NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • What if you lived out the drama of your twenties on Air Force One?
“[This] breezy page turner is essentially Bridget Jones goes to the White House.”—The New York Times
RECOMMENDED READING theSkimm • Today • Entertainment Weekly • Refinery29 • Bustle • PopSugar • Vanity Fair • The New York Times Editors’ Choice • Paste
In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein is working five part-time jobs and just scraping by when a posting on Craigslist lands her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama’s stenographers. The ultimate D.C. outsider, she joins the elite team who accompany the president wherever he goes, recorder and mic in hand. On whirlwind trips across time zones, Beck forges friendships with a dynamic group of fellow travelers—young men and women who, like her, leave their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president.
As she learns to navigate White House protocols and more than once runs afoul of the hierarchy, Beck becomes romantically entangled with a consummate D.C. insider, and suddenly the political becomes all too personal.
Against a backdrop of glamour, drama, and intrigue, this is the story of a young woman learning what truly matters, and, in the process, discovering her voice.
Praise for From the Corner of the Oval
“Who knew the West Wing could be so sexy? Beck Dorey-Stein’s unparalleled access is obvious on every page, along with her knife-sharp humor. I tore through the entire book on a four-hour flight and loved reading all about the brilliant yet hard-partying people who once surrounded the leader of the free world. Lots of books claim to give real insider glimpses, but this one actually delivers.”—Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada
“Dorey-Stein . . . writes with wit and self-deprecating humor.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Addictively readable . . . Dorey-Stein’s spunk and her sparkling, crackling prose had me cheering for her through each adventure. . . . She never loses her starry-eyed optimism, her pinch-me wonderment, her Working Girl pluck.”—Paul Begala, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With the backroom drama of The West Wing and the unapologetic frankness of Sex and the City, Beck Dorey-Stein’s memoir offers a rare glimpse into the life and loves of a presidential staffer. Whatever your political allegiance, you’ll find her refreshingly candid story a fascinating window into the D.C. singles scene. Dorey-Stein’s rise from cocktail waitress to White House transcriber is improbable, but she has a talent for making the utterly remarkable—a first-day flight on Air Force One, running treadmills with Obama—appear just as relatable as her many relationship woes.
In this hilarious memoir, Dorey-Stein gives an insider's glimpse into the White House from her perch as Barack Obama's stenographer. In 2012, 25-year-old Stein responded to a Craigslist advertisement to be a stenographer at a law firm; the "law firm" was the White House. On her first day on the job, she overpacked and needed to empty the contents of her bag to find her recorder while flying on Air Force One: "Oh, dear God, my travel-sized hair straightener in its little travel-sized hot pink silk bag looks like a vibrator! Jay Carney thought I was talking to him, on Air Force One, with a vibrator in my hand." When she forgets her underwear for another overnight, she notes, "Today, I'll be traveling commando with the commander in chief." Dorey-Stein traveled with the president's envoy across the world to Cuba, Mexico, India, and Saudi Arabia and to all corners of the U.S. As Dorey-Stein became accustomed to living aboard Air Force One, she began an affair with a man in the president's inner circle. What follows is pure tragicomedy, and Dorey-Stein writes with honesty and panache about her fun job and her eventual heartbreak. It's thrilling to get a front-row seat to the Obama White House, and she has stayed on with the Trump administration, where the "West Exec parking lot is no longer filled with Priuses and Chevys but with Porsches and Maseratis." Beltway gossip hounds will hope to hear more from Dorey-Stein.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved the book
I feel sorry for the author.
I wish I could give this zero stars. A nobody gets the job of a lifetime and then craps on the people who actually deserved to be there. Have some respect BECK.
Why sell yourself short?
When the author is describing moments like her Marine One experience and the Newtown memorial, she shines. I loved the insight into arguably one of the coolest jobs in (unarguably?) the coolest administrations in history. But I can’t help wonder how much grander, more fun, more worthwhile her experience (and this book) would’ve been had she not allowed herself to be (let’s face it) swindled by a man who cared nothing about her (or other women, for that matter). In addition to her self described mood and feelings of worth, her writing greatly suffers when she’s blinded by these men (plural) who do not “see” her. Imagine if she’d gone in, flexed her intelligence and laughed in the face of these idiots, and focused solely on her job rather than being hustled. I give this 2 stars for the aforementioned moments of brilliance but I honestly hate the story.