"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
I'm a political animal but I did not know much within the book. Most fascinating to me were the internal discussions in the campaigns, the development of strategy, and then the evaluation of whether the strategy was effective -- or in some cases whether it ever got tried.
If you have any interest in how candidates decide to run and get chosen by their parties, read this book.
While I followed the election closely in 2008, Heilmann and Halperin gave inside information from their many interviews with the actual actors in the 2008 Election Story! Loved every minute of this audio book.
Great behind the scenes telling of the 2008 Presidential election. The book is weighted more heavily on telling the Democratic story because of the rivalry between Obama and Clinton but a fair treatment of the GOP is done as well. Excellent coverage of the John Edwards fiasco of a campaign (I never knew Elizabeth Edwards was the way she is described in this book) as well as the challenges that Sarah Palin faced when thrust into the national spotlight. Dennis Boutsikaris does a fine job with the narration. I highly recommend this book. It doesn't present the story from a conservative or liberal point of view but seeks to just tell the story and allow the listener to form his/her own opinion which is refreshing.
The behind-the-scenes feeling that I hard while listening was different than other political books I have read.
Theodore White's book on JFK would be the closest because of an insider's look at political intrigue.
John McCain's complete ignorance of the what makes leader's great.
Extraordinary look at several campaign's efforts to win office
Great review of all the campaigns' efforts to win. Current movie only relates the story of how and why McCain lost. Bad judgment appears to be the downfall of many a man.
Production credits at the end of this recording identify companies rather than individuals. That may not be why there are so many obvious edits, mispronunciations and really, really cheesy cliches in the text, but the book and the recording evidence a rush to finish rather than an effort to create a lasting work of history.
Waiting until the second part of the book to begin talking about the McCain campaign leaves the first section feeling thin and perhaps biased. But the story focuses intently on the personal aspect of politics, how very small personal moments impact lasting decisions.
Hillary and Sarah Palin are both accused of being unbalanced; John McCain's and Hillary's daughters both receive negative comparisons to hookers; and guessing which of the two people in any particular conversation is the source for the authors is almost impossible to avoid.
It's a long ride, and you already know the way it turns out, but there are moments of real drama along the way and a number of new stories to boot. It's a shame the narration is as sloppy as the writing itself often is, but the rewards more than make up for the problems.
This book very well summarizes the Obama/Biden, Edwards, Clinton and McCain/Palin campaigns warts and all. It's nice to see truly fair and balanced information in the historical record of this campaign. Highly recommended for any news junkie, politico, historian, or journalist who really wants the inside scoop of the 2008 elections.
The book became boring after a couple hours of listening. Nearly all of this information is a retread of what's already been presented by the talking heads on tv or in mainstream media. I wish I hadn't wasted my credit.
Fascinating book. The author brings us behind the scene and gives us a much more personal views of all the candidates in 2008. Not only informative. but also entertaining.
this book kept me listening but it seemed to use the kid gloves when it came to Obama. everybody in the book was deeply flawed except for him
Well written, researched, interesting supermarket tabloid. Not Beautiful People of 2008, just one beautiful person now President, Barack Obama. His story was the main feature. Unfortunately other mentioned also-ran had the sort of intellectual and emotional flaws that kept them from the front cover. This book should become a classic example of what can be done to keep the mystic alive past the honeymoon first year.
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