"This shit would be really interesting if we weren't in the middle of it."--Barack Obama, September 2008
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?
Game Change answers those questions and more, laying bare the secret history of the 2008 campaign. This is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel.
©2010 John Heilemann and Mark Halperin; (P)2010 HarperAudio
Although the narrator could not properly pronounce the name of Obama's daughter, the stories from behind the scenes of multiple presidential campaigns was fascinating. The talk shows did not cover the best parts of this book. I was most interested in how decisions were made and why. FASCINATING!
Great reading. The book gives great texture to the campaigns. Well balanced and well written. It makes the candidates more human. What comes out of it is the distaste one has for the preying media. Candidate responses were more driven by how the media would reacte and cover it...rather than how the voters would reacte.
A fascinating tail of life on the campaign trail at the highest level of American politics. The authors pull back the curtain, and allow us a glimpse inside the campaigns inner sanctum. A cast of ego-maniacs full of self doubt, loathing, and a manic drive to reach the heights. If you are at all interested in politics you must read this book.
I couldnt put this book down! It was great to hear what the insides were thinking and dealing with during one of the hottest campaigns in the 21st century! I def would have liked to hear more about the McCains although I know everyone wants to hear about the Clintons.
Its hard to make a pancake so flat that it only has one side but the authors seem to have done it. I loved their research and attention to detail and for giving us such an intimate glimpse into the private lives and character of some modern high profile politicians. I just find it a little hard to believe that all the politicians they researched were so flawed, profane, lacking basic civility or so stupid and incompetent except for one... "The Anointed One"(TAO). They accurately criticize the free ride the press gave TAO in the campaign and then do the exact same thing in their book. Is America this hard up for leaders that there was only one choice for a moral, competent person without baggage last time around? Where are the modern Washingtons, Lincolns, Jeffersons, Adams, or my personal modern favorite, Truman? What does it say about the moral strength of a democracy that can't produce decent, competent leaders? The book made me feel sad for a country that I love that seems to have lost it's moral compass. I think its a must read but I don't believe the authors were honest in there portrayal of TAO... I hope I'm wrong and he really is that good and perfect of a person as the book says he and his family are. Heaven knows that's what we need in the White House.
Being Canadian, watching American politics from the sidelines, is often like watching a sideshow in a circus, as politics in the USA is a somewhat different animal than what we are used to.
The narration was done beautifully first off, and the story behind the Obama election with all the personalities involved was more than interesting.
The authors of Game Change have brought the best and worst of the most well known political figures to the table; McCain, The Clintons, Sarah Palin, and of course Obama in all his glorious arrogance. The thing I found most interesting was how "human" the authors portrayed these politicians. Their failings, their fears, going deep inside their personal lives, and just how vulnerable they are, or can be. These are faces of these people that one doesn't see in TV soundbites or when they are delivering speeches. I applaud the author in this regard, because literally nothing was held back, including the decision making which affected the nation at large. How President Obama finally had Hilary Clinton agree to take over the Sec of State position, after she vehemently told him no. Or how and why McCain chose the loose cannon in Sarah Palin as a running mate, when he had unbelievably qualified and capable people who may have changed the course of history for McCain had he selected them. The stories are raw, the dirt seems real. I enjoyed the book thoroughly and if there is an interest in President Obama and his politics, or how he climbed to the echelon of American politics while steamrolling over his opponents, this book is recommended.
Game Change is such an engrossing look at the behind-the-scenes of the 2008 presidential election. The book brought to life what we the American public saw splashed on the screen lo those many months.
The other book I would compare Game Change to is Conspiracy of Fools by Eichenwald because of the richness and depth of the reporting and the painstaking measures which the authors took to tell the whole story.
Love Dennis Boutsikaris. His intonations and his vocal fry when reading quotes from Bill Clinton - priceless. I could listen all day and all night. The best!
The personalities is what I thought was most interesting. The insecurities and the back-and-forth. I just loves it all.
Narrator had a nice voice BUT!! If you're reading fiction, it's fine for the narrator to pronounce given names as he/she wishes. But when you're dealing with real places (Kissimmee) and public figures (Malia Obama, Senator Bayh, (I forgot the name he botched in Part 1), it is totally unprofessional and disrespectful to not find out the proper way to pronounce a name properly. I doubt I would listen to another book narrated by him.
I would listen to this book again because its gripping descriptions as well as narrative structure tells an interesting true story in a suspenseful format.
The most compelling aspect of this narrative is finding out new information about the central characters. It is so very interesting because I remember this election. It was the first election I could legally vote in, so I felt I had a part in it. Thus, learning about the megalomania of John Edwards, the careless disorganization of John McCain, the tenacity of Palin, the confidence of the Clintons, and the genius of Obama had significant purpose since I felt I was getting to know these familiar people on a new intimate level.
I have not listened to any other Dennis Boutsikaris's performances, but this does not mean that I didn't have an opinion of his voice. A voice, when considering an audiobook or hip-hop song, is central to the work. It is a key to setting the tone and expressing the ideas of the work. When I started listening to this book, I didn't favor Boutsikaris's voice; however, as I progressed in the book, I found his voice to be charming, slightly changing his delivery for each new character.
I particularly loved the moment when Obama decided he and his team needed to move from his slump in October 2007. He moved his troops by admitting all had been off, including himself and acknowledged all of them wanted to win the election. Obama's staff had to also face the truth of their current losing state. Thus, Obama proposed changing things and he humbly inspired his staff. It was triumphal moment.
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