Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Review: Game Change

I had signed up for the Non-Fiction Five challenge a little while ago and it seems to be serendipity because most of the books that have come in from the library in the past few weeks have been nonfiction books.  Let's start with book one, a hot book of the year that goes behind the 2008 Presidential Race.  Yes, that book.

Title: Game Change by John Heilemann & Mark Halperin

Summary:  In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton—and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama's partner and America's face to the world. The mercurial performance of John McCain and the mesmerizing emergence of Sarah Palin. But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of this spellbinding drama, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines has yet been told.

In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the country's leading political reporters, use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. How did Obama convince himself that, despite the thinness of his résumé, he could somehow beat the odds to become the nation's first African American president? How did the tumultuous relationship between the Clintons shape—and warp—Hillary's supposedly unstoppable bid? What was behind her husband's furious outbursts and devastating political miscalculations? Why did McCain make the novice governor of Alaska his running mate? And was Palin merely painfully out of her depth—or troubled in more serious ways?

My Review:  I am an admitted political nerd/junkie, so I know that probably affects my outlook on this book. But I loved it. It's like a mix of Gossip Girl meets the 2008 Presidential Election and I found the whole thing fascinating. And after reading it, I think it's a great book that could appeal to anyone, just for the sheer humanness of the whole thing. The psychology going on with the candidates and their messages.

It's broken up into three parts. Part one was the democratic primary, the largest section of the book, which is no real surprise as the the whole primary season was so different than anything my generation had ever witnessed. Part two is the Republican primary, which is the shortest section of the book, because aside from John McCain's "surprise comeback" there wasn't much to the Republican primary. The final section was the general election and focused a lot on Sarah Palin being chosen and how not only the Obama campaign would have to deal with it, but how the McCain camp would have to "handle" her.

Highly entertaining at parts. Highly enlightening...and mostly, for the most part, Each of those portrayed was exactly how I felt they came across in public.

Overall:  5 stars

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