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Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime | [John Heilemann, Mark Halperin]

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.
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Publisher's Summary

"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

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  •  
    Kitty Pittsburgh, PA, United States 04-04-12
    Kitty Pittsburgh, PA, United States 04-04-12

    Cranky elderly writer/copy editor

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    "Totally guilty pleasure"

    OK, to start with, the whole book is deep background, which means you'll just have to take the authors' words that they're giving you the straight scoop. The story never drags and it effortlessly keeps its cast of hundreds clear in the head of the reader/listener.

    It's a totally glib piece of maybe-faux-reportage but eerily enchanting in a gossipy train-wreck kind of way that I love every minute of though makes me feel dirty afterwards. (Admittedly, I have ambivalence issues.)

    Boutsikaris is just pitch-perfect, the only unabashed 5-stars I can give, hinting at the cadences of the better known speakers without flat-out imitating them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Wiliamstown, NJ, USA 03-03-10
    Jason Wiliamstown, NJ, USA 03-03-10

    Avid history and fiction/non-fiction fan.

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    "Fascinating!"

    I love going through a book and getting the notion that I am somewhat normal when compared to the characters. Behind all of the glitz and media-hype, the politicians are just normal people, with common faults and shortcomings (so more than others). The size and depth of some of the egos mentioned defy imagination. All I can add further is given what is described in the book, I am glad the election turned out the way it did and fear for 2012.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Wu 02-19-10
    Allison Wu 02-19-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Narrator"

    I'm not a person who likes politics. I would say I probably will never read this book but I love this audiobook. It's narrated in a very intriguing way such that people who like to listen to stories would love this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flavius Morro Bay, CA, United States 01-25-10
    Flavius Morro Bay, CA, United States 01-25-10 Member Since 2009
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    "An Exciting Ride"

    This fun, fast-paced book does a great job of covering some of the "inside baseball" during the 2008 Campaign. The authors have done their homework.

    All authors have biases, and Heilemann and Halperin are no exception. I think they make an earnest, journalistic effort to be objective, and largely they're successful.

    The most nuanced and multi-faceted character in the book is Hillary Clinton: sometimes conniving, protective mother, earnest crusader, spiteful pol, dismissive in victory, gracious in defeat, beloved statesman, mistrusted reminder of the Clinton Administration.

    Great book.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    space nutty PacNW 01-21-10
    space nutty PacNW 01-21-10

    nutty4space

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    "Interesting"

    After following the 2008 elections closely I was eager to read/listen to this book. Didn't get much - most of it I'd heard or read about in gossip articles & from following the process. Covers the behind the scenes of the democrats side in detail but not as much on the republican side.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael East Windsor, NJ, United States 01-15-10
    michael East Windsor, NJ, United States 01-15-10
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    "Compelling & frank"

    It was an election of historical proportion, the authors cut through the veneer and found the core of the historical events and people, revealing both their strengths and weaknesses. Maybe it's payback for their combined betrayal of their staff? But John Edwards and wife seem like MacBeth. McCain is revealed as boxed in with most every choice presented and Obama riles everyone for being cooler then the other side of a pillow.

    32 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Pound Ridge, NY United States 11-09-11
    peter Pound Ridge, NY United States 11-09-11

    A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.

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    "Disappointed"

    I actually FORGOT I had read this book and downloaded it twice! And maybe that says it all...what is happening now is so much more ridiculous that anything that happened on the journey the liberals took getting here that I have glazed over. The Edwards trial and the ultimate wriggling worm will be far more fascinating than this book and...in real time...so there is more to come.

    Most will enjoy it but it has seen its best days; short half life, no staying power...humdrum now.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 06-04-10
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 06-04-10 Member Since 2007

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

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    "Great perspective"

    I followed the election with attention to the smallest details, yet these two authors managed to find things I'd heard nothing about. This book doesn't set out to be a flattery piece. It does reveal truths. In many cases, the truth is not pretty.

    The way they captured personality nuances of the major players is significant. It's more than McCain's daredevil, Palin's whatever, Hillary's determination and Obama's calm. How it played out day-to-day amidst a grueling campaign is fascinating. It's interesting if you like the nitty gritty of politics and want to understand some of the human motivation behind the headlines.

    I came out of the book with newfound appreciation for the strengths of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That they were able to find a way to work together and become friends is amazing.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 12-16-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 12-16-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

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    "great book about the 2008 election"
    What made the experience of listening to Game Change the most enjoyable?

    well, i liked the outcome which was very much to my liking. that effected the way i felt about the book. i think conservative republicans may feel very different.




    Who was your favorite character and why?

    obama of course. but palin was an interesting piece of work.


    What about Dennis Boutsikaris’s performance did you like?

    yes he did a good job reading the book. he has a good voice for audio books.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    i think i read it in four sittings. but i read most of the second half in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    there were so many "incidents happening in that election i do wish the debates were covered more comprehensively.

    it is a good read if you are a obama supporter. i am and i thoroughly enjoyed the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Sterling, VA, United States 06-10-12
    Beth Sterling, VA, United States 06-10-12
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    "Very interesting"

    I thought this was an extremely unbiased examination of what happened during the 2008 presidential election. Very interesting story -- well researched. Even though I knew "how it turned out" I discovered there was a whole lot I did not know.

    Highly recommend -- regardless of your political persuasion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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