Political Books

Understanding Obama

Brian Abrams, author of Obama: An Oral History, joins Chris Riback for a discussion on the Obama years — and how understanding them are critical to understanding politics today.

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Thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode.

Spicer Contradicts Trump on Manafort’s Role

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer has a new book in which he contradicts President Trump’s assertion that Paul Manafort played a minor role in the presidential campaign, the Guardian reports.

Writes Spicer: “Paul brought a much-needed maturity to the Trump campaign when it needed an experienced political professional operative more than anything else. There was no semblance of a campaign structure, just a few, distraught, overworked people constantly barking into their phones. Paul immediately set up and staffed the political and communications operations necessary to take on the Clinton machine.”

He added: “The Manafort message was clear: Trump will be our nominee and our next president, and anyone who didn’t want to work to that end could spend the next four years in political Siberia. (No Russia pun intended.)”

‘Game Change’ Authors Feuding

“Until their split last year, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann were the golden boys of American political journalism. Their collaboration led to a best-selling book about the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change, which became an Emmy-winning HBO movie, which led to lucrative reporting and TV deals for Halperin and Heilemann at Bloomberg News, Showtime and NBC News,” the Washington Post reports.

“But ever since Halperin’s career imploded amid sexual harassment allegations last fall, the two men have gone from partners to adversaries.”

“For months, Heileman, 52, and Halperin, 53, have engaged in negotiations over material that was to be part of a follow-up Game Change book and TV miniseries about the 2016 presidential campaign. Halperin appears to hold the key to the project: Notes and transcripts of interviews with Donald Trump and his campaign advisers and staff… The two men have been unable to agree on a price for Halperin’s material, which has made it impossible for any project based on it to go forward.”

The Case Against Impeaching Trump

Out this week: The Case Against Impeaching Trump by Alan Dershowitz.

New York Times: “Mr. Dershowitz seems to be reveling in his pariah status, pointing to it as proof that he is committed to defending constitutional principles that transcend partisan politics. He joked in an interview that he is going to ask his publisher to release a ‘Martha’s Vineyard edition’ of the book sheathed in a brown paper bag, so that bashful but curious residents can ‘hide it and read it in the privacy of their homes.'”

Obama Memoirs Flood Bookstores

New York Times: “Nearly a year and a half after Mr. Obama left office, his team is back in the arena, or at least in the bookstores, with a blitz of roughly two dozen memoirs of their time in the White House, telling tales, settling scores, justifying mistakes, selling nostalgia, setting the record straight, attacking successors and spinning history.”

“Everyone who ever spent even a few minutes with Mr. Obama, it seems, has penned a volume of reminiscences, postcards from a less head-spinning era. The authors include his top foreign policy advisers, his communications gurus, his intelligence chief, his photographer and even the stenographer who recorded his every public utterance. All of that before the former president and first lady weigh in with their own well-compensated autobiographies.”

The Fifty-Year Fall of America

Steven Brill, author of Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall — and Those Fighting to Reverse It, joins Chris Riback on Political Wire Conversations for a discussion on what’s wrong with the United States.

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Thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode.

H.R. McMaster Shopping a Book Proposal

“Former National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is shopping a book around to publishers, his agent confirmed to BuzzFeed News, becoming the latest figure in the Trump orbit to seek to cash in on the surging appetite for politics books.”

“Publishing industry sources say they have heard about the project, though it’s unclear whether the proposal would be a memoir or something else. Book publishers have been eagerly searching for Trump books in recent months, particularly in the wake of the success of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and former FBI Director James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty.”