The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin
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The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  523 ratings  ·  126 reviews
rogue (r¯og), n: An elephant that has separated from a herd and roams about alone, in which state it is very savage.—Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary

After three years of research, bestselling journalist Joe McGinniss presents his already controversial and much anticipated investigative chronicle of Sarah Palin as an individual, politician, and cultural phenomenon.

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Hardcover, 321 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Crown
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Bill  Kerwin

Don't believe what they say in “the lamestream media”--this is a well-written, interesting and moral book. “Serious" people like Howie Kurtz and Steve (AKA “Mr. Cokie”) Roberts have criticized it for being unethical (because of its many anonymous sources) and unprofessional (for the way McGinnis intrudes himself into the narrative and engages in unsourced speculation). But Kurtz and Roberts--both beltway pundits with only dubious claims to be serious journalists--do not seem to understand or res...more
Brian
I nearly finished the book in one sitting, and it is a splendid piece of writing. Particularly, its stark description of the coexistence of a fundamentalist and a sane Alaska.

The most evocative passages are not those written by McGinniss, but what he draws out of the residents of Wasilla. Where, in their words, "suddenly you got busted for growing pot in your back shed. You got a ticket if your dog barked too loud. You got a ticket if you had a hole in your muffler. For a place that prided itsel...more
Picklefactory
Simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. Joe is a fine writer: his exasperation with being subjected to baseless slurs in the national media after returning to Alaska to investigate the Palin phenomenon only really shines through once or twice. (I went and looked a couple of these up and yup, happened pretty much the way he says.)

Joe spends quite a bit of time excoriating the media for giving Sarah Palin the platform that she certainly had done nothing to earn, but even more emphasis here would...more
Debra
I've read several books by outstanding writer and reporter Joe McGinniss and he is the real deal. Excellent portrait of one of the most dangerous people on the political scene.
Vegantrav
This is the second Sarah Palin book I've read this year, the first being Geoffrey Dunn's The Lies of Sarah Palin. There really is little in McGinniss's book that was not already covered in Dunn's book other than some salacious details like Palin's fling with basketball star Glenn Rice or Todd and Sarah's cocaine use. Both books paint the same general portrait of Palin, and they obtain their information from many sources who are politically simpatico with Palin (conservative Republicans) or who w...more
Jennifer
I admit it....I gave this book 5 stars because I loathe Sarah Palin, and Joe McGinnis completely trashes her, with the help of quite a few other people who are more than willing to go on record and tell what happened from their point of view. The entire time I was reading it, I was saying to myself, "Yeah!" and "Right on!" and "What on Earth was John McCain thinking 4 years ago?". If Palin is half as bad as McGinnis makes her out to be in this book, it's a very good thing that she did not become...more
LA Carlson
Oct 05, 2011 LA Carlson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: political junkies
Shelves: non-fiction
I wanted to read this book for several reasons. As a liberal woman who's interested in politics I'm always interested to learn what women in politics are saying and how they raise the bar. Let's face it women are always held to a higher standard especially in the game of politics. I watch Sarah Palin on news sound bites as I'm waiting for some reason to like her. This book will give you plenty of reasons not to be a fan of hers. McGinniss weaves the story of who he discovered Palin is between hi...more
Jim
Joe McGinniss, whose Fatal Vision was a masterpiece of true crime writing, has written a compulsively readable book about the phenomenon known as Sarah Palin and about the phenomenal shift between admiring statesmen (and women) and worshiping at the altar of personality, where "presidential" no longer means anything than being a good drinking buddy. None of Palin's acolytes will like this book, but for those of us who only knew her as a face and a name and a public whirlwind, this is an extraord...more
tuttle88
I thought this was a really interesting and entertaining book. Weaves the controversy about the author moving next to the Palins in with what he originally went to Alaska to write about which is what Alaskans now think about Sarah Palin.
I don't think it would change anyone's mind about her. If you like her you'll hate this book if you don't like her you'll like it I guess. But as someone who thinks she is dangerous and obnoxious I loved it.
Rebecca
To write his book about Sarah Palin, Joe McGinnis took up residence in the house next to hers on the banks of Lake Lucille in Alaska. For doing so he received the full brunt of Sarah Palin's middle school mean girl bullying. It's perfectly understandable that he's bitter. Who wouldn't be with the Palins calling in their supporters to issue death threats against him? But it did leave McGinnis with a problem--he had to write a book about her and his ability to remain fair and impartial was destroy...more
Marialyce
I have given this book the honor (?) of being the first in my new shelf entitled "Books that never should have been written." If any, all, some, of this is true, first of all who really cares? It is always easy to find people who are willing to trash other people because of any number of human frailties like envy, greed, not to mention if you want to be in the news, your fifteen minutes of fame.

Seriously though, if you really want to be taken seriously and are writing a book about another, you s...more
Prateek Jain
Jan 29, 2012 Prateek Jain rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin is a book which goes into the history and life of the Palin family, with the focal point being Sarah Palin. Joe McGinnis, has done an exceptionally good investigative analysis of the Palin family after she shot into limelight following her nomination as 2008 running mate of Senator John McCain. The book is very easy to read and very entertaining.

Joe McGinnis, moved next door to the Palins in 2009-2010 Fall and Spring on the shores of the Lake Lucile....more
Susan
I'm not really sure how to review this book. Although I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin, it seems to stretch credulity that she has few, if any, redeeming qualities. The book shows a very negative picture of Palin, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that practically none of her friends would consent to be interviewed by the author. The author's dislike of Governor Palin was over the top.

McGinnis inserts himself into the story as Palin plays the victim when he moves in next door. Consequently, McGinnis h...more
Matt
Do not judge a book by its cover, some say. Others tell me that I need a well-rounded opinion before I can really have an opinion. So, after i read GOING ROGUE a while back, I had an unusually better opinion of Sarah Palin, at least for a while. When this book was making so much hype, I had to try it. Not disappointed in the least.

Some people, even on here, tell me that it is such a one-sided portrayal of the VP candidate for the GOP's '08 failure to win the White House. Others loved the book. M...more
Gabby
I used to have some respect for Joe MGinniss based on some of his earlier books. After reading this trash, I question why I ever believed a word he previously wrote. He obviously knows nothing about objectivity, but he's got mud slinging and unverified source material down to a science. For me, this subject is NOT about whether or not we like Sarah Palin nor what she says and does. Instead it's about Joe McGinniss out to further demean and humiliate someone to whom the press has given unpreceden...more
Dale Stonehouse
I first read Joe McGinniss when Fatal Vision was new and controversial, and his writing is as good today. This book is an interesting, if somewhat incomplete, outside view of Sarah Palin, husband Todd, their relationship and political career as a couple. Some may think it is a negative portrait because McGinniss talked to many Alaskans who have encountered the Palins, most in a negative way. The theme here seems to be that Sarah Palin has used her looks and a winning ability to work a crowd to f...more
Dee Green
Like the rest of the nation, I am intrigued by Sarah Palin but understand that there are two sides to everything. So, I thought I'd see what he had to say. It is garbage is what I have to say. His writing is so biased that I find it hard to believe that he is even a credible author, but apparently he is. He claims that his intent was innocent and that he had no intention of smearing Palin’s name, but in the book those claims are so childish that they are laughable. “It was just a coincidence tha...more
Don
McGinniss definitely has some good material here, and much more of it is sourced to specifically identified people than we have been led to believe by the reviews. However, his obvious distaste and disdain for his subject adversely affects his credibility as a reporter. And McGinniss shows no interest in pursuing the possibility of there being another point of view with respect to some of the stories or anecdotes. I think a good reporter explores alternate explanations, theories, etc., if for no...more
Kathy Stoner
Started this one night and could hardly put it down to go to bed. Pretty one-sided but fascinating all the same. One of the theories put forth here (that I hadn't heard before) is that Palin's Down syndrome baby isn't hers at all but adopted to make her more appealing to anti-abortion factions. After reading this book, I believe it's certainly a possibility. I knew Palin was not the nicest person or the brightest crayon in the box, but author McGinniss points up exactly how small and vindictive...more
Meave
This is exactly the dishy, disgusting profile Vanity Fair used to run when I was super into it in college, and it's just, ugh, it's amazing. I mean if you like well written tell-alls about horrible garbage people who have too much money to be pitied, this is the book for you.
Susan R.
Yes, we all need to know the truth about Sarah Palin...she is a horrible person with no business in politics or on tv..but I would not recommend this book. It has taken the unbelievable sordid life of Ms Palin and made it boring. The author's writing is repetitive and dull.
Esme Pie
I'm so embarrassed/ ashamed I read this and that's all I'm going to say.
A Mulford
This is a book that needed to be written in order to deflate the myth that is Sarah Palin. Perhaps the funniest moment in the book is when someone remarks that Sarah is so real when in reality, she's little more than a pleasing image with no real substance. But that's not why she worried me. It was a combination of her pettiness and her high school mean girl personality combined with her ability to seemingly engender worship in her supporters that I found disturbing. That's why I believe that Jo...more
Huma Rashid
Being at least somewhat familiar with Joe McGinniss's work as a journalist, I wanted to be sure I read this when it finally came out. I remember reading celebrity gossip blogs on the day that Joe moved up to Alaska and ended up setting up house right next door to Sarah Palin and her brood. The verdict across the interwebz was pretty much unanimous among the celebrity blogs: Sarah Palin is a twit and a rabid psychopath, but this is just plain creepy and desperate.

Like most casual observers of thi...more
Diane Wilkes
Relatively soon after this book came out and the blistering reviews came in, it wasn't on the octagonal at B&N. Despite the negative things I heard about this book (hatchet-piece, too nasty to be lucid), I like to check things out for myself. (I also read GOING ROGUE, Sarah Palin's first book. That's who I am.)

The book is lucid, but a bit personal; too much of it involves McGinniss' personal story of how Palinworld attacked him and tried to stop him from getting information when he moved nex...more
Naomi
In regards to Sarah Palin, love her~hate her, who really cares?!?! It is all based on political leanings anyway. Joe McGiniss is one of my true favorites in the area of true crime writing and, I know, I read this book to see what his writing was going to be like. First of all, he really crept me out with moving in next door to her. I felt it really bordered on stalking and being a "peeping tom"/voyerism. I know for me I wanted to see if Joe's political bias affected his dynamic writing capabilit...more
Amy
Whatever bugged you about Sarah Palin before--it's worse than you think. She looks here to be a dictator in search of a country. Most of the stories here are about what she did on the Alaska political scene, before the McCain ticket came along. Maybe she's learned a few things since then.

Apparently nobody with anything good to say about the Palins would talk to McGinnis. This does make the book feel not quite up to what such a well-respected journalist can do, maybe even not the book McGinnis me...more
Kate Woods Walker
Joe McGinniss is the perfect writer for this subject. Not only is he well-matched due to his experience with political nonfiction (The Selling of the President 1968), but because he's experienced in researching true crime, most famously with Fatal Vision. He's also battled the sociopathic mindset in court, when convicted family murderer Jeffrey MacDonald sued because (boo-hoo-hoo) mean old Joe lied to poor old Jeff to get a story out of him.

Somehow narcissists and sociopaths never seem to excuse...more
Chris Bauer
I have to admit I'm not a huge Sarah Palin fan simply based on major media coverage for the past several years. I don't consider myself a Republican or a Democrat either. This book paints an unfavorable portrait of Palin through personal anecdotes and interviews with her enemies. Let's be clear about the tone of the book - it is not written as an impartial account of anything except the author's "struggles" to move in next door to the Palin's residence in Alaska. Most of the information (at leas...more
Donna Silber
This book was interesting to me in many ways; A lot of the stuff Joe wrote about was kept within Alaska and so we didn't know too much about Sarah's way out there religious and political beliefs. By the time mainstream media picked up on most of her outrageousness, I had lost interest and didn't pay too much attention to it. This book really opened my eyes not just to Sarah but to politics in general and how dishonest most, if not all politicians are. Are there any good ones out there? What abou...more
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Joe McGinniss (born 1942) is an American author of nonfiction and novels. He first came to prominence with the best-selling The Selling of the President 1968 which described the marketing of then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon, and has authored 11 works since that time. His latest book is The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin.
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