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Grace audiobook

Grace audiobook from Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter Cody Keenan, is a spellbinding account of the ten most dramatic days of the presidency.

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Grace Audiobook Summary

From Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter Cody Keenan, a spellbinding account of the ten most dramatic days of the presidency, when a hate-fueled massacre and looming Supreme Court decisions put the character of our country on the line, and a president’s words could bring the nation together or tear it apart.

A white supremacist shooting and an astonishing act of forgiveness. A national reckoning with race and the Confederate flag. The fate of marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act. GRACE is the propulsive story of ten days in June 2015, when Obama and his chief speechwriter Cody Keenan composed a series of high-stakes speeches to meet a succession of stunning developments.

Through behind-the-scenes moments–from Obama’s suggestion that Keenan pour a drink, listen to some Miles Davis, and “find the silences,” to the president’s late-night writing sessions in the First Family’s residence–Keenan takes us inside the craft of speechwriting at the highest level for the most demanding of bosses, the relentlessly poetic and perfectionist Barack Obama. GRACE also delivers a fascinating portrait of White House insiders like Ben Rhodes, Valerie Jarrett, Jen Psaki, and the speechwriting team responsible for pulling it all off during a furious, historic stretch of the Obama presidency–including a gifted fact-checker who took Keenan’s rhetoric to task before taking his hand in marriage. GRACE is the most intimate writing that exists on the rhetorical tightrope our first Black president had to walk, culminating with an unforgettable high point: Obama stunning everybody by taking a deep breath and leading the country in a chorus of “Amazing Grace.”

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

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Grace Audiobook Narrator

Cody Keenan is the narrator of Grace audiobook that was written by Cody Keenan

Cody Keenan rose from a campaign intern in Chicago to become chief speechwriter at the White House and Barack Obama’s post-presidential collaborator. A sought-after expert on politics, messaging, and current affairs, he is a partner at leading speechwriting firm Fenway Strategies and teaches a popular course on political speechwriting at his alma mater Northwestern University. He lives in New York City with his wife Kristen and their daughter Gracie.

About the Author(s) of Grace

Cody Keenan is the author of Grace

More From the Same

Grace Full Details

Narrator Cody Keenan
Length 8 hours 20 minutes
Author Cody Keenan
Publisher HarperAudio
Release date October 04, 2022
ISBN 9780063274457


The publisher of the Grace is HarperAudio. includes the following subjects: The BISAC Subject Code is 21st Century, History, United States

Additional info

The publisher of the Grace is HarperAudio. The imprint is HarperAudio. It is supplied by HarperAudio. The ISBN-13 is 9780063274457.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews


October 23, 2022

Cody Keenan, chief White House speechwriter for Obama, has managed to write a feel-good, gripping, human history/memoir, complete with a tight plot centered around mass killings and other high-stakes events as well as his own story of grappling with imposter syndrome, meeting his wife, and being a privileged white kid working for the nation’s first Black president. This book has everything, and the title Grace reverberates with multiple meanings: it defines Obama’s style, but it also defines this book—Keenan’s humility and awe at the position he finds himself in.The plot follows ten consecutive days, centered around writing a eulogy of Pastor Clementa Pinckney who was one of the nine victims killed during Bible study at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. However, concurrently the Supreme Court is making landmark decisions on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and marriage equality for LGBTQ people. By backtracking to previous events, Keenan skillfully weaves an enormous story of the art of dealing with nuance—the mandate of a speechwriter for the leader of the free world to tell the truth (Keenan’s wife is a take-no-prisoners fact-checker on the staff) and also consider all the different sensitivities, beliefs, and responses of all the different audiences. An impossible tightrope trek that Obama demands and walks himself.This memoir is an education in the complexity of politics. But at the heart of everything is Grace. Even the most heinous events have their almost inexplicably divine moments—such as when the survivors of the Charleston, SC, Emanuel AME Church mass shooting confronted the white supremacist killer with mercy. Over and over these acts of our “better angels” take your breath away and remind you what politics, public service, activism, and humanity can be.


June 27, 2022

I started reading this book the day Roe vs. Wade was overturned. It made reading this book even more emotional and devastating. This book focuses on ten days of President Obama’s last term of office through the lens of his chief speechwriter. The three big events that were happening in this ten days were the upholding of the ACA, gay marriage becoming the law of the land and the shooting in Charleston. There is so much hope in this book yet we still have so far to go.I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the publisher which has not affected my review


September 09, 2022

Well, this made me cry multiple times. Grace follows a very interesting and emotional 10 day span during Obama’s presidency through the eyes of his chief speechwriter Cody Keenan. The time that this book focuses on was the period in June 2015 between the horrific mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina where 9 Black people were killed and the funeral for Clementa Pinckney where Obama delivered the eulogy and sang Amazing Grace. But in that same time period the future of the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage were due to be decided by the Supreme Court. Keenan, along with a team of other speechwriters, had to plan multiple speeches for massive events, preparing for any possible outcomes. I think this book does a great job of showing the behind the scenes of the day to day activities of a presidential speechwriter. But it also excellently shows the emotional toll of having to write speeches for numerous mass shootings and funerals over the years. There’s a sense of having nothing left to say, but then still coming up with an amazing speech nonetheless. Seeing the way that Obama would work with the speechwriters and edit what they had written was really interesting. The way that Keenan wrote this book almost made it feel like a novel at times, it’s really easy to picture the different scenarios and get caught up in the narrative. Pulling all nighters, only having the title staring back at you from the top of a blank page, sadness and anger, celebratory joy, the White House lit up in rainbow lights. This book has so many moving and relatable moments. I flew through this in less than a day. Definitely check it out if the subject sounds interesting to you!Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


October 24, 2022

God, I miss him.


