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Jonathan Alter's 'The Promise: President Obama, Year One'

The Promise
President Obama, Year One
Jonathan Alter
Simon & Schuster, $28, 480 pp.

The “White House book” is an odd, if familiar, genre. Presidential administrations try to tell their stories through volumes like Bob Woodward’s Bush at War and The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House. These books could not be written without access to top officials. But the relationships between the close advisers of a president who is still in power and the journalists who wish to write about him are extremely unbalanced. The president’s most trusted and loyal...

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About the Author

Nick Baumann is the news editor for Mother Jones.