Just in time for the kickoff of the 2012 presidential campaign, Joe McGinniss, the author of the classic account of the packaging of a presidential candidate, The Selling of the President; of the acclaimed search for the essence of Alaska, Going to Extremes; and of the best-selling study of the dark family secrets of an American patriarch, Fatal Vision; presents his already controversial investigative chronicle of Sarah Palin as an individual, politician, and cultural phenomenon.
Based on McGinniss' on-the-ground reporting that began in late 2008 (which yielded an April 2009 Conde Nast Portfolio cover story) and continued with his return to Alaska in 2010, this book is a startling and penetrating examination of the illusion and reality of Palin - and a probing look at the Alaska and the America that have produced her, and the country she feels she is destined to lead. The Rogue delves deeply into Alaska's political and business affairs and Palin's political, personal, and family life to chronicle how and to what extent Palin and her beliefs, attitudes, and outlook will influence and even change life in America and the perception of America abroad.
When I first heard about this book, I believed the hype. The general account was that the author was fixated on Palin and went out of his way to attack her character, even moving next door to her to get the story. I should know better. The true account is reasonable: from the understandable coincidence of how he started to rent the house next door to the Palins (the landlord sought him out, not the other way around), to the accounts of numerous Alaskans about Sarah Palin's political career before and after she emerged in the national political field. As a journalist, McGinnis is careful and thorough, and though there may be scintillating tidbits, there are just as many accounts of friendly Alaskans and admiring stories from fans. There are definitely some things about Palin that don't seem to add up (the most recent pregnancy, for one, is laid out as completely implausible or dangerous as she flew on an airplane the day before delivery even though it was a high-risk pregnancy), but in the end each reader is free to make his or her own decision.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Although Joe McGinniss mentions the 10th grade mean girl analogy that is often repeated in both print and visual media, by the end of his book he makes it crystal clear just how lacking and incomplete that analogy of Ms. Palin really is. With deft storytelling, if slightly too much gossip regarding Wasilla, Bristol, Levi etc. mixed in, Mr. McGinnis lays out a very complete and compelling portrait of Sarah's political rise and her astonishing desent from political relevance. Along the way Mr. McGinniss introduces us to a variety of truly compelling Alaskans, and their stories, all while laying out a clear and convincing case that as a ruthless political opportunist with amazingly disproportionate luck, Sarah has had no equal. In the end it becomes clear that as political grifters neither Sarah or Todd had the intellectual capacity nor political judgement to realize that you can only break so many ethic laws before it will all catch up to you. Add to that, Sarah's willingness to quit so that she could sell herself and her children in plain sight of both the press and the public, which is something real politicians know to do that behind closed doors. Maybe someday the Republican party will push the privitization envelope far enough that they will try to convince us all that using your children and family as props for profit is just part of being a good capitalist, but for now not even the media will buy that fable, and according to McGinniss that seems to have been a large part of Sarah's undoing.
My fear is that someday soon an evangelical politician, that is NOT AN EXTREME EDUCATIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL DOLT like Sarah, will actually rise to challenge for the presidency. If they are good looking, God help us. As Mr. McGinniss makes clear, except for the blogs, our media will not examine the religious part of our candidates resume, as long as they are "Christian", with any critical eye. For god's sake let us all pray that we have the wisdom to give the evangelicals enough incentive to keep all their children at home for schooling so that they can school them with their anti science, anti educational poppycock. The same educational gibberish that helped undo Sarah Palin. After having read Going Rogue by Sarah Palin, I believe The Rogue by Joe McGinniss appropriately corrects the record. I highly recommend the book.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful
This was an excellent listen. All the controversy surrounding this book I had to listen for myself. Thanks Joe McGinniss for this excellent portrayal of the former governor of Alaska. Its all that I suspected and more. Thank you for your honest, candid story. The narrator does a great job. Great listen.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, though it will be read only by those who have a default mistrust of Palin and her role in American culture. The narration is wonderful.
If you could give The Rogue a new subtitle, what would it be?
The self-styling of a notorious and dubious American icon
Any additional comments?
The narrator does a great job mimicking the tone, sincerity, and sarcasm of the writer. I have listened to the book many times and think the writer self-effacing enough to make such pronouncements about Palin. He's careful not to "grind axes" in his take on the Palin myth and that made me much more sympathetic to his purpose.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Where does The Rogue rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I came to this book after reading Game Change, and was looking to obtain a more complete history of Sarah Palin. I found it very informative, not surprised that Palin's chequered political career does not glean to many positives.
What did you like best about this story?
I thought it was a well researched book, given the lengths the Palin's went to obstruct the author. Seems to me America is a free country and you can live anywhere you choose.The author was lucky or unlucky to move next door to the Palin's. He was subjected to slanderous remarks veiled threats and innuendo by the Palin's who used the media to attack him. I hate bullies, I hate people who abuse their power.If the Palin's were good neighbours to begin with, the house next door would never have been rented out to the author.
Have you listened to any of Arthur Morey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have not listened to his other performances, I found his narration really excellent and great for this material.
If you could give The Rogue a new subtitle, what would it be?
Power in the wrong hands.
Any additional comments?
I found the book really interesting, I think that McCain has a lot to answer for, bringing this moronic, intolerant petty vindictive woman to the world stage. Ironic that its the common people who continue to support her, and billionaires who finance her to support their agenda(de-regulation, no tax increases for the rich). We can only be grateful she never became Vice President.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Anytime I hear about something that puts Sarah Palin in a negative light, it's always going to get five stars from me!
7 of 13 people found this review helpful
Before I listened to this book, I thought Sarah Palin was an attractvie woman with a brains/integrity problem. Joe McGinniss sought out to prove me right, and having my opinion painstakingly supported has never been so creepy. If you hate Sarah Palin ( with a dollop of secondary hate for her husband and kids) or you just like sleezy gossip, this book goes all out for you. Result: the horse is definitely dead. Now what?
6 of 13 people found this review helpful
Thank you Joe McGinniss for this great summary of the hypocrisy of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is no Christian. (Neither is any one associated with the New Apostolic Reformation)
5 of 11 people found this review helpful
Sarah Palin makes for a great central character in that she's kind of a caricature of a modern politician - self centred, deceitful and vindictive but also gifted with a min boggling lack of insight into her own beaviour, a firm commitment to rabidly fundemantalist religion and a throroughly dysfunctional family. This may not convert anyone who finds her an appealing figure in the first place but as a page-turning sketch of the bullet we all dodged when she didn't become the second most pwerful person in the free world it really can't be beaten
2 of 4 people found this review helpful