Filling my need for political back-stories came in Jonathan Alter's book, The Promise.
Alter takes us through the first year of President Obama's first term. It isn't so in depth that you will become bored, but the pace kept me turning the pages.
As with many political books, I couldn't keep this on the end table. Whenever I would try to take a break, I was compelled to return to the story of Obama's presidency.
Alter plays the "all things equal" card fairly well. He points out some of the failures that took place under President Bush, while also giving him kudos for the things that worked. He calls Bush's presidency a failure and I would think that's a bit too soon to declare.
Alter is not afraid to point out the missteps and mistakes that Obama made. So this book shouldn't get either side angry.
You'll get to hear how President Obama feels about being a one-term President (a real possibility) and you'll understand why he put all of his political capital on big issue items like Health Care Reform and Finance Reform.
With his closest advisers telling him to wait a few months/years, President Obama wanted his legacy to be in reform.
Read this book to see how his first year dealt with angry Republicans, snotty Democrats and gain a little more respect for the office of President.