mtngardener, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by mtngardener)
I followed the 2008 campaign in the news, but this book was a revelation. There is information in this book that I did not see in the news and it was very informative. If you are planning on voting in the next presidential election, this is a book to read. I highly recommend it. I have listened to it twice on audio and plan on listening to it again in the future.
olderwoker, June 14, 2010 (view all comments by olderwoker)
Definitely worth reading; even though I followed this campaign closely, the authors still found nuggets of information that were new. My one objection was that it was not as well written as I would've expected -- the authors used a lot of ghetto slang, Yiddish expressions, Italian words, as if they felt the need to pander to certain groups they expected to be reading this.
Overall, though, I enjoyed it.
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Madam Pince, March 11, 2010 (view all comments by Madam Pince)
As a political junkie who followed the 2008 presidential race like Lost fanatics obsess over Oceanic Flight 815, this book was a must-read for me, especially after Heileman & Halperin revealed prepub tidbits about John & Elizabeth Edwards. I was absolutely fascinated by the revelations in this book -- Sarah Palin went catatonic during debate prep; both Bill & Hillary Clinton couldn't accept her losses; Barack Obama was confident to the point of recklessness, and John McCain seemed ambivalent about his second presidential run. The only complaint I have about this volume is that far more pages were devoted to the Democratic race than the Republican -- I'd have liked more detail on Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and wild card Joe Lieberman -- but even knowing how the overall story ended, I was on the edge till the very last page of this masterful political piece.
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by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times,
"Though this book focuses on personal matters, not policy concerns, and though some of what will be its most talked about passages fall into the realm of gossip and reflect the views of chatty and, in some cases, bitter, regretful or spin-conscious aides, the volume does leave the reader with a vivid, visceral sense of the campaign and a keen understanding of the paradoxes and contingencies of history."
From two of the best political reporters in the country comes the gripping inside story of the historic 2008 presidential election.
by Harper Collins,
“Its one of the best books on politics of any kind Ive read. For entertainment value, I put it up there with Catch 22.” —The Financial Times
“It transports you to a parallel universe in which everything in the National Enquirer is true….More interesting is what we learn about the candidates themselves: their frailties, egos and almost super-human stamina.” —The Financial Times
“I cant put down this book!” —Stephen Colbert
Game Change is the New York Times bestselling story of the 2008 presidential election, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the best political reporters in the country. In the spirit of Richard Ben Cramers What It Takes and Theodore H. Whites The Making of the President 1960, this classic campaign trail book tells the defining story of a new era in American politics, going deeper behind the scenes of the Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin campaigns than any other account of the historic 2008 election.
From one of the most respected investigative journalists in Washington, pulling from unparalleled sources, comes this revelatory look at the Obama administration's internal workings, showing the fractures, competing cliques, and, ultimately, the deepest divides within the president's own mind as he has struggled but failed to define national security policy differently than his predecessor.
Is Barack Obama an idealist or a ruthless pragmatist? He vowed to close Guantánamo, put an end to coercive interrogation and military tribunals, and restore American principles of justice, yet in his first term he has backtracked on each of these promises, ramping up the secret war of drone strikes and covert operations. Behind the scenes, wrenching debates between hawks and doves—those who would kill versus those who would capture—have repeatedly tested the very core of the president’s identity.
Top investigative reporter Dan Klaidman has spoken to dozens of sources to piece together a riveting Washington story packed with revelations. As the president’s inner circle debated secret programs, new legal frontiers, and the disjuncture between principles and down-and-dirty politics, Obama vacillated, sometimes lashed out, and spoke in lofty tones while approving a mounting toll of assassinations and kinetic-war operations. Klaidman’s fly-on-the-wall reporting reveals who has his ear, how key national security decisions are really made, and whether or not President Obama has lived up to the promise of candidate Obama. Readers making up their minds about him during the 2012 election year will turn to Kill or Capture to decide.
“[An] important book.” — Steve Coll, The New Yorker
“Klaidman . . . [was] clearly given extraordinary access to key players in the administration . . . Provide[s] scintillating details.” — Washington Post
How has President Obama waged the war on terror? As lawyer-in-chief, he promised to close the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and engaged his inner circle in wrenching debates over the price of liberty and security. As commander-in-chief, he has become a decisive and lethal warrior, dealing out drone strikes and death sentences to suspected terrorists around the world. Daniel Klaidman reveals Obama’s struggle to balance high-minded idealism and hard-headed politics as it plays out behind closed doors from the Oval Office and the Justice Department to the Situation Room and the CIA. Based on hundreds of interviews with men and women throughout the White House and the national security establishment, Kill or Capture is a startling new portrait of our forty-fourth president.
“A fascinating book . . . Lays bare the human dimension of the wrenching national security decisions that have to be made.” — Tina Brown, NPR
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