The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden's White House and the Struggle for America's Future (Hardcover)

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The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden's White House and the Struggle for America's Future By Franklin Foer Cover Image
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The New York Times bestseller

Franklin Foer tells the definitive insider story of the first two years of the Biden presidency, with exclusive access to Biden’s longtime team of advisers, and presents a gripping portrait of a president during this momentous time in our nation’s history.

"You might love Biden or you might hate Biden, but either way, if you want to understand him, you will want to buy this book." —Politico

“A triumph of reporting.” — Geoff Bennett, PBS NewsHour 

“Deeply reported . . . a terrific read.” Chuck Todd, Meet the Press

“Fantastic . . . The first real insider account of the Biden White House and a fascinating read about Biden himself.” Jon Favreau, Pod Save America

On January 20, 2021, standing where only two weeks earlier police officers had battled with right-wing paramilitaries, Joe Biden took his oath of office. The American people were still sick with COVID-19, his economists were already warning him of an imminent financial crisis, and his party, the Democrats, had the barest of majorities in the Senate. Yet, faced with an unprecedented set of crises, Joe Biden decided he would not play defense. Instead, he set out to transform the nation. He proposed the most ambitious domestic spending bills since the 1960s and vowed to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, ending the nation’s longest war and reorienting it toward a looming competition with China.

With unparalleled access to the tight inner circle of advisers who have surrounded Biden for decades, Franklin Foer dramatizes in forensic detail the first two years of the Biden presidency, concluding with the historic midterm elections. The result is a gripping and high-definition portrait of a major president at a time when democracy itself seems imperiled. With his back to the wall, Biden resorted to old-fashioned politics: deal-making and compromise. It was a gamble that seemed at first disastrously anachronistic, as he struggled to rally even the support of his own party. Yet, as the midterms drew near, via a series of bills with banal names, Biden somehow found a way to invest trillions of dollars in clean energy, the domestic semiconductor industry, and new infrastructure. Had he done the impossible―breaking decisively with the old Washington consensus to achieve progressive goals?

The Last Politician is a landmark work of political reporting—which includes thrilling, blow-by-blow insider reports of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and the White House’s swift response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine—that is destined to shape history’s view of a president in the eye of the storm.

About the Author

Franklin Foer is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of World Without Mind and How Soccer Explains the World. For seven years, he edited The New Republic.

Praise For…

“How will the history of the Biden administration be written: as the turning point when America began to heal or as a hiatus between moments of deadlock and adversity? Franklin Foer’s The Last Politician, an account of Biden’s first two years in office, is the first draft of an answer. It has the makings of high drama. Crisis follows crisis . . . Foer’s book is above all a psychodrama of America’s political class.” —Adam Tooze, The New York Times Book Review

“Journalist Franklin Foer's new book, The Last Politician, tells the story of a presidency 50 years in the making, diving deep into President Biden's life and career. The book also explores the workings of Biden's current administration and searches for answers on who Biden really is behind the scenes.” —CBS News

“We’ve read every Biden book, and Foer’s is by far the best study of Biden since Richard Ben Cramer’s What it Takes. You might love Biden or you might hate Biden, but either way, if you want to understand him, you will want to buy this book.” —Politico

“Outstanding . . . The Biden presidency is a reminder of why politics matters, why political skills matter, including the dark, sometimes ugly arts of getting legislation passed, often through painful compromise.” —Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

“Finally–a hard, honest look at Joe Biden . . . Foer’s book is not hagiography, but it’s not hate-mongering, either. It’s an honest assessment of Biden as politician and president, his strengths and weaknesses, where he has delivered and where he has not.” —Bill Press, The Hill

“Compelling . . . [Foer] offers a more vivid and comprehensive rendering of the scenes we already knew, while introducing a few that we didn’t . . . provides plenty of discrete insights into the Biden presidency.” New York Magazine

“[M]eticulously researched and consistently insightful . . . In Foer’s retelling—based on nearly 300 interviews rather than cherry-picked news clips—Biden’s old-school virtues of political patience and flexibility have paid major dividends as he has pulled off a string of legislative victories on Capitol Hill almost worthy of Lyndon Johnson.” New Republic

“A triumph of reporting.” —Geoff Bennett, PBS NewsHour

“Deeply reported . . . a terrific read.” —Chuck Todd, Meet the Press

“Fantastic . . . The first real insider account of the Biden White House and a fascinating read about Biden himself.” —Jon Favreau, Pod Save America

“A detailed study of the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.” The American Prospect

“A really good read, lovely writing and great reporting . . . Highly recommended.” —Jake Tapper, The Lead with Jake Tapper

“Based on interviews with nearly 300 people in the inner circle of the Biden administration, as well as abundant published sources and government records, Atlantic staff writer Foer offers a brisk, detailed history of the president’s first two years in office, a crucial period that saw blunders and triumphs, deft maneuvering and lucky breaks . . . Overall, the author creates a respectful portrait of a savvy, dedicated politician.” Kirkus Reviews

“Drawing on interviews with policymakers and writing in whip-smart, evocative prose, Foer presents a canny insider’s account of Washington, full of backroom wrangling and posturing.” Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101981146
ISBN-10: 1101981148
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 432
Language: English