instead of less than a year after Barack Obama's 2008 victory, helps one realize how pragmatic the then junior of Illinois really was in his political thinking even as he challenged the establishment. Throughout the book, Wolffe threads the narrative of the nearly two-year campaign with Obama's biography and life experiences to help give an informed view of Barack Obama and how he used those experiences to shape his campaig Reading Richard Wolffe's Renegade in the context of the last four years, instead of less than a year after Barack Obama's 2008 victory, helps one realize how pragmatic the then junior of Illinois really was in his political thinking even as he challenged the establishment. Throughout the book, Wolffe threads the narrative of the nearly two-year campaign with Obama's biography and life experiences to help give an informed view of Barack Obama and how he used those experiences to shape his campaign and political policies he used. But this book wasn't a glorification nor idealization of Obama himself nor was to a glowing account about how perfect his entire campaign was, as Wolffe shows Obama angry and frustrated like anyone who was campaigning for President of the United States and highlighted the small and large mistakes members of the campaign made. There were a few problems I had with the book, though both were how Wolffe decided to structure the material he presented and both played into one another. The transitions between Obama's personal experiences that helped shape him with the campaign issue that brought about said experience were not always ideal, which occasional resulted in some rough reading. Combined with this was that Wolffe would jump back and forth along the two-year timeline in which the campaign took place, though it was partly understandable as Wolffe wanted to give the whole narrative of the issue he was covering but then returning to earlier in the timeline with the next issue was a little jarring. Given both the positives and negatives this is a book I would recommend for anyone who seriously wants to understand how Barack Obama came to his policy views and how he changed from the junior senator from Illinois to major party nominee to President of the United States.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marti Lewis

    Finished reading this on 4th of July. I respect Richard Wolffe highly for his writing and reporting. I was going to skip this book, since I don't need a rehash of the campaign so soon after it. Then I heard a radio interview that got me interested. Indeed, a lot of this is a rehash for me, but it has some interesting points that were new for me. Wolffe explains how the slogan "Yes, we can" came into being after the Obama lost the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton. His managers didn't want Finished reading this on 4th of July. I respect Richard Wolffe highly for his writing and reporting. I was going to skip this book, since I don't need a rehash of the campaign so soon after it. Then I heard a radio interview that got me interested. Indeed, a lot of this is a rehash for me, but it has some interesting points that were new for me. Wolffe explains how the slogan "Yes, we can" came into being after the Obama lost the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton. His managers didn't want him to use this and didn't want to hear people at the rallies to change "Yes, we can." But he used it and they did chant. I do not respect that Wolffe (and many other journalists and TV talking heads) often refers to Obama's opponent's campaign as "the Clintons." In fact, I detest this cliche. He says, for example, that Obama would have to beat the Clintons. Sorry, but the Clintons were not a candidate. Hillary Clinton was. You'd think that no other candidate had the help of their spouse on the campaign trail. Huh? We know that Michelle Obama was very important to Barack Obama's campaign, as were the spouses of most of the candidates. Occasionally Wolffe drops the use of this "the Clintons" cliche. I suppose that most people who choose to read this book are Obama supporters. The only people who would find all of the campaign facts here as new would be those who had been living under a rock during 2007-2008.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fred Klein

    This book was supposedly induced by Obama's suggestion that someone should write a book along the lines of Theodore White's "Making of the President" series (1960-1972, 1980). After White stopped writing his excellent series (picking it up one more time for the 1980 election), Jules Witcover and Jack Germond wrote their excellent presidential election series (1976 (Witcover alone for this one), 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992). "Renegade" is not up to the standard of those books. For one thing, it only fo This book was supposedly induced by Obama's suggestion that someone should write a book along the lines of Theodore White's "Making of the President" series (1960-1972, 1980). After White stopped writing his excellent series (picking it up one more time for the 1980 election), Jules Witcover and Jack Germond wrote their excellent presidential election series (1976 (Witcover alone for this one), 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992). "Renegade" is not up to the standard of those books. For one thing, it only follows Obama and his team, neglecting McCain and his team. A true "Making of the President" book should address the strategies, mistakes, and high points of both sides. Even if this book was meant only to follow Obama, it is poorly organized. It jumps around in chronology so you lose track of where you are in time. Are we in Obama's formative political years? His time in the state senate? The primaries? The general election? The book jumps around without any reason for doing so. Finally, this book is an Obama lovefest. That's fine for campaign literature, but not for political analysis. I can't recommend this one except for political junkies. If you want a better account of the 2008 election, read Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz's "The Battle for America 2008" -- much better organized, covering both sides, and providing better insight, without going overboard favoring one side or the other.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Smith

