cover image A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama

A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama

Michael D’Antonio. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-08139-1

D’Antonio (Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success), a Pulitzer-winning journalist, turns his attention here to President Obama’s “policy achievements, moral successes, and historical significance,” addressing multiple areas of accomplishment, among them the rescue of the automobile industry and the nuclear-arms agreement with Iran. Focusing on the challenge of a Congress profoundly hostile to the president, D’Antonio guides the reader through the complex process of passing landmark legislation such as the Affordable Care Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. D’Antonio is partisan in that he admires Obama, but as befits a distinguished reporter, his assessments, while not neutral, are certainly balanced. Obama’s controversies and the failures are faced as well: the fights over the Keystone XL pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Solyndra debacle, the unfinished dismantling of Guantanamo. Nearly 50 graphs and charts, on subjects such as the growth of alternate energy sources, troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, and generational views of homosexuality further illuminate the subject, and occasional achievement lists serve as shorthand reminders. D’Antonio’s work is further enriched by accounts from people and communities quite outside the Washington Beltway. (Jan.)