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Book Review: The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes


“Progress doesn’t move in a straight line.” ― Ben Rhodes, The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House

4.5*****

Fellow fans of Pod Save America will recognize Ben Rhodes from his many visits to the podcast, others will know his name as that of Obama's Deputy Security Advisor and confidante. The World As It Is is sold as Rhodes memoir, but it is really more the story of the way his life wrapped around the eight years he worked in the White House. This Book is very well written and though long, engaging from start to finish. It is strange, because before Trump won the election, I basically never read non-fiction and since then, I have been reaching for books in the genre ever more often. I really enjoyed this book even as I felt melancholy that it was working towards what I saw as a sad ending, Obama leaving office. Though Rhodes is undeniably very fond of Obama and has great respect for him, he does not shy away from mentioning times the president was annoyed or frustrated and the fact that Rhodes personal life suffered from the all-consuming role he played in the White House. This book gives great insight into situations no ordinary person will likely ever witness, and I was left impressed, feeling greatly more informed than before, and very sad that Barack Obama, a thoughtful leader, prone to contemplation, and who valued diplomacy, has been replaced by his complete opposite. An absolutely worthwhile read!

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