Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? - Alyssa Mastromonaco & Lauren Oyler

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

By Alyssa Mastromonaco & Lauren Oyler

  • Release Date: 2017-03-21
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 316 Ratings


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.


  • The BEST!!!

    By Aleja Coneja
    Great read.
  • Playful, fun insight into politics

    By The Blind Acorn
    Enjoyed this book. Playful, funny, and humble stories!
  • A pleasant read.

    By RiccoV
    I actually enjoyed her story, though it seems very self-congratulatory. And I agree, burn those pants. They make your butt look huge!
  • Fun read

    By ManikRa
    This book did a great job balancing perspectives from high pressure situations to the more fun and human aspects of campaigns and governments. Highly recommend it.
  • Save $

    By Doni Zoladz
    I had high hopes and was surprised that is was awful...even at the low price I should have waited till I was free.
  • Shrummie

    By DDBandita
    This book is absolutely a must read! Inspirationally hilarious and tugs at my heart strings. Rip sweet kitten!
  • Very good read.

    By Steve 1218
    After reading this I found myself hoping and praying that we haven't seen or heard the last from Alyssa. I wish her all the best.
  • I was onboard until the lengthy emergency bloody tampon story

    By Robert Hawks
    So, uh, no. But always read the previews!
  • Fun, insightful read

    By Dahudson1
    Really enjoyed seeing an honest, funny behind the scenes look at government and public service. A great blend of humor, personality and self revelation. Definitely recommend!
  • Who Thought This Was A Good Idea

    By PhByRe
    Unlike so many "insider" stories, this one pays homage to the incredible position the writer held in the White House. While sharing in the fun insider stories, the reader never loses sight that the writer realizes that she was in a most privileged position to see history being made. It is also a book of empowerment, exemplifying that (nearly) anything is possible.