The World as It Is - Ben Rhodes

The World as It Is

By Ben Rhodes

  • Release Date: 2018-06-05
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 4.5
From 248 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From one of Barack Obama’s most trusted aides comes a revelatory behind-the-scenes account of his presidency—and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive.

“The closest view of Obama we’re likely to get until he publishes his own memoir.”—George Packer, The New Yorker  


For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration—first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Briefing, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. Now he tells the full story of his partnership—and, ultimately, friendship—with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.
Rhodes was not your typical presidential confidant, and this is not your typical White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail by someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most poignant, tense, and consequential moments of the Obama presidency—waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, and confronting the resurgence of nationalism and nativism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump.

In The World as It Is, Rhodes shows what it was like to be there—from the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and—above all—Barack Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama’s worldview and presidency, a chronicle of a political education by a writer of enormous talent, and an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade.

Praise for The World as It Is

“A book that reflects the president [Rhodes] served—intelligent, amiable, compelling and principled . . . a classic coming-of-age story, about the journey from idealism to realism, told with candor and immediacy . . . His achievement is rare for a political memoir: He has written a humane and honorable book.”—Joe Klein, The New York Times Book Review


  • LOL funny

    By Aldo Bender
    The world as they wish it were, the story of the Obama years...
  • Thank You

    By Wink-N
    Phenomenally well written book that allows the public to view the peaks and valleys that come with a working in the White House. It is very clear that you and your team operated with the highest moral integrity, and for that I say thank you.
  • He was there, he knows

    By Brkthom
    Although neither a thriller nor always captivating, this story gives you a thoughtful inside look at the Obama presidency. Having finished, I feel better about the 8 years of President Obama’s time in office, less let down. More hopeful about the arc of progress.
  • Stunning

    By Allezvita
    What a fantastic read. I am so glad that the behind the scenes hard work of the Obama administration is being told. This is a thoughtfully written purposeful memoir that is an essential part of US history.
  • Quite a journey he had

    By shermworm
    To be honest, I expected a more profound overall experience. It’s more of a travelogue of 8 years serving Obama. There are plenty of interesting passages that make the book well worth the read and there are moments that are inspired and, dare I say, profound. Interestingly the beginning and the end of the book are the containers for the truly elevated prose that makes you imagine that it was written by the guy who wrote so many extraordinary speeches for Obama.
  • The World as it is

    By liberalforever
    Great behind the scenes look at the Obama presidency. I found the personal story fascinating. Good read about a two term presidency.
  • Encouraging

    By Ellipsical
    I thoroughly enjoyed Ben’s book chronicling his time with President Obama. Thoughtful, interesting and thought provoking. Recommended.
  • First Class Page-Turner

    By GigaPan
    Desperately looking for a positive political book .... I found it .... Ben Rhodes book about President Obama.