    'Renegade' is marketed as the inside story behind the historic Obama campaign. I was excited to read it because I thought I would get some real dirt on all the candidates. Who's a bitch, and who's and even bigger bitch, right? Well sure, there was some of that. The tit for tat we all watched play out during Decision 2008 is replayed in good detail. We are also privy to specific incidences of childish behavior from John McCain, unexpected anger from VP Biden, and the full circle of emotions from 'Renegade' is marketed as the inside story behind the historic Obama campaign. I was excited to read it because I thought I would get some real dirt on all the candidates. Who's a bitch, and who's and even bigger bitch, right? Well sure, there was some of that. The tit for tat we all watched play out during Decision 2008 is replayed in good detail. We are also privy to specific incidences of childish behavior from John McCain, unexpected anger from VP Biden, and the full circle of emotions from Hillary Clinton. But what's good here is the personal stories. Wolffe really helps you get intimate not just with the Obama's but with Axelrod, Plouffe, Gibbs, Jarrett, and each of the President's closest advisers and friends who shared in his journey to the presidency. As a learning tool, 'Renegade' certainly provides excellent insight into how a successful Presidential campaign is executed. Obama's grassroots- bottom up strategy will be studied for years to come. And rightfully so. The record breaking funds his campaign raised gave them the flexibility counteract the negative ads against Obama not just from the McCain camp, but from the National Right to Life, NRA, and other conservative groups that attacked him at full force. A must read for anyone who seeks to truly understand the 44th President of the United States.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barron

