Watch CBSN Live

"The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power," by James Mann

Jeff Glor talks to James Mann about "The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power"

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

James Mann: I started the book right after Obama's election.

I'd written a book (Rise of the Vulcans) about the way George W. Bush's foreign policy team dealt with the world, his Republican aides and their ideas. I wanted to study, in the same way, Obama and the Democrats.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

JM: The different generational perspectives of the Obama team -- the Vietnam generation, the generation of Democrats who came up in the 1990s under Bill Clinton, and the Obamians. It's not something I was looking for at the start; it was something that came up again and again as I reported the book.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

JM: I was about to start medical school, having taken a bare minimum of pre-med courses, when, before even starting, I took a leave of absense to try writing and reporting. I never went back.

It was a lucky, happy decision, for me and, I think, for the prospective patients I never had.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

JM: "Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin." It's a stunning piece of

history, the kind that gives an entirely new perspective on World War II, the Holocaust, the Nazis and the Soviets.

JG: What's next for you?

JM: I've been working on "The Obamians" for three years and am first going to take some time off. I have a couple of small writing projects, but haven't decided yet what the next major project will be.


Author James Mann explains for whom his new book is titled -- and how the "Obamians" differ from the foreign policy teams of previous administrations.
Former reporter, columnist and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, author James Mann talks about what the Obama administration was most surprised by, from a foreign policy perspective.

For more on "The Obamians" visit the Penguin Group website.

Jeff Glor

Jeff Glor has reported all over the world for CBS News since 2007. He was named anchor of the "CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor" in 2017.

View CBS News In