++ The children’s book Maggie Goes on a Diet is meant to help kids with making the right eating choices, but it’s riling up nutrition and body image experts even before its publication in October. It tells the story of a girl who diets, loses weight, and becomes more popular and successful at school. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Campaign memoir (1-7 of 7)
O: A Presidential Novel, the author has been unmasked. Mark Halperin of Time has confirmed that John McCain aide and speechwriter Mark Salter is the pen behind the work of speculative semi-fiction. Well, that was certainly quicker than with Primary Colors: Scribe Joe Klein managed to elude identification for about seven months back in 1996 when that anonymous political novel was published. Salter and Simon & Schuster head Jonathan Karp have yet to confirm this revelation.O, what a trip it’s been. Less than a month after politicos and journalists got themselves all frothed up over an Amazon.com posting for the anonymously written
Gawker and HarperCollins have settled their dispute regarding leaked pages of Sarah Palin’s book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, which was released on Tuesday. Reuters reports both parties reached a settlement late Tuesday, a few days after a judge in Manhattan had ordered the website to take down excerpts from Palin’s book. “In settling the case, Gawker has agreed to keep the posted material off its website and not to post the material again in the future,” Erin Crum, HarperCollins spokeswoman, said in a statement. Gawker editor Remy Stern saw a silver lining in the dispute for Palin: “[It] generated a good deal of press for Ms. Palin’s book in advance of its publication … Now that the book is out and destined to appear on the best-seller list, we’re pleased that HarperCollins proposed settline this case as is, thus avoiding lengthy litigation for both sides.”
Don’t upset Mama Grizzly. HarperCollins, Sarah Palin’s publisher, has filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media for leaking pages of the ex-governor’s upcoming book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag. The Associated Press reports HaperCollins filed a complaint in Manhattan Friday after Gawker refused to take down excerpts from the book, which is headed to bookstores Nov. 23. (Other websites that also leaked the pages adhered to the publisher’s demands.) Palin even addressed the leak via her Twitter: On Nov. 18, she tweeted: “Isn’t that illegal?” Gawker, however, defended their decision in a post titled “Sarah Palin is Mad at Us for Leaking Pages from Her Book.” UPDATE: A federal New York judge ordered that Gawker remove the leaked pages from their site Saturday in an injunction that prevents the website from “continuing to distribute, publish, or otherwise transmit pages from the book” prior to a Nov. 30 hearing.
The 2008 presidential election was historic both in terms of the nature of its candidates and its near-complete level of media saturation, but political journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann somehow managed to put together a campaign book chock full of behind-the-scenes details, often juicy, that were overlooked the first go-round. That book, Game Change (click to see the EW review), quickly became a best-seller, demonstrating that over 15 months later, we as a nation are still captivated by that year-long mad rush towards the White House. The two authors spoke with EW about doing hundreds of interviews, how they deal with accusations of gossip-peddling, and their exhaustive attempts to report all the fear and loathing on the campaign trail.
Why do you think so many people are still interested in this particular election, over a year later, even though they know the ending?
John: We started out with a notion as we were covering the campaign that this was an unusual election on a lot of different levels, but it was unusual in particular in that the candidates who were front-and-center were bigger-than-life characters. You had here people who were more interesting than your average politician. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, these are all people who had celebrity stature. We often like to joke that any race where Rudy Giuliani is the seventh most interesting person is a pretty colorful race. And we thought that all the historic circumstances around the campaign in combination with these characters who had clearly riveted the country in a way that we hadn’t seen before in a presidential election, we thought that there was some chance, that if we rendered the high human drama of what it was like to go through it, and how it changed them, and how the strengths and weaknesses in their characters affected the outcome, that people would, a year later, still have some interest in it, if we did our jobs right.
In the prologue you say that it’s essentially a love story between Obama and Clinton. But parts almost feel like a Greek tragedy…
Mark: We hoped to write a book that wouldn’t be seen as a political book that only people in the beltway would read. What we thought was that these were bigger-than-life figures, many of them iconic, and there was a lot of tragedy and comedy and high drama that, if we told the story right, would reveal these famous people but in a brand-new way. READ FULL STORY »
Only weeks after the bestselling campaign book Game Change laid out for all to see the indiscretions and subsequent political implosion of John Edwards, the former aide/human shield who originally claimed paternity for Edwards’ illegitimate child has announced his own tell-all account of the affair. Andrew Young’s book, The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down, was not originally intended to be released until next Friday, but a number of salacious, if unconfirmed, details have already been leaked, and the book will now go on sale on Saturday.
