Believer – My Forty Years in Politics is David Axelrod’s memoir / political history of his work as a journalist from the age of 18, when he left New York City and moved to Chicago to go to school at the University of Chicago. Most of the book, though, is about his strong collaboration with President Barack Obama, that first presidential campaign, his two years on the White House staff, and the 2012 campaign.
He turns out to be a terrific writer, and is quite self aware – although in a way that is not necessarily self-revealing. His personal life gets the shortest shrift of all, which may be a generational / cultural problem. He obviously cares deeply, yet never spent much time with his family, which included a very ill daughter, until he left the campaigns and the White House behind.
But the details, stories, reminiscences with Barack are riveting. And he provides the whole picture, and often a lot of sides, to the story. They obviously suited each other well.
I loved the entire book, but especially the story from the moment Barack actually decided to run – 2007 – until that fateful November night when he took it all home – and filled Grant Park in Chicago to bursting. I was crying in front of the TV, as so many others were crying in the park.