Saturday, May 8, 2010

Game Change, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

Were you stoned in civics class? Do your eyes still glaze over at political commentary? Some of us, and by us I mean me, missed out on the learning the first time around and ever since have been too lazy and embarrassed to admit ignorance, pick up some books, and figure out the complicated maze that is American politics.
Will "Game Change" fill in those gaps? Nope, but it's so much fun to read, it just won't matter. This book, like one of those special People Magazines, could be titled, "People Magazine - The Presidential Election Issue." It was satisfying to read that the candidates are exactly as I've imagined them: a trip to "Hillary-land" brings to light a woman who is earnest, but hard, and driven by an insatiable hunger for power; Bill is a narcissistic, hungry for sex, blowhard (and I did NOT intend that as a pun); Edwards is a lying, narcissistic, pretty-boy, and Elizabeth a crazed, bitchy control freak. And then there are the Republicans. McCain as clueless and cranky. Palin as a charming, it's-all-God's-plan, neophyte. It's delicious and dishy.
"Game Change" was a fun, well written read. I didn't learn much, but I loved that my belief (although uninformed and unsubstantiated by actual knowledge) that, for the most part, our elected officials are bloated, misguided, and self-serving was confirmed. My only bit of disappointment came when I found that the one thing I was most interested in learning -- where the sparks of Obama's innovative, grassroots campaign ideas came from -- were not included. "Game Change" is about the defeats, the missteps and failures that abound at every turn of a campaign, and the candidates, who, like our most dysfunctional family members, we love to hate.
It is a well known fact that most men don't read. As hard as I try, it's near impossible for me to find a book to interest my husband (unless it's written by David Sedaris) but "Game Change" is a book that crosses gender lines. A Father's Day gift idea, if ever there was one....
Click the link below for a great article by Laura Miller on how the abundance of women in the publishing industry effects what we read.

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