Friday, 27 December 2013

Book Review: The Amateur (by Edward Klein)

In the summer of 2012, Edward Klein finished The Amateur.  I really didn't pick up on it's value or timing.  This past week, as part of my new e-book capability (yeah I eventually came around to it)....I read The Amateur.

Basically, it's the woeful story of a guy who charms his way into the President's office, hires people who are charmed by his character, then discovers that he's mostly a political candidate with no executive experience, no ability to listen to anyone but himself, and using the services of characters who just feel charmed by everything.  Sadly, it's the world we live in today.

The book lays out about two hundred individuals who have run through the White House, and kinda discovered that there is no true leadership connected to it.  It's a charming atmosphere and maybe the first couple of days were fake reality....but after a while....as Klein tells the story....it's just a empty suit situation.

The book is simple enough....lays out names and interviews.  Klein went and talked to lots of folks who sat in on a meeting or two....or actually were part of the apparatus for a while.  It's loaded with examples of bad management, bad leadership, and incompetent but important people in the White House.

Here's the thing.  After you read the book....ending with updates in the spring of 2012....you'd like to have a second book written at the end of eight years and tell the entire story.  You also end up with a bitter taste in your mouth over politics and the amount of deceit now involved in daily affairs.

As for the President?  I can understand now why companies and foundations are not jumping quietly up to offer seats on the board or positions within foundations to the President.  He hasn't won any favors, and likely will find a rough world in 2017 for him to exist in.  Maybe the pension deal is enough, and a handful of speeches a year....but I think he's mostly looking at the best years of his life.  Some idiot publisher might buy into a book deal or maybe even five books....but it's charity work for a guy who can't write, can't produce executive decisions, can't listen to advice, and can't be part of some team.

The book is worth reading.....just be prepared for a dismal feeling at the end.

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