Synopses & Reviews
Is John McCain For Real?
That's the question David Foster Wallace set out to explore when he first climbed aboard Senator McCain's campaign caravan in February 2000. It was a moment when Mccain was increasingly perceived as a harbinger of change, the anti-candidate whose goal was to inspire young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater than their own self-interest. And many young Americans were beginning to take notice.
To get at something riveting and unspinnable and true about John Mccain, Wallace finds he must pierce the smoke screen of spin doctors and media manipulators. And he succeeds-in a characteristically potent blast of journalistic brio that not only captures the lunatic rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign but also delivers a compelling inquiry into John McCain himself: the senator, the POW, the campaign finance reformer, the candidate, the man.
"Wallace's inexperience as a campaign reporter is an advantage here, leading to unvarnished insights."--Ariel Gonzalez, Miami Herald
"Bracingly insightful."--Pankaj Mishra, New York Times Book Review
"Wallace conveys a geniuine disillusionment at the sham of the whole arrangement: the endless political posturing, the robotic news coverage...At the same time, he recognize's McCain's essential magnetism."--Steve Almond, Los Angeles Time Book Review
"Compelling...A patient and thoughtful meditation on what McCain's military past-specifically, his five-plus years as a prisoner of war-means about his moral fiber."--Kevin Canfield, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
About the Author
David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.