One of the nation's most acclaimed journalists, The New York Times' Mark Leibovich, presents a blistering, penetrating, jaw-dropping - and often hysterical - look at Washington’s incestuous "media industrial complex".
The great thing about Washington is no matter how many elections you lose, how many times you're indicted, how many scandals you've been tainted by, well, the great thing is you can always eat lunch in that town again. What keeps the permanent government spinning on its carousel is the freedom of shamelessness, and that mother's milk of politics, cash.
In Mark Leibovich’s remarkable look at the way things really work in D.C., a funeral for a beloved television star becomes the perfect networking platform, a disgraced political aide can emerge with more power than his boss, campaign losers befriend their vanquishers (and make more money than ever!), "conflict of interest" is a term lost in translation, political reporters are fetishized and worshipped for their ability to get one's name in print, and, well - we're all really friends, aren't we?
What Julia Phillips did for Hollywood, Timothy Crouse did for journalists, and Michael Lewis did for Wall Street, Mark Leibovich does for our nation's capital.
©2013 Mark Leibovich (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Sharply Opinionated Know-it-all. Gallows Humor. Hollywood Insider.
Leibovich lovingly lambasts This Town's most prominent insiders and inside outers - while copping to his own complicity as a member of The Club.
As both muckraker and media muck, the vet journalist exposes the success of excess so superbly, the listener is compelled to laugh even as his stomach churns.
Joe Barrett's narration is excellent - most appreciated when he voiced famous people - never mimicking - but "suggesting" a subject's unique vocal qualities.
Barrett also understood the humor - and when to push or let it ride.
The total effect is one of both knowing and utter disbelief that our nation's capital seduces even the most well-intentioned with the siren song of greed.
Hail to the Thief.
The use of actual events to illustrate the incestuous, incredible vanities at play in the capital.
Mark Leibovich's informed sarcasm. LOL.
Barrett, who fronts dozens of Audible's best reads, has never been better. I can think of many, many authors who read their own material, who should defer to this pro.
My fave audiobook of the last 30.
Leibovich provides an interesting look into the world of politics in Washington, D.C. with the perspective of an insider who's usually an observer of those who wield the power. The story flowed well and did a very good job of explaining how everything and everyone in D.C. are (incestuously?) related and connected. For political junkies and lovers of the TV Series, The West Wing, this book will provide a thrill that shows what makes Washington tick.
Definitely worth reading if you're interested in American politics!
I am not a fan of politicians, media personalities, etc. but this book paints a picture of a town filled with evil, heartless, backbiting demons . If it's true no wonder we have so many enemies around the world.
Too much insider information and it read/listened like a People Magazine. I was looking more for politics and inside information not a recounting of cocktail parties and gossip. If you like that type of thing then you may love this.
Jfc return return return.
Narrator has the most annoying voice and insists on doing unnecessary and exaggerated caricature voices for the people quoted in the books. Just read the darn book and shut up with the character voices! Ugh so annoying.
Story itself starts off interesting. As a DC resident myself but a "normal" who is only engaged in politics in a citizen voted capacity and an admitted idealist, I am fascinated by the gratuitous and obsequious nature of politics this insider reveals. The funeral scene that starts off the book is the best part. Revealing of the multiple factions within each party and how there is only a thin line between the actual actors on both sides of the aisle as opposed to what their parties publicly argue over. The rest of the book however dissolves into silliness and petty gossip and needless handwringing. We get it, you're above the lavish and obsequious nature of the political elites (on both sides) who are so grotesquely oblivious to the realness of the world. #firstworldproblems.
Engineer, sailor, and prolific reader of non-fiction
Don't be deceived by the title of my review; for some people, this book is a serious and exhaustive overview of the sociological-political dynamic within Washington D.C.
On another level, the book is a gossip-fest that rivals the trashiest and sleaziest gossip magazines that grace the checkout lanes of your local supermarket.
Mark Leibovich rexplores the insider view of the professional and personal lives of politicians, pundits, staffers, lobbyists, and PR people who populate the seemingly endless parties and other self-congratulatory assemblages within D.C. society, focusing primarily on specific personalities and relationships which are the background behind what actually goes on, behind the scenes, in the nation's capitol. Leibovich often strips bare the more generally accepted profiles of the major players of government, expounding on numerous well-known (and many lesser-known) functionaries, providing some insight into their motivations and methods of operation. In general, Liebovich portrays a town of navel-gazers, universally obsessed with who they know, what parties they are invited to, what power and influence they have, and how they can parlay their service into every higher-paying opportunities.
I enjoyed much of the background information and historical perspectives on well-known Washington players, although I admit that snark, like anything else, can get to be a bit too much. Still, the book does provide a rather unique insight into people who they often see on talk television or hear on talk radio, see quoted in the newspaper, and talked about elsewhere, providing more depth and insight that the popular press can convey.
Narrator Joe Barrett does an excellent job, conveying the cynicism of the text without being overbearing about it.
In short, political junkies and gossip fans will enjoy this... but not everyone else will.
I worked for a pollster mentioned in the book just as the insanity captured in the book started happening. The story moves and captures the spirit of DC. The author deals with a serious matter while capturing the bewilderment you feel watching the Beltway circus. As an observer, your choices are getting sucked in to sleeze, cry over the fact that this is the seat of democracy or find some humor. The author captures this range well.
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