October 09, 2022

Thank you NetGalley and Mariner Books for accepting my request to read and review Grace. Author: Cody KeenanPublished: 10/04/22Genre: Biographies & Memoirs - Nonfiction (Adults) - PoliticsFrom intern to chief speechwriter for Barack Obama we get the sense and work behind the speeches the president gives. Keenan also explains the reason and the process of fact checking. In addition, he touches on why speechwriters are used. As a writer, he had to move quickly and several of the ten days he covers are mass shootings. No two speeches can be the same, and they have to be sincere. I was intrigued by the process and how important President Obama took each word. It was impressive. As Keenan reiterates conversations I could hear Obama's voice. I particularly enjoyed hearing about riding in Air Force One, and the facts on the Presidential motorcade, and the discipline of Obama's diet and alcohol intake. I thoroughly enjoyed the snippets of stories, on monumental days, I remember living. Hearing President Obama's chats as relayed through Keenan were insightful. There is profanity. I would gift this to a student, there is a lot to learn here. It's cleverly written, sincere and heart warming. It's a fast read for smart people.


October 15, 2022

i met Cody yesterday and we talked about taylor swift AND the book is very good so 5 stars


July 17, 2022

Through many dangers, toils and snaresWe have already comeT'was Grace that brought us safe thus farAnd Grace will lead us homeThis book encompasses these lyrics beautifully. I feel like our country needs this reminder of how far we did come and how it all unraveled...but how we must keep working for change. I loved this book. I have to admit that I am a big West Wing junkie and this book gave all the inside workings of speech writing in the White House, but was very smart to focus on one big speech and create the threads of the book around that speech and that defining week in the administration, and reliving other big moments in the 8 year Obama Administration in the context of the speech. It usually takes me a while to work through nonfiction, but I completed this book in record time for me...it was gripping and so very poignant. Thank you, Mr. Keenan and thank you, President Obama for your service to this country and your heart for its people! 5 enthusiastic stars.Thank you for the ARC for my honest review!


May 09, 2022

i have literally read like maybe four nonfiction books my entire life that i've actually liked. make it five now.


November 02, 2022

I recently watched a video clip from a John McCain rally in 2008 where he politely but decisively shut down attendees spouting wild and racist conspiracies about Barack Obama. He went on to say while the two of them might disagree on policy he has great respect for Obama as a person. I have not been able to get that clip out of my head in these weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm election. 2008 was not that long ago as far as actual time passing, just 3 presidential election cycles have since passed, but it also feels like a nostalgic time and a world that can barely be remembered. This simple act of humanity and professionalism would never happen at this point. At best we can only hope candidates will stand idly by when faced with dangerous conspiracy theories rather than do the work of starting or actively endorsing them. All that to say Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America was a balm to my weary soul. Set during possibly the most monumental 10 days of Obama's presidency, a short time period which saw a hate fueled massacre of Black Americans at worship, SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality and health care access via the Affordable Care Act, and ending with a historic speech from President Obama, Grace takes us behind the scenes through the eyes of Obama's chief speech writer Cody Keenan. Keenan offers unique perspective both on the inner workings of communication for a presidential administration, what it's like to lead during such a tumultuous time, and also what it's like to be a speech writer for one of the greatest orators of our time. I found it all very interesting and impactful. Keenan's story cut through all the cynicism and dysfunction of politics to remind me there are good people doing good work within our institutions. It made me feel hopeful. Highly recommended.


October 14, 2022

The history of Presidential speeches is a specialized genre. This work is exceptional in that the author is/was the speechwriter for President Obama. He discusses several Presidential addresses, but gives particular attention to Obama’s speech following the mass shooting in Charleston, SC, in June, 2015. Presidents can give verbalization to national emotions and thoughts in such times. This very fine book, history and memoir and confessional, reminded me of the importance of such moments and how I have missed them.


December 06, 2022

The number of times I cried should be it’s own metric, honestly.


December 26, 2022

This book is incredible. I give it 5 stars because I use my internal rating system of “am I talking about this to everyone I know?” YES. It was like a real-life West Wing but way better because it’s true. I loved Cody’s take on his colleagues and the president and the country as a whole. I loved the optimism and realism. I loved the epilogue and cried because of how dark it was and cried because of how beautifully it ended. I think everyone should read this.


October 29, 2022

Grace was a good book. The book examines the relationship between Obama and his speechwriter. It tells the story of the ten days that shaped his presidency.

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