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The Center Holds

Obama and His Enemies

From the bestselling author of The Promise, the thrilling story of one of the most momentous contests in American history, the Battle Royale between Obama and his enemies from the 2010 midterms through the 2013 inauguration.

In The Center Holds, Jonathan Alter provides the first full account of America at the crossroads. With exclusive reporting and rare historical insight, he pierces the bubble of the White House and the presidential campaigns in a landmark election that marked the return of big money and the rise of big data. He tells the epic story of an embattled president fighting back with the first campaign of the Digital Age.

Alter relates the untold story behind Obama’s highs and lows, from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound to the frustration of the debt ceiling fiasco to his unexpected run-ins with black and Latino activists. Alter takes us inside Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s Boston campaign as well as Obama’s disastrous preparation for the first debate. We meet Obama’s analytics geeks working out of “The Cave” and the man who secretly videotaped Romney’s infamous comments on the “47 percent.”

The Center Holds deepens our understanding of the Obama presidency and the future of the country.

Photograph © Molly Alter

Jonathan Alter is an award-winning historian, columnist and documentary filmmaker. An MSNBC political analyst and former senior editor at Newsweek, he is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies; The Promise: President Obama, Year One; and The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope.

“Highly informed, energetically reported…. Alter gives us a lucid picture of the toxic, highly partisan political environment in which today’s controversies are occurring.”

– The New York Times

“Alter's book abounds in such peeks inside the competing campaigns…excellent reporting.”

– Los Angeles Times

“A calm, virtuoso work of journalism. Alter brings a clear eye to recognizing both the shortcomings and the victories of the 2012 Obama campaign and the administration before and after the election…. one of the best books about our befuddling, original, American version of democracy.”

– The New York Daily News

“Common-sense politics devolve into a season of craziness in this engrossing account of the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign. Journalist Alter follows up his bestselling The Promise: President Obama, Year One with a savvy dissection of the 2010–2012 election cycle and related political dogfights.…Lucid, entertaining, and alive to the reality behind the posturing, Alter’s report reveals the high stakes and far-reaching import of the 2012 decision.”

– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

More books from this author: Jonathan Alter