Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Now a New York Times bestseller! If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this...Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders.But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican.Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a "White House official" is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon).Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is a promising debut from a savvy political star.
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9781455591251
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

AL_BRIDGET Oct 12, 2017

A breezy, interesting story that reads a bit like Mindy Kaling's memoirs mashed up with The West Wing.

Aug 30, 2017

Garbage. Totally unworthy of reading.
The writer tricked readers by her former job title, yet pity she has nothing to say in her writing.
Skip it!

PimaLib_NormS Aug 29, 2017

“Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?” by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler, is an amusing read about the author’s life, especially the years she spent as a staffer for John Kerry and Barack Obama. In my opinion, this book does not fall into the category of a “kiss and tell” memoir that so many people write after leaving such a high profile job. Rather, it is more like a collection of the author’s personal feelings and thoughts and experiences as a young woman in a series of stressful, high-impact positions, including working for the President of the United States. She is not shy about telling anecdotes that are personal, or that put her in a less than flattering light. And, I must say, the book seems geared toward female millennials. But, that’s okay. (I just turned and read those parts with my feminine, millennial side.) Mastromonaco writes of her triumphs and failures in an honest, open manner, as if she is speaking with an old friend. She never comes across like, “Hey look at me! I worked for the President!” All-in-all, this was an engaging look at life behind the political scenes, written by someone who worked behind those scenes.

Aug 28, 2017

Very interesting and also horrifying at the same time. The author is pretty arrogant but also has no trouble telling stories on herself. But to read this, in this day and age, and discover the breath-taking squandering of money and resources (3 million dollars to paint an airplane????) of which the author seems to have no awareness! It is pretty eye-opening and uncomfortable. If you didn't think we needed more rein on elections and politicians before, you will after reading this.

Jul 26, 2017

I really wanted to love this book, and maybe my hopes were set too high - I have to admit that I found it to be fairly sophomoric and lacking depth. While there are some nice moments, the entire books comes off as anecdotal; and I personally did not find the author's life story to be so interesting that it required its own book.

Jul 16, 2017

Probably the best book I've read for a long, long time. Just made me so proud to be an American, where adorable young women like this exist and can succeed. Her story is hilarious, the writing is addicting, and the way it makes you feel as if you can do anything is infectious.

I read this on the most boring cross country flight and didn't want to get off the plane until I was done. That's never happened, not even with David Sedaris. Speaking of David Sedaris, Alyssa is in that same lane: somewhat self-deprecating, mostly witty and perceptive, less family and more White House (not that much different, it turns out).

This book is really that good.

Jul 04, 2017

I thought this was a book about the Obama administration but it was about the authors career. So I got over my disappointment and enjoyed her personality but wished I had been able to read this when I was in my twenties and thirties. Good insight on what things matter when making career choices and she seemed ahead of the game in knowing herself.

Apr 25, 2017

Every member of the Drumpf Administration would benefit from reading this book

Apr 19, 2017

Heard the author in an interview on Terry Gross's Fresh Air - - she sounded typical of the mediocrities which abounded in the Obama Administration. She believed President Obama to be a grand fellow, and actually suggested the Timothy Geithner - - now with the oldest private equity/leveraged buyout firm in America, Warburg Pincus - - brought gravitas to his position as secretary of the US Treasury, due to his previous position as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which rather completely ignores the fact that Geithner was there when $8.7 billion of Iraqi oil funds went missing, supposed to have been kept on account at the FRBNY, and said Iraqi oil funds contract managed by Timmy Geithner's BFF, Daniel Zelikow, in his position as a managing director at JP Morgan Chase Bank. Funny how that works out like that. Also ignores the salient fact that Geithner, as head of the FRBNY, fired Prof. Schiller [author of Irrational Exuberance], a long-time advisor to the FRBNY, when Schiller suggested that their mortgage finance model should include the function of a shrinking housing costs scenario, as opposed to ONLY a raising housing costs scenario! Prof. Schiller was replaced with Peterson Institute stooge, Catherine Mann [is she the sister-in-law of Sen. Elizabeth Warren????] who speciously claimed that for every American job offshored, two jobs magically appeared here!?!?!

Apr 05, 2017

Ms. Mastromonaco gave a great interview on the "Make Me Smart" podcast. Definitely want to read this now.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further



Find it at SJCPL

To Top