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January 14, 2011

Richard Wolffe

Richard Wolffe discusses Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House


Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome journalist and MSNBC political analyst RICHARD WOLFFE for a conversation about what he considers a defining moment in the Obama presidency. His new political biography is Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House.

Richard Wolffe drew on his unrivaled access to the West Wing to write a natural sequel to his campaign biography, Renegade: The Making of a President. He traces an arc from near death to resurrection that is a repeated pattern for Obama, first as a candidate and now as president. Starting at the first anniversary of the inauguration, Wolffe paints a portrait of a White House at work under exceptional strain across a sweeping set of challenges: from health care reform to a struggling economy, from two wars to terrorism.
Revival is a road map to understanding the dynamics, characters, and disputes that shape the Obama White House. It reveals for the first time the fault lines at the heart of the West Wing between two groups competing for control of the president’s agenda. On one side are the Revivalists, who want to return to the high-minded spirit of the presidential campaign. On the other side are the Survivalists, who believe that government demands a low-minded set of compromises and combat.
At the center of this story is a man who remains opaque to supporters, staff, and critics alike. What motivates him to risk his presidency on health care? What frustrations does he feel at this incredible time of testing?

About Author(s)

Richard Wolffe is an award-winning journalist and political analyst for MSNBC television, appearing frequently on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Hardball with Chris Matthews. He covered the entire length of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. Before Newsweek, Wolffe was a senior journalist at the Financial Times, serving as its deputy bureau chief and U.S. diplomatic correspondent. He lives with his wife and their three children in Washington, D.C.