West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House

Edited by Gautam Raghavan. Penguin, $17 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-14-313329-2
Former West Wing staffer Raghavan brings together an engaging and at times uplifting collection of firsthand accounts from all levels of the White House staff during the Obama administration. Contributors include a seasoned political operative who served as the President’s domestic policy advisor, the White House pastry chef, and the West Wing receptionist. These heartfelt and earnest essays often track the staffers’ unlikely paths to the White House, such as that of the White House social secretary, who started as an “older, nontraditional community college student” and then won a coveted internship. Other pieces focus on the administration’s losses and wins, such as passing immigration reform and ill-fated military operations, showing the rewards and frustrations of life in the White House. A few key moments of the Obama presidency, such as the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, are discussed multiple times, but each narrative adds another perspective. As one contributor recalls, “President Obama chose individuals with deep empathy and diverse upbringings that brought unique perspectives into his White House.” This memorable collection of essays, which shares those diverse and empathetic perspectives on behind-the-scenes events, will appeal to those who remember the Obama administration fondly. Agent: Cindy Uh, Thompson Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-525-50506-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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