Magazine February 20, 2017, Issue

Mythical President

(Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)
Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy that Will Prevail by Jonathan Chait (HarperCollins, 272 pp., $27.95)

This is an author’s nightmare: to spend years building the momentum of an idea for a book, researching and writing said book, consulting on key points with friends and associates, dealing with agents and editors and all the rigors of the publishing process — only to have your book arrive just as its central thesis is dashed against the sharp rocks of reality.

You are likely familiar with examples of this authorial dark night of the soul: James K. Glassman and Kevin Hassett’s Dow 36,000 (1999), Sam Tanenhaus’s The Death of Conservatism (2010), and Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb (1968).

There is now

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


Cyberia Luke Thompson’s piece on cybersecurity was quite illuminating (“Our Failed Cybersecurity Policy,” January 23). His view that cybersecurity is not politically savvy and thus becomes an issue only after a ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We do not expect to miss Barack Obama, but we wish he’d give us a chance. ‐ Ronald Reagan first imposed the “Mexico City policy,” which blocks foreign-aid money from ...
Politics & Policy


TWILIGHT A blazing sun caught in the trees Attempts to set, but branches mesh And hold the globe. Those rays they seize Should now have been in Marrakesh. We are just little figures there, Absorbing errant ...


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