The book deals with Young’s facilitation of the liaison as well as his role in its aftermath and the ensuing cover-up, which Young contends was orchestrated by Edwards himself. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Young alleges Edwards had him handle making hotel reservations in order to accommodate the affair with Rielle Hunter, the mistress and, as Edwards finally admitted last week, mother of his child. “When I knew where the senator was staying,” writes Young, “I made reservations in my own name, faxed copies of my credit card and state identification card, and told the hotel staff that my ‘wife’ would be checking in on my account.” Young also goes for some particularly vengeful quotemongering by citing the once down-home candidate as railing against appearing at state fairs and having “fat rednecks try to shove food down my face. I know I’m the people’s senator, but do I have to hang out with them?” In an interview with Bob Woodruff for ABC News, the former aide talked of a sex tape involving Edwards and a woman who may be Hunter.
Journalists, pundits, and bloggers have all chewed over the 2008 presidential campaign so thoroughly, so relentlessly, that there would seem to be little meat left on the bone. But two veteran political reporters – New York magazine’s John Heilemann and Time’s Mark Halperin — have found plenty of fresh dish, and they’ve served it up in Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.
What makes their book different from others, and so riveting, is the depth of their material–some of it obtained the old-fashioned way, through dogged investigative reporting, and some of it courtesy of their innumerable sources, such as Patti Solis Doyle, Hillary Clinton’s onetime campaign manager. But don’t be fooled: This is no dry history. In fact, in places it reads less like a campaign memoir than like a Jackie Collins novel, packed with seamy details about extramarital sex and screaming arguments. Its pages brim with scandalous tidbits: John Edwards refuses to take responsibility for Rielle Hunter, demanding furiously of a young aide, “Why didn’t you come to me like a f—-ing man and tell me to stop f—ing her?” Elizabeth Edwards, furious at her husband’s infidelity, dramatically rips open her shirt in an airport, and calls a staffer in the middle of the night: “Get me out of here! I’m not campaigning for this a–hole another day!” John McCain alternately screams obscenities at his wife, Cindy, and refuses to take any interest in the nuts and bolts of his campaign: “He really just didn’t give a s—. The details made his head hurt.” Barack Obama sometimes comes off as moody and difficult, at times almost undone by his cocky self-assurance. “I’m LeBron, baby,” he once told a reporter. “I can play on this level. I got some game.” Interestingly, the one person you’d expect would fare poorly here–vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin–gets a pass. Though the authors duly report that “some in the upper echelons of McCainworld began to believe that Palin was unfit for higher office,” they say bluntly that “the McCain people did fail [her]…. They amassed polling points and dollars off her fiery charisma, and then left her to burn up in the inferno of public opinion.”
Game Change isn’t perfect. The authors obviously have sources in pretty high places (a couple of conversations between the Clintons are recounted verbatim, including a fascinating one on a beach in Anguilla), but without a bibliography, it’s hard to identify them all. (That said, there are a lot more people on the record here than in, say, a Bob Woodward book.) The tone can shift, a little disconcertingly, from elegant description to profanity-laced staccato in the space of a line or two (people are constantly going rips— or apes—. There’s a lot of s— in Game Change). And Heilemann and Halperin are guilty of some pretty mean-spirited caricature, even if it is dead-on. Clinton is “resplendent in fire engine red and wearing a rictus grin” at one event; Rudy Giuliani, when challenged, “would bare his cartoonishly big teeth.” But these are pretty minor quibbles. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the cutthroat backroom hows and whys of a presidential campaign — especially this presidential campaign, filled as it was with scene-stealing characters and bad behavior, and memorable for all kinds of reasons that had nothing to do with Obama’s skin color and everything to do with his impeccably run grassroots organization. And it doesn’t hurt that Game Change reads more bodice-ripper than Beltway. A-
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