Mark Halperin, political director of ABC News, and John F. Harris, the national politics editor of The Washington Post, tell the story of how two families, the Bushes and the Clintons, have held the White House for a generation, and examine Hillary Clinton's prospects for extending this record in 2008. The Bushes and Clintons have dominated because they are the premier political innovators of their age; each family closely studies the other's successes and failures, and uses these lessons to shape its own strategies for winning elections and wielding power.
George W. Bush's strategic genius is Karl C. Rove, arguably the most influential White House aide in history. Halperin and Harris cut through the myths and controversies surrounding Rove, revealing in brilliant, behind-the-scenes detail what he actually does and his trade secrets for winning elections.
For the Clintons, the chief strategist is Bill Clinton himself. Drawing on their 15 years of reporting on and interviewing him, Halperin and Harris deconstruct and decipher the Clinton style, identifying techniques that all candidates can use in their pursuit of the White House.
On the brink of what will be one of the most intense and exciting presidential elections in American history, The Way to Win is the book that armchair political junkies have been waiting for. Filled with peerless analysis and eye-opening revelations from the trenches, it is a must-listen for everyone who follows American politics.
©2006 Mark Halperin and John F. Harris; (P)Tantor Media, Inc.
"The book's comprehensiveness should make it a lasting piece of scholarship; an in-depth, indefatigable examination of American media and politics at the turn of the millennium." (Publishers Weekly)
This very "inside baseball" account of the authors' take on modern American political strategy and the role of the media in this contest is informative, clever and ultimately depressing.
This book is very much of a piece with the new paradigm of political life: politics and governing as all-out war.
The authors mainly analyze Bill Clinton, Karl Rove and George W. Bush's tactics and strategy in winning elections and defeating their opponents. I can't imagine they have left a stone unturned in this effort, and it is mostly entertaining and informative. Their cynicism and vague air of superiority might wear a little thin for you after 15 plus hours of listening. It did for me. The book is ultimately worthwhile for it's insight into the modern American political and media realities, and it's dissection of the "freak show" (the new media mavens such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh et. al.) is insightful and richly deserved. This would have been an even better book with more editing and a modicum of respect for the institutions being reported on and the individuals vying for control of those institutions.
I thought this was certainly one of the better books i have listened to. First, the audio is great, probably the best I have experienced to date (have listened to about 15 books). I might be able to do without the Clinton impersonations, but they were pretty darn good.
I found the topic fascinating, especially given the upcoming elections. Basically this is a look at the way modern media is affecting national elections. About 1/2 way through the book, I thought this was the best book I had listened to yet, but I agree with the other review that after a while, it seems like they are repeating themselves a lot. while the book is supposed to center on Clinton and Bush, in fact, it seems that 75% of the book is on Carl Rove, whereas I found the parts about Clinton more interesting. In this way I wish they would have done more to contrast and compare the two distinct styles these last two "winners" used. also, I wish they were more frank about the fact that they would not be writing this book if about 200 votes in FL had gone the other way in 2000. All in all though, I thought it was fascinating and a joy to listen to.
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