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When I first heard about this book, I believed the hype. The general account was that the author was fixated on Palin and went out of his way to attack her character, even moving next door to her to get the story. I should know better. The true account is reasonable: from the understandable coincidence of how he started to rent the house next door to the Palins (the landlord sought him out, not the other way around), to the accounts of numerous Alaskans about Sarah Palin's political career before and after she emerged in the national political field. As a journalist, McGinnis is careful and thorough, and though there may be scintillating tidbits, there are just as many accounts of friendly Alaskans and admiring stories from fans. There are definitely some things about Palin that don't seem to add up (the most recent pregnancy, for one, is laid out as completely implausible or dangerous as she flew on an airplane the day before delivery even though it was a high-risk pregnancy), but in the end each reader is free to make his or her own decision.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Although Joe McGinniss mentions the 10th grade mean girl analogy that is often repeated in both print and visual media, by the end of his book he makes it crystal clear just how lacking and incomplete that analogy of Ms. Palin really is. With deft storytelling, if slightly too much gossip regarding Wasilla, Bristol, Levi etc. mixed in, Mr. McGinnis lays out a very complete and compelling portrait of Sarah's political rise and her astonishing desent from political relevance. Along the way Mr. McGinniss introduces us to a variety of truly compelling Alaskans, and their stories, all while laying out a clear and convincing case that as a ruthless political opportunist with amazingly disproportionate luck, Sarah has had no equal. In the end it becomes clear that as political grifters neither Sarah or Todd had the intellectual capacity nor political judgement to realize that you can only break so many ethic laws before it will all catch up to you. Add to that, Sarah's willingness to quit so that she could sell herself and her children in plain sight of both the press and the public, which is something real politicians know to do that behind closed doors. Maybe someday the Republican party will push the privitization envelope far enough that they will try to convince us all that using your children and family as props for profit is just part of being a good capitalist, but for now not even the media will buy that fable, and according to McGinniss that seems to have been a large part of Sarah's undoing.
My fear is that someday soon an evangelical politician, that is NOT AN EXTREME EDUCATIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL DOLT like Sarah, will actually rise to challenge for the presidency. If they are good looking, God help us. As Mr. McGinniss makes clear, except for the blogs, our media will not examine the religious part of our candidates resume, as long as they are "Christian", with any critical eye. For god's sake let us all pray that we have the wisdom to give the evangelicals enough incentive to keep all their children at home for schooling so that they can school them with their anti science, anti educational poppycock. The same educational gibberish that helped undo Sarah Palin. After having read Going Rogue by Sarah Palin, I believe The Rogue by Joe McGinniss appropriately corrects the record. I highly recommend the book.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful
Sarah Palin makes for a great central character in that she's kind of a caricature of a modern politician - self centred, deceitful and vindictive but also gifted with a min boggling lack of insight into her own beaviour, a firm commitment to rabidly fundemantalist religion and a throroughly dysfunctional family. This may not convert anyone who finds her an appealing figure in the first place but as a page-turning sketch of the bullet we all dodged when she didn't become the second most pwerful person in the free world it really can't be beaten
2 of 4 people found this review helpful