Regular price: $28.30
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $28.30
Would you consider the audio edition of The Center Holds to be better than the print version?
By way of full disclosure, I was head writer for the Committee on Arrangements for the 2012 GOP Convention in Tampa (no, I did *NOT* write for Clint Eastwood -- or for the chair!) and have been a GOP communications operative for over two decades. I've met and spoken to Jonathan Alter several times over the years, so my opinions here might be influenced by that.Politics aside, I've always enjoyed Alter's writing in Newsweek and now Bloomberg and his frequent NBC appearances. He's thorough and has always treated me and my clients fairly. As an audio book addict, I usually prefer the spoken version, and Jonathan does an excellent job on this one.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Alter's book is a panorama of the famous and not-so-famous names of the 2012 campaign, some of whom I've been privileged to know personally. By far the most interesting individual in Alter's recounting was Scott Prouty, the bartender who secretly recorded the Romney "47 percent" video at a high-dollar fundraiser in south Florida.Alter goes into great (and, to me, previously unknown) detail about Prouty's elaborate efforts to shield his identity, explores his motivations -- and even tells us what became of him (he's working for Steelworkers' President Leo Gerard on international working conditions; not surprising since, according to Alter's telling, Prouty was angered by Romney's descriptions of conditions at a Chinese factory he'd acquired. It was this a portion of the gaffe-laden tape that Prouty thought would be most explosive - not the "47 percent" references.)
What about Jonathan Alter’s performance did you like?
His delivery this time is much better than it was in his earlier audiobook, "The Promise." He seems more at ease, there's better affect -- and he even occasionally mimics accents and speaking patterns. Most authors shouldn't try to read their own text, and non-fiction is especially challenging. I was impressed with Alter's reading this time.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I nearly did, using it as entertainment on my two-day drive from Florida to Washington late last week. I enjoyed every minute of every one of the 800 miles!
Any additional comments?
I've recommended "The Center Holds" to a number of friends - Republicans and Democrats alike. It's a must-read for those interested in how the 2012 election was decided -- and a critical analysis of the first campaign in which detailed electronic voter data and outreach replaced old-fashioned precinct-level campaigning and fundraising. Republicans especially will benefit from it: Alter explores in great detail my party's inability to catch up with the Obama campaign's lead in technology and data, but more importantly gets to the real heart of Mitt Romney's defeat : the inability of the GOP in 2012 to communicate its concerns for the middle class and to accommodate the great demographic shifts in this country over the last 20 years. A great book, Jonathan. Congratulations!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
The overall content of this book is spectacular if not an entirely unprecedented dissection of the most important election of our times to date. I agree with another reviewer who says that authors should seldom narrate their own material and even though I think Jonathan Alter is in the top five political commentators of the past twenty years, his narration was the weakest part of this audio. And yet, at the end of it, I was so pleased with what I had just listened to, I just shrug and say, "well done sir," but that still does not mean I think he should have done the narration.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful