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A difficult, turbulent, or troublesome period of time or undertaking. This administration has gone through some rough sledding over the last year, but the president is determined to regain the trust and support of the American people. Even some of the wealthier areas of the country must brace for rough sledding as fresh austerity measures come into effect on the heels of the IMF bailout. The book can be notoriously rough sledding, but if you're able to stick with it, it is in fact a most rewarding experience.