This is a book about two men making the most consequential decisions in the world. One is the 44th president of the United States. The other is Ben Rhodes.
The World As It Is tells the full story of what it means to work alongside a radical, reforming leader; of how idealism can confront harsh reality and survive; of how the White House really functions; and of what it is to have a partnership, and ultimately a friendship, with a historic president. In these pages we see what is was like to enter an experience as big as this as a relatively normal person.
For nearly 10 years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the centre of the Obama Administration - first as a speechwriter, then as a policymaker, and finally as a multi-purpose aide and close collaborator. A young writer and Washington outsider, Rhodes was plucked from obscurity aged 29. Chosen for his original perspectives and gift with language, his role was to help shape the ideas and hopes of a nation.
Rhodes pulls the curtain back on the most tense and poignant moments of the Obama presidency, rendered in vivid, novelistic detail. We are there in the room - starting every morning with Obama in the Presidential Daily Briefing; 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; confronting the resurgence of nationalism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump.
This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama's worldview and presidency. It is an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade - but more than that, The World As It Is shows us what it means to hold the pen, and to write the stories that change our world.