Friday, May 13, 2011

Inside Politics

I am certainly a late arrival to this party, but I finally got around to reading (actually, listening to) Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Although the story it tells – the 2008 primary campaign and election – is certainly old news by now, I was riveted. Part of that is due to the way the authors unfold the story.

Heilemann and Halperin gained access to a whole host of insiders in all of the campaigns, and they spoke to them shortly after the described events took place, before their memories were eroded by hindsight. Their reporting credentials – Heilemann is national political correspondent for New York magazine and Mark Halperin editor at large for Time – allow them to engage in some astute political analysis, but there's no doubt that their breezy, gossipy, behind-the-scenes style was what made it so compelling.

I listened to this book as if it were a novel that I was hearing for the first time. Of course I knew how it would all turn out, but I shut that out and just let it unfold like the sprawling, confounding, fascinating soap opera that it was.

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