Journalist Chris Whipple takes us inside the Oval Office as the critical decisions of Biden's presidency are being made. With access to nearly all of Biden's inner circle, including Chief of Staff Ron Klain and other senior officials, Whipple pulls back the curtain on the internal power struggles and back-room compromises.
How Whipple measures the president’s progress... matters a bit less than Whipple’s own accomplishment: publishing a serviceable second draft of history less than two years after Biden took the oath of office ... At its best, Whipple’s comprehensive approach adds dimension to the news stream ... At its worst, the book’s iterative structure feels like scrolling a dated Twitter timeline in which the vaccination drive is defeating Covid-19, and Biden’s effort to curb climate change is doomed to failure ... Whipple shines when, like the documentarian he is, he lets people talk ... For any future writer eager to describe Biden’s first two years, this will be the book cited first and most often. Those eager to really understand the historic impact and import of the Biden presidency, however, will likely require a sequel.
Whipple... [is] really not here to wrestle with complexities. He’s traveling the well-worn path of a reconstructed narrative based on insider accounts — a methodology that’s been widely discredited in recent years, as political operatives have grown ever more savvy at manipulating it ... As for the actual writing, the book generally reads like a capable AI rendering of the formulaic reconstruction ... Reading The Fight of His Life, I became convinced that Whipple actually had a better book in his voluminous notes.
Though Whipple’s friendships within the Washington press corps prevent him from saying so, this is a book-length rebuke of the incompetence of legions of reporters who have persistently underestimated this extraordinary president.