The Long Game

A Memoir
Narrated by: Mitch McConnell
Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"I have learned that the story of a nation's success, and the success of each one of us, is a slow awakening to the timeless value of the long game."

In October 1984, a hard-charging Kentucky politician waited excitedly for President Ronald Reagan to arrive at a presidential rally in Louisville. In the midst of a tough Senate campaign, the young Republican hoped Reagan's endorsement would give a much-needed boost to his campaign. Alas, when Reagan finally stepped to the microphone, he smiled for the crowd and declared, "I'm happy to be here with my good friend, Mitch O'Donnell."

That was hardly Mitch McConnell's first setback - and far from his last. But as he learned while running his very first campaign for high school student body president, you don't have to be the most popular, most athletic, or even luckiest kid to win. You just need to run the best campaign. So he swallowed hard, put his head down, and kept going. Four weeks later he won his Senate seat, beginning a storied career that would eventually lead to his becoming the Senate majority leader.

The Long Game is the candid, behind-the-scenes memoir of a man famous for his discretion. He tells how his mother helped him beat polio by leading him through long, aching exercises every day for two years. He explains how his father taught him the importance of standing up to bullies, even if it meant taking the occasional punch. And he reveals what he really thinks about the rivalry between the Senate and the House; about the players and the stakes involved when a group of political opportunists tried to hijack the Tea Party movement; and about key figures such as Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Harry Reid. He tells the inside story of the battle against Obamacare and explains the real causes of the chronic gridlock, his ongoing efforts to restore the US Senate, and what ordinary citizens have a right to expect from Washington.

In today's atmosphere of impatience and instant gratification, McConnell still believes the founders knew best when they instituted a government with checks and balances. As he writes, "In the end, the goal isn't a perfectly running congressional machine or a party without blemish or inner turmoil. The goal is to allow the country to work out its differences freely and energetically, confident that the institutions the founders left us are capable of accommodating the disputes and disagreements that arise in a nation as big and diverse and open as ours."

©2016 Mitch McConnell (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Long Game

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    4 out of 5 stars

Pity It Doesn't Carry Through to 2019

Remarkably to me, this is a compelling & informative autobiography. I have been as skeptical as anybody about politicians in general, &, perhaps, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, in particular. Read this - it may not change your views or your votes, but there are valuable things to learn here, about American government, & about the principles & history of decent government, if there is any to be found, elsewhere. Put it this way: not just how government works, but why - & what makes decent government fail. Highly recommended.

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A Look at a Career Politician

McConnell writes in his memoir he wanted to be a career politician at an early age. I have read a number of political memoirs and he is the first person to say they always wanted to be a politician. I read memoirs from politicians of both parties in an attempt to understand them and their viewpoints. I am always interested in how a person becomes who they are.

In the first part of the book McConnell tells of his early life. I was most interested in his fight with polio as a child. He gives the credit of his recovery to his mother who daily led him through exercises and encouraged him. He states he and his mother grew very close. He said that from his father he learned to stand up to bullies even if he had to take a punch. The middle and end of the book deals with McConnell’s political career. He says he graduated from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in history/political science and from the University of Kentucky School of Law. He tells about his beginnings in running for elected office to becoming leader of the Senate. McConnell goes into his political philosophy and goals for himself and the nation.

The book is well written and moves at an even pace. My main criticism of the book is his one sided view of issues and government. Overall I found learning about McConnell’s life and his view of government interesting. Mitch McConnell narrated his own book.

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The best Senatorial book of the cycle

The book is an even handed, readable and enjoyable romp through the last thirty, but particularly the last few, years of Senate history, accompanied by a large dose of all American personal story. I'd particularly recommend this book to students as it provides an excellent framework from which to judge future political claims.

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Love it!

I have to say that coming in I did not expect to come out of this listen with the amount of respect and admiration I’ve since developed. His respect for the stance Senator Cooper took in support of the civil rights legislation and his willingness to put aside party first mentality to vote against President Reagan for vetoing sanctions against apartheid South Africa were inspiring. And to boot, he’s funny. Wonderful listen!

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Great Book!!

Where does The Long Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best books i have ever listened to. Really enjoyed the Senator telling his life story. Would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys politics.

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Well written and narrated...

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Regardless of whether you’re left or right, it will provide an education.

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I respect him, but I disagree heartily

Listened to this to get some perspective on the man who has stonewalled Democrats for 2 decades. While I agree with him very little on the kinda of policies government should have at least I understand the why. Good oration, and does an interesting job of selling his points. Though for all his grandstanding about civility, his tacit approval of Trump for policy means it's really all about power.

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Patience and perseverance - needed to finish this

I like Mitch McConnell. As a distinguished long time senetor i was expecting to hear some fascinating behind the scenes stories he could tell about other politicians as well as the bills that have come before him. As a conservative it would have been great to hear some of his viewpoints on Conservatism and its relationship to mainstream media and the wave of Liberalism. But what you get in about 80 percent of the book are endless tales of his election campains starting from grammer school, high school, college in up the ladder. I made it to the end and that i feel was my accomplishment.

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Mitch"s Auto Bio

As a young conservative I found this informative as it provides for me what is a historical perspective. More bio than political manafesto, though some opinion does make it in. Would reccomend.

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great book

I will and always be an American. the best thing to do is to understand what is broken and fix it. theirs no straight answer but the right answer is to work together to come to a compromise that we can all agree on.

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  • F Daw
  • 04-12-20

Good, but too short

The reading and story are fine. However, for a memoir of a long political career, it felt like an overview. He could have used some more confidence in his story.