    Sometimes, reading this book is like hearing Terry McAuliffe spin, if Terry was a spinner for the Obama campaign. Wolffe makes it his job to "debunk" even the most obviously true of the negative campaign narratives about Obama--witness his embarassing contention that "the media didn't get it" when Obama asked Iowa farmers if they'd seen the price of arugala at Whole Foods lately. It was "the pundits" (Newsweek writers excepted?) who were condescending to think that farmers didn't know what aruga Sometimes, reading this book is like hearing Terry McAuliffe spin, if Terry was a spinner for the Obama campaign. Wolffe makes it his job to "debunk" even the most obviously true of the negative campaign narratives about Obama--witness his embarassing contention that "the media didn't get it" when Obama asked Iowa farmers if they'd seen the price of arugala at Whole Foods lately. It was "the pundits" (Newsweek writers excepted?) who were condescending to think that farmers didn't know what arugala is... they didn't eat it, Wolffe admits, and the nearest Whole Foods was actually in Nebraska, Wolffe admits, and high arugala prices would actually be good for the farmers, but instead Wolffe hangs on and keeps spinning it like it wasn't a misstep for Obama. It's often enough to make one queasy. Nevertheless, the book has some good bits and some good insights; several things I hadn't heard before. (On the back, Gwen Ifill says EVERYTHING is something she hadn't heard before.) I'm sure the fawning tone is partly necessary in order to get the type of access Wolffe received. And anything that recounts the story of the Obama campaign as told by Tommy Vietor is going to make you want to vom, so that's in part just the price of admission.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The 2008 presidential election was a longer test of the candidates and nominees than any previous election, a trend that is sure to be repeated for most foreseeable presidential campaigns to come. I was one of the many college students enthralled by all the attention both sides were getting, but was particularly interested in the Democratic ticket because I felt there was really no chance for a Republican to win (even though Sen. McCain put forth a great effort). This book takes the reader insid The 2008 presidential election was a longer test of the candidates and nominees than any previous election, a trend that is sure to be repeated for most foreseeable presidential campaigns to come. I was one of the many college students enthralled by all the attention both sides were getting, but was particularly interested in the Democratic ticket because I felt there was really no chance for a Republican to win (even though Sen. McCain put forth a great effort). This book takes the reader inside the transformative campaign that then-Sen. Obama ran, looks into his diverse back-story before he turned to politics, and gives insight into the workings of the man in charge for the next four (or eight) years. The parallels between Obama's campaign and that of Robert Kennedy's is evidenced in the stories shared by voters across the country with the author (this one, thankfully, ending in a much more enjoyable fashion) and reminds me of Thurston Clarke's "The Last Campaign." A man who starts out as a neutral magazine reporter authors the book, but by the Afterword it is quite obvious he is no neutral party. I look forward to reading other (more neutral) accounts of what is to come from this President.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I enjoyed the book, it gave good insight into what the first campaign was like. However, reading it 4 years later, it makes me wonder how much more I would have liked if I had read it sooner after the first win than the second win, due to the questions it raises on how things went the 2nd time around and how closely he was able to have a presidency that similar to what he ran on. (I know there is plenty out there on that topic, but I want to hear it from his thoughts/perspectives) I didn't follo I enjoyed the book, it gave good insight into what the first campaign was like. However, reading it 4 years later, it makes me wonder how much more I would have liked if I had read it sooner after the first win than the second win, due to the questions it raises on how things went the 2nd time around and how closely he was able to have a presidency that similar to what he ran on. (I know there is plenty out there on that topic, but I want to hear it from his thoughts/perspectives) I didn't follow the news very closely while in school so don't know a great amount of detail about the second campaign. I enjoyed learning more about Obama the man, learning about his moral character and how he came to be the man he is today. I like re-living some of the events of the campaign as it enables me to remember what I was doing at the time. The only issue I had with the book was that I sometimes had a difficult time telling where I was in history, as this book does not follow a strict linear progression. Sometimes the author would be talking about the general election and then all of a sudden would slip back to the primary or to his senate campaign. All in all, a decent read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is the second book that I've read on the 2008 presidential election, with the other being Game Change. Buy on Amazon This book focuses on Obama and is less sensational. The journalist who wrote the book had close access to Obama from the announcement of his campaign for president to his first days in the Oval office. If you want to find an intimate and nuanced portrait of Obama and his inner circle, this is an excellent book. I thought the structure was interesting, in that it's not strictly i This is the second book that I've read on the 2008 presidential election, with the other being Game Change. Buy on Amazon This book focuses on Obama and is less sensational. The journalist who wrote the book had close access to Obama from the announcement of his campaign for president to his first days in the Oval office. If you want to find an intimate and nuanced portrait of Obama and his inner circle, this is an excellent book. I thought the structure was interesting, in that it's not strictly in chronological order. The writer jumps back and forth between the democratic primary versus Clinton and the general election versus McCain. I liked this structure during the book because the discussion on certain issues was more complete. However, there was no coverage of the voting on election night, only a brief section on Obama's acceptance speech. As a result, the tension in the book dies toward the end. That said, amazing detail and some quotes and insights that you won't see anyplace else.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kearney

    An insider's account from unknown to president. It's to the book's credit that Obama's future ineffectiveness in the Senate can be guessed at, When such pressure on one man is always felt. Consistent throughout the author state's his job was neither to raise him up nor tear him down. But this results in most things merely being hinted at, Which is unsatisfying when the problems are so glaring. Mainly winning on change then rehiring the same old faces that have been knocking around the halls of t An insider's account from unknown to president. It's to the book's credit that Obama's future ineffectiveness in the Senate can be guessed at, When such pressure on one man is always felt. Consistent throughout the author state's his job was neither to raise him up nor tear him down. But this results in most things merely being hinted at, Which is unsatisfying when the problems are so glaring. Mainly winning on change then rehiring the same old faces that have been knocking around the halls of the white house for decades. linked to this change is Obama the African-American, Except he's mixed race who lived with his white family before going on to do law at Harvard, Which hardly makes u feel proud at how far we've come. The author also state's he makes no apologies for his close observation of the candidate, Which comes across as an apology as I don't remember any close examination, In fact there isn't a lot here u can't find out from a goggle search. As is often the case in politics an insider's account isn't particularly revealing an informed outsiders account is what's really needed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    It was a really enjoyable read, but then I'm a fan of Barack Obama. It is more investigative-based, but I still found it to be pretty pro-Obama. The author throws in a couple of jabs at Republicans and Hillary Clinton, though they are centered around how their campaign were run, and since they did lose, I guess he was right in his negativity. The first chapters were interesting, because he wasn't really on my radar at the beginning of the election, so I liked seeing how it all started. The ending It was a really enjoyable read, but then I'm a fan of Barack Obama. It is more investigative-based, but I still found it to be pretty pro-Obama. The author throws in a couple of jabs at Republicans and Hillary Clinton, though they are centered around how their campaign were run, and since they did lose, I guess he was right in his negativity. The first chapters were interesting, because he wasn't really on my radar at the beginning of the election, so I liked seeing how it all started. The ending chapters were interesting in a different way, because I remember it all happening. It was cool to see it from an insider's point-of-view. My biggest complaint about the book was its structure. It was sort of chronological, but each chapter had a central theme. For example the chapter on failure was mostly about New Hampshire and Nevada, but it also drew on his failure in running for the House, and later failure in his presidential campaign. It felt like lots of parts were repeated as the author jumped forwards and backwards to pull out pieces that fit with the chapter's theme.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Micah Fretz

