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David Runciman: City Government, 18 June 2020

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World 
by Rahm Emanuel.
Knopf, 256 pp., £20.89, February 2020, 978 0 525 65638 8
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... Some​ books appear at exactly the wrong moment, which only makes them more interesting. Rahm Emanuel was mayor of Chicago between 2011 and 2019. In short order he has turned out a boastful and boosterish account of his time in office, which also serves as his manifesto for a new way of doing politics. Emanuel believes that the world’s hundred leading cities generate the economic, intellectual and cultural energy of the planet ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Stirrers Up of Strife, 17 March 2016

... that Obama’s presidency, especially in the first term, was largely a third Bill Clinton term: Rahm Emanuel, Lawrence Summers, Tom Donilon, Leon Panetta, John Podesta and Hillary Clinton were called back and held over. The interlude of subsequent personal enrichment by Clinton, trading on her prestige and inside knowledge, has drawn attention in ...

Living the Life

Andrew O’Hagan, 6 October 2016

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency 
by James Andrew Miller.
Custom House, 703 pp., £20, August 2016, 978 0 06 244137 9
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... If you’re trying to win, then everybody else is the enemy, and Ovitz was never sentimental. Ari Emanuel, now CEO of William Morris Endeavor and the brother of Rahm Emanuel (Obama’s former chief of staff and now mayor of Chicago), once listened into a call his then boss was having with Ovitz. ‘It was the first ...

A History of Disappointment

Jackson Lears: Obama’s Parents, 5 January 2012

The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father 
by Sally Jacobs.
Public Affairs, 336 pp., £20, July 2011, 978 1 58648 793 5
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A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother 
by Janny Scott.
Riverhead, 384 pp., £18.99, May 2011, 978 1 59448 797 2
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... been deflated so swiftly. From the moment he announced his staff and cabinet appointments (Rahm Emanuel, Timothy Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates et al) it was clear that Obama meant to play by the same Washington rules that created the policy disasters he inherited from George W. Bush. Obama had retreated into politics as ...

America’s Non-Compliance

Gareth Peirce: The Case against Extradition, 13 May 2010

... of a long running legal controversy have reignited in the United States. ‘Of all the issues,’ Rahm Emanuel was told by the senior Republican senator for South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, ‘this is the one that could bring the presidency down.’ The ‘issue’ is whether and where to try several dozen Guantánamo prisoners, in particular Khalid ...

Magic Beans, Baby

David Runciman, 7 January 2021

A Promised Land 
by Barack Obama.
Viking, 768 pp., £35, November 2020, 978 0 241 49151 5
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... chief strategist David Axelrod and his press secretary Robert Gibbs, along with his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and economic adviser Larry Summers, both of whom were notoriously abrasive. ‘Knowing them as well as I did, I felt that as much as any of us growing up in America can be free of bias, they passed the test.’ Really? These men were his ...

Responses to the War in Gaza

LRB Contributors, 29 January 2009

... waiting to see what Barack Obama will do. My hope is that he is ring-fencing his new appointees (Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton) so he can intervene more forcefully to change the US’s unconditional support for Israel. But even if he were to do so early on, a single breach of any agreement by Hamas – even if, as most likely, provoked by Israel ...

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