The World as It Is (audiobook)

A Memoir of the Obama White House

Read by Mark Deakins, with prologue read by Ben Rhodes
15.8 hrs • 13 CDs • Unabridged
Nonfiction/Political Science
Target Audience: Adult
Release Date: 06/05/18
Library CD Library Edition CD titles are packaged in an attractive, full-sized, durable vinyl case with full color art. Cloth Sleeves keep compact discs protected and in numerical order. 
- 06/05/18 9781984827838
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New York Times bestseller

From one of Obama’s closest aides comes a revelatory, behind-the-scenes account of his presidency—and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive—in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.

For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration—first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Brief, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency—and kept much of it to himself. Now he tells the full story of his partnership—and, ultimately, friendship—with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.

Rhodes was not your normal presidential confidant and this is not your normal White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail from someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most consequential, tense, and poignant moments of the Obama presidency—waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, confronting the resurgence of nationalism and nativism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump.

Rhodes pulls back the curtain on what it was like to be there—from the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and—above all—Barack Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama’s worldview and presidency, and an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade.

Review Quotes

This stylish, beautifully written political memoir…Ben Rhodes steps into the river of history and charts a course through some of the most significant and alarming landscapes of our times. In this meditation on storytelling and power, Rhodes helps make sense of the bewildering times we currently inhabit.”

Colum McCann, New York Times bestselling author

“A page-turning, unfiltered, altogether human look at Barack Obama’s presidency. Ben Rhodes—one of Obama’s closest and most important advisors—opens up the defining issues of the presidency…Insightful, funny, and moving, this is a beautifully observed, essential record of what it was like to be there.”

Samantha Power, former US diplomat to the United Nations

“Many frustrations and a few victories emerge in this sometimes hopeful, often disillusioned memoir..Rhodes records triumphs as well, including the thawing of relations with Cuba, which he helped negotiate, and the nuclear agreement with Iran. Much of the book is an insider’s perspective on Obama as he strategizes in the Situation Room, fences with Putin on the hotline, and broods on Air Force One…Well-observed and riveting.”

Publishers Weekly

Ben Rhodes is one of the most brilliant minds and powerful storytellers I’ve ever known. In The World as It Is, he doesn’t just bring you inside the room for the key moments of Obama’s presidency, he captivates you with the journey of an idealistic young staffer who becomes the president’s close friend and advisor—a journey that both cynics and believers will find riveting and hopeful.Jon Favreau