    This book was written by Richard Wolffe a journalist that followed Obama throughout the 2008 campaign. Wolffe does an amazing job of putting you in shoes of a presidential candidate and the grueling campaign full of up and down, the traveling, the all nighters, and the over all emotional and physical stress that one would go through. I diffidently learned at lot more how Obama grassroots campaigns were organized and the tidal wave that followed. I will have to admit I did not finish the book thou This book was written by Richard Wolffe a journalist that followed Obama throughout the 2008 campaign. Wolffe does an amazing job of putting you in shoes of a presidential candidate and the grueling campaign full of up and down, the traveling, the all nighters, and the over all emotional and physical stress that one would go through. I diffidently learned at lot more how Obama grassroots campaigns were organized and the tidal wave that followed. I will have to admit I did not finish the book though. I got half way though and I just couldn’t mustard anymore. Wolffe might have out done himself because I really felt like I was in the campaign that just kept going and going and going. After Obama won the democratic race with Hilary I just didn't have it in me to continue the battle with McCain. It's not that it was boring, I just kind of had that sensation that someone was sticking needles in my temples will I was trying to push through the rest of the book. I guess I would never make it through a presidential race! Good thing to know now! ;)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Warren

    Where Game Change was a sprawling, often second-hand, account of all the major 2008 candidates, with Renegade, Wolffe provides the only total-access, first hand account of the Obama campaign. To my knowledge, no reporter during the election was a close to Obama as he was, as evidenced by the many conversations with the candidate/president that were quite candid, personal and detailed. While Wolffe's presentation can at times feel biased towards the Obama camp and so immersed in their campaign th Where Game Change was a sprawling, often second-hand, account of all the major 2008 candidates, with Renegade, Wolffe provides the only total-access, first hand account of the Obama campaign. To my knowledge, no reporter during the election was a close to Obama as he was, as evidenced by the many conversations with the candidate/president that were quite candid, personal and detailed. While Wolffe's presentation can at times feel biased towards the Obama camp and so immersed in their campaign that it almost feels as though he's part of the staff, it is still an exhilarating read, one I'd recommend to anyone interested in the inner workings of Obama's positive approach to politics. While the Kindle version of the book sports many grammatical and punctuation errors (especially the latter), the content, the timeline of the story and emotional impact are able to overcome such deficiencies. An entertaining and informative read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joeji

    As a field organizer on the ground for Obama, I was excited to pick up a book about the stories I missed (sometimes you're just more concerned with everything right in front of you). I did not learn anything new from Wolffe's book, except a few anecdotes that I enjoyed. The "Barack X" chapter was particularly well handled and really contextualized Obama's thought and practice concerning race and African-American identity in the US. This book was a bit simplistic, a little too glowing, some of th As a field organizer on the ground for Obama, I was excited to pick up a book about the stories I missed (sometimes you're just more concerned with everything right in front of you). I did not learn anything new from Wolffe's book, except a few anecdotes that I enjoyed. The "Barack X" chapter was particularly well handled and really contextualized Obama's thought and practice concerning race and African-American identity in the US. This book was a bit simplistic, a little too glowing, some of the language is chunky, and is a bit long-winded. The pace of each chapter is a bit tiresome: starts a moment, falls back into the past, discusses the issues, then brings you up to date. However, it was a good quick read and I enjoyed it as a way to look back at the campaign with a little distance. A kind of "best of" reel.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.