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Publisher's Summary

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their best-selling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, they apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, rendering an equally compelling narrative about the circus-like Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier. In 2008, he believed, voters had bet on a hope; in 2012, they passed positive judgment on what he'd actually done, allowing him to avert a loss that would have rendered his presidency a failed, one-term accident.

For the Republicans, on the other hand, 2012 not only offered a crushing verdict but an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance - or even extinction. Double Down is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of an election of singular importance.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Geraldine
  • Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States
  • 05-28-14

Not what I expected

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No

What could Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I don't know, most of the book I heard on the evening news

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robert Fass?

he was okay

Was Double Down worth the listening time?

not in my opinion

Any additional comments?

none at this time

  • Overall
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No news here

Their first book gave new info and insight on the campaign and presented it as a compelling read. This one feels like warmed over old news and is written that way. Keep looking something to keep me interested. Sorry to say I drifted away and learned nothing.

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  • Shawn
  • Lindon, UT, United States
  • 03-31-14

Fascinating

This is an excellent view in to the world of elections. Game change was very good but I actually thought this was better. If you like politics, you will LOVE this book!

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  • Richard
  • Lowell, MA, United States
  • 03-09-14

Double Dissappointment

What would have made Double Down better?

I would like to have seen more inside information such as, Eric Fehrnstrom's role. What was going on in that campaign?

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann again?

Yes!

How could the performance have been better?

I would have liked one of the authors do the narration.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

No matter how much people try to humanize Mitt Romney it just does not work. It strikes me that in the book, and in a recent documentary Mitt Romney never, not once, addresses the plight of people who are, by no fault of their own economically suffering. He is just so indifferent.

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Addictive and Enteraining

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes if they wanted to go behind the scenes of the GOP presidential nomination.

What other book might you compare Double Down to and why?

Game Chang because this one is the sequel.

Which character – as performed by Robert Fass – was your favorite?

Newt!

Any additional comments?

The story about Obama is kinda boring. But the story about the GOP candidates is pure gold.

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A political junkie's cup of tea

Would you listen to Double Down again? Why?

Much as I enjoyed the inside info on both campaigns, I would not re-listen.

What other book might you compare Double Down to and why?

Reminds me of Doris Kearns Goodwin's meticulously researched works.

What does Robert Fass bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He slips "into character", using modified accents of candidates such as Rick Perry.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

What a big-bucks business politics was and is in the US.

Any additional comments?

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.

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Reality Bites!

The authors scored again with a candid, unbiased look at the election of 2012. If you're a news junkie this is a must listen...to discover who knew what when and how they reacted to the information. All of the candidates become human beings rather than the processed meat their "advisors" presented to the public, and the conclusion is the American Voting Public elected the right men for the job. Although not as humorous as "Game Change", (where was the Sarah Palin character?), "Double Down" has enough human interest to last through out the book.

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  • Bulldogscm
  • Burlington, Vermont, United States
  • 01-27-14

Far More in the Weeds

I previously read Dan Balz's book on the same subject but found Double Down to be much more researched and took you into the backrooms and dealings of each of the campaigns. I felt that this book allowed us to get a better idea of not just the candidates but also the players in each campaign and outside of the campaign. There were some very funny moments and some human moments, as well. Robert Fass speaks well.

If you want more juicy details, I would go with this book over Balz's book.

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  • Alan
  • ROSLYN HEIGHTS, NY, United States
  • 01-19-14

If you like political gossip this is your book

Would you listen to Double Down again? Why?

The insider's view of the 2012 presidential campaign. If you want mud to sling, if you are looking for juicy details and facts about the major players this is your book. This book will tell you of the main actors, the strategies and tactics both campaigns employed and the obstacles that had to be overcome. Looking for why Chris Christie was not chosen as VP here you'll find the reasons. Want to know why Romney did or did not do something you'll find the answer here. If you're interested in politics you will want to read this book.

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Waste of time, missed the main story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Covering the use of new media by the Obama team, totally absent from the book.

What was most disappointing about Mark Halperin and John Heilemann ’s story?

Third-rate recap of Woodward-like insider stories, with no citations, that completely failed to address the highly successful use of new media by the Obama team. Not surprising, in retrospect, that an old-school media worker would either miss or choose not to cover this aspect of the campaign. The highly successful use of new media puts in question whether the millions spent on conventional advertising media -- money that indirectly pays the author's salary -- is a poor investment. This book has the potential, in future j-school courses, to be an example of why old media lost market share and died.

What about Robert Fass’s performance did you like?

OK

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Double Down?

It's not what needed cutting -- although the constant use of dialogue that the authors must have heard about second- or third-hand is the antithesis of real reporting could have been reduced -- it's what wasn't covered at all. No new media techniques at all.

Any additional comments?

Waste of money, quite disappointing. Find him on CSPAN, watch that, and save both money and time.