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

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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.


MORE VIDEO:

Author James Mann explains for whom his new book is titled -- and how the "Obamians" differ from the foreign policy teams of previous administrations.
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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.
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For more on "The Obamians" visit the Penguin Group website.