Mr Grunwald’s heart plainly beats on the left, and it is clear that he admires Mr Obama, with his “hyper-rational side”. At the same time, the author does make some effort to explain the Republican point of view. The whole point of an economic stimulus is that it is supposed to stimulate. It needs to move money out of the door fast, get it quickly to where it can do most good and not carry with it a tail of long-term spending commitments. But Mr Obama’s agenda was always much bigger than that, and it is in explaining this that Mr Grunwald’s book is at its best.