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I have read several books about the 2008 election and books discussing what the election might say about America. I found "The Battle for America 2008" among the best in both categories. Although the authors focused on the Clinton v Obama battle, they also address the Republican primary, the selection of Palin and the general election. I found an obvious effort to provide a balanced report, sometimes more successfully than others. Republicans might pick up some pointers about how they went from a ruling party to back benchers in 6 years and Democrats might learn what they need to do to hold the center of the country in future elections.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Really enjoyed the book, and after getting used to the narroator thought pace/reading was excellent.
I found the book interesting because most of what i read is 20th century history in which the author is farther temporally removed from the subject. The close temporal relationship to the subject of this book makes the history more intriguing, given that the authors have access to the thoughts and even quotes of what went on in certain meetings etc. In this regard, I found this incredibly interesting.
What I got out of this however, is that it's still hard to figure out, for instance, what happend to Clinton and why she lost. yes, you get a flavor of the "Clinton paranoia" that seems to be omnipresent whenever bill and hiliary are involved. it's always someone else's fault and everyone is out to get them. But even then, there is not great insight into exactly what they could have done differently to change an outcome. The bottom line is that its hard to understand why the flux of the election went the way it did, other than that the country was really ready for a completely different approach and, as is usual in politics, you need both a figure with a particular message and the times/nation has to be at a point in history that mirrors that message. I think you could argue the same thing about the Reagan revolution.
Overall, very enjoyable, but not overly insightful. Maybe understanding 2008 is just beyond rationale analysis, and the election results were sort of inevitable given the mood the country.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful