This is the first time I have been sufficiently impressed by a book that I have put a review up on Amazon, but this is a very good book which won't get reviewed in the UK. It should be obligatory reading for anyone interested in US politics, not least as it tells you a lot about the current election. I only wish ministers in the current UK government read it, as it explains in very easy language why their current policies aren't working, and won't work. But it also highlights areas of public policy like energy and transportation that we typically don't give enough sustained attention to until its almost too late. Obama did not let the economic crisis he was bequeathed go to waste. Its a shame we have.
Its true that the book is generally sympathetic to Obama and the stimulus, and therefore played to my particular prejudices. But generally the author's judgements are sound, and his careful approach contrasts starkly with the sometimes frankly deranged rhetoric of the Republicans. At times of crisis there is a need for an opposition to say "hang on, have you thought this through?", and proper conservatism is a perfectly respectable position to take. But the focus on tactics, automatic nay-saying and sheer carelessness about the way they put arguments shown by the Republicans in recent years is astonishing - and a bit frightening.
Anyway, if you are into this sort of thing, read the book. Its well-written and an enjoyable read.