Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
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The former deputy chief of staff to Barack Obama presents an intimate portrait of the president while sharing candid advice for young women professionals.
Publisher: New York :, Twelve,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781455591251
1455591254
Characteristics: 1 online resource (viii, 248 pages) : illustrations (chiefly color)
Additional Contributors: Oyler, Lauren - Author
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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d
dani_lacey
Oct 23, 2017

A quick read that provided some fun anecdotes, but was at times underwhelming. Alyssa Mastromonaco ran the White House during the Obama years and it's clear that she has a deep passion for what she does. But, while I'd hoped to learn more about the nuts and bolts of what it was like to work in such a busy, high-stakes, high-pressure environment, I instead got a more intimate story, focusing on her own failings and successes.

It's not terrible, but when I'm hoping to read about what it's like working for POTUS during events such as the economic recovery, Hurricane Sandy and the fight to pass ObamaCare, I don't really want to read stories about getting a tampon machine installed in the bathroom, getting diarrhea while meeting the Pope or taking a cat to the hospital.

Also, unlike other memoirs, this book was organized more by themes rather than chronologically. I haven't decided how I feel about that. One the one hand, it did actually do a much better job at keeping me interested in story. It never felt like we were just reading her resume. It was confusing at times, however.

No matter how I felt about the book, it was nice to go back to a time when we had a president who was intelligent, eloquent and compassionate. It was nice to go back to a time when we had a president. Sigh.

AL_BRIDGET Oct 12, 2017

A breezy, interesting story that reads a bit like Mindy Kaling's memoirs mashed up with The West Wing.

l
lulusbook
Aug 30, 2017

Garbage. Totally unworthy of reading.
The writer tricked readers by her former job title, yet pity she has nothing to say in her writing.
Skip it!

PimaLib_NormS Aug 29, 2017

“Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?” by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler, is an amusing read about the author’s life, especially the years she spent as a staffer for John Kerry and Barack Obama. In my opinion, this book does not fall into the category of a “kiss and tell” memoir that so many people write after leaving such a high profile job. Rather, it is more like a collection of the author’s personal feelings and thoughts and experiences as a young woman in a series of stressful, high-impact positions, including working for the President of the United States. She is not shy about telling anecdotes that are personal, or that put her in a less than flattering light. And, I must say, the book seems geared toward female millennials. But, that’s okay. (I just turned and read those parts with my feminine, millennial side.) Mastromonaco writes of her triumphs and failures in an honest, open manner, as if she is speaking with an old friend. She never comes across like, “Hey look at me! I worked for the President!” All-in-all, this was an engaging look at life behind the political scenes, written by someone who worked behind those scenes.

b
bobgrant
Aug 28, 2017

Very interesting and also horrifying at the same time. The author is pretty arrogant but also has no trouble telling stories on herself. But to read this, in this day and age, and discover the breath-taking squandering of money and resources (3 million dollars to paint an airplane????) of which the author seems to have no awareness! It is pretty eye-opening and uncomfortable. If you didn't think we needed more rein on elections and politicians before, you will after reading this.

k
KatG613
Jul 26, 2017

I really wanted to love this book, and maybe my hopes were set too high - I have to admit that I found it to be fairly sophomoric and lacking depth. While there are some nice moments, the entire books comes off as anecdotal; and I personally did not find the author's life story to be so interesting that it required its own book.

i
Indoorcamping
Jul 16, 2017

Probably the best book I've read for a long, long time. Just made me so proud to be an American, where adorable young women like this exist and can succeed. Her story is hilarious, the writing is addicting, and the way it makes you feel as if you can do anything is infectious.

I read this on the most boring cross country flight and didn't want to get off the plane until I was done. That's never happened, not even with David Sedaris. Speaking of David Sedaris, Alyssa is in that same lane: somewhat self-deprecating, mostly witty and perceptive, less family and more White House (not that much different, it turns out).

This book is really that good.

l
lilypad_1
Jul 04, 2017

I thought this was a book about the Obama administration but it was about the authors career. So I got over my disappointment and enjoyed her personality but wished I had been able to read this when I was in my twenties and thirties. Good insight on what things matter when making career choices and she seemed ahead of the game in knowing herself.

0
0041865999X
Apr 25, 2017

Every member of the Drumpf Administration would benefit from reading this book

s
StarGladiator
Apr 19, 2017

Heard the author in an interview on Terry Gross's Fresh Air - - she sounded typical of the mediocrities which abounded in the Obama Administration. She believed President Obama to be a grand fellow, and actually suggested the Timothy Geithner - - now with the oldest private equity/leveraged buyout firm in America, Warburg Pincus - - brought gravitas to his position as secretary of the US Treasury, due to his previous position as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which rather completely ignores the fact that Geithner was there when $8.7 billion of Iraqi oil funds went missing, supposed to have been kept on account at the FRBNY, and said Iraqi oil funds contract managed by Timmy Geithner's BFF, Daniel Zelikow, in his position as a managing director at JP Morgan Chase Bank. Funny how that works out like that. Also ignores the salient fact that Geithner, as head of the FRBNY, fired Prof. Schiller [author of Irrational Exuberance], a long-time advisor to the FRBNY, when Schiller suggested that their mortgage finance model should include the function of a shrinking housing costs scenario, as opposed to ONLY a raising housing costs scenario! Prof. Schiller was replaced with Peterson Institute stooge, Catherine Mann [is she the sister-in-law of Sen. Elizabeth Warren????] who speciously claimed that for every American job offshored, two jobs magically appeared here!?!?!

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