Game Change

Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
Length: 14 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,551 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Audiobook of 2010!

I am an Audible.com Platinum subscriber, and my primary worry when downloading a book is that the book will waste my time by listening. The narrative is riveting and the narrator is outstanding. If you are interested in U.S. politics, you will not be able to put your iPod down once commencing a listen to this. I highly recommend it!

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great insight into a fascinating election

I have been following John Heilemann since I saw him on Real Time with Bill Maher last year. I appreciate his work, and Game Change lived up to all my expectations. The election was fascinating, viewed through the mass media lens. It is ten times more fascinating viewed through the eyes of the people that are on the bus, in the meetings, and rubbing shoulders with the candidates.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • SH
  • 10-03-14

Out Dated Even When It Was Current

I heard about this book when I was listening to Morning Joe and snapped it up on audible years ago. I thought it sounded like a fun insiders view of the campaign trail. Not so for me. I found it beyond boring and hairsplitting to a degree that became mind numbing. It also turned me off to campaign politics and to listening to books pushed on morning talk shows in general. I know this review is years behind the time--but I'm reviewing old books in my library. This offering was a true disappointment.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb!

This is one of the best audio books I've ever purchased. The insight into the campaigns was fascinating, and while there was definitely more shared on the Democratic side of the contest, I think it was a balanced account. I strongly recommend anyone who was really moved by this most recently Presidential election to pick this book up. Furthermore, the narrator was about the best I've ever heard. I couldn't be more impressed with this book, and it's likely one that I'll play back in the future. Highly recommended!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm Not Into Politics But I Was Riveted

This is a book about the ins and outs of the 2008 campaign (you know … the one where a young upstart named Barack Obama beat out Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and went on to defeat John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin). I’m not into politics AT ALL but I found this book utterly fascinating (which makes me wonder if I’m more interested in politics than I think or if it was just such an interesting campaign). I mistakenly thought it dealt more with Sarah Palin than it does (her part is only the last third of the book), but it didn’t matter—the battle between Obama and Clinton provided more than enough drama and intrigue. (And the whole John Edwards disaster was like watching a car accident in slow motion.) However, I did get the payoff I was looking for as the book provides a rather damning look into the selection of Palin and the realities of her candidacy. (If you didn’t guess by that last sentence, I’m not a big Palin fan.) Trust me … you don’t need to be a political junkie to enjoy this book. It was gripping from the start and, even though I knew how things turned out in the end, I was still on the edge of my seat as all the various aspects of the race unfolded. I listened to this book on audio, and Dennis Boutsikaris was the perfect choice of narrator. I’m hoping that the authors chronicled the 2012 campaign as I’d LOVE to read about it and find out the details and behind-the-scenes stuff that we don’t really get in regular news coverage. This will definitely be on my “best of the year” lists.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KP
  • 10-20-11

Juicy Info

Usually I don't read non-fiction, and I happened to have this book at my son's request. SO, I decided to try a little of it, and I couldn't stop listening, basically. There is so much inside information, and it's so juicy. It's amazing how different some of the people seem when you get a look behind the scenes! I found the chapters on John Edwards and company as well as the ones on McCain and Palin the most revealing of a "different side." I read somewhere that the authors did over 200 interviews to get their information; it really seems credible. It's much more interesting to read it here than to read the whitewashed accounts in the news media.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting read on such a "new" history

Written by Becky -
I like history; specifically Presidential biographies and this book was a great read on such a "new" historical presidential race. Can't wait to see what history proves.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Apt title: Race of a lifetime

This book is the product of brilliant research and skillful journalism. The interviews and information that compile this book are very well composed to complete this book. Even though, the book covers the democrat primaries & not the republic primaries, that seems like a good reason and choice. The final battle which spans over many months is very well written and entertaining. The choices the candidates made and the reasoning behind those makes sense after reading this book. This is a must read for anyone who was captivated by the 2008 presidential election. The narrator did a great job as well. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was due to the book's inclination towards one side; even though the author was trying to put facts in this book. I'm glad now by the results of the election as they turned out after reading this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful