Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry

Steven Rattner, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-547-44321-8
"A team of professionals who come together to do a job, execute it seamlessly, and then just as quickly go their separate ways" is Rattner's characterization of the people who oversaw the rescue of GM and Chrysler. He also says they're akin to "soldiers in wartime," and defends both descriptions. Rattner emphasizes how this team (which involved the Treasury, White House, and Detroit) saw their work as a public service, though staggeringly complex and potentially devastating to the economy. Beginning with the Bush Administration's decision to help the industry, and ending with the automakers emerging from forced bankruptcy, former New York Times journalist Rattner adeptly conveys the depth of the challenge, the hazards and pitfalls they faced, and their ultimate success. He keeps the narrative essentially factual, with few forays into the personalities around him; he eschews gossip and is admirably fair to all involved. Most surprising is his lively tone, clear narrative, and the skill with which he skirts minutia. Rattner believes in doing a good job and admires those who share this quality; his effort is a testament to people who do their best when called upon. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-547-57742-5
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-547-50456-8
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