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The Last Debate

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  6 reviews
It is the night of the presidential debate. The election is eight days away. Republican nominees James Meredith, a fundamentalist Christian whose ambitions border on white supremacy, is pitted against four reporters who have just discovered damaging information that could ruin his career. What unfolds during The Last Debate will change the course of electoral politics and ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 21st 2000 by PublicAffairs (first published 1995)
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The author, Jim Lehrer, is the long-time anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. Although I have listened/seen Lehrer for years on PBS, I had no idea he also has written over a dozen novels and several plays. Certainly he should have a great background for a story of politics and journalism. –He almost has too much background. The novel is slow moving, and often contains too much detail about journalistic ethics. If I weren’t a bit of a politics junkie I don’t think I would have stuck wit ...more
This could've been a good book and an interesting fictional treatment of the lines between citizenship, activism, and journalism. Instead, it's an embarrassment, especially coming from someone who actually covers politics. For this book to be even remotely plausible (SPOILER ALERT), you have to buy the premise that a presidential candidate from a major party could make it to eight days before an election without allegations of being a violent, abusive sack of shit coming out. It's not plausible ...more
Pam Foster
This was a delicious book! I have never been disappointed with any of Jim Lehrer's novels and was just as delighted with this one as all the rest.
Thought provoking, at times preposterous, but just downright couldn't-put-it-down.
Dec 01, 2007 Nancy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: caustic politicos
The author's stature as a journalist led me to expect more from this "political novel." It is a fairly interesting plot about four journalists changing the course of an election by their tactics at a presidential debate. The premise was interesting; the moral questions worth pondering; but the writing was less than compelling.

I have been closely following most of the debates (all of them!) this election cycle so I thought this book would be timely---but it disappointed me.
Mary Frances
The news moves on, so some of the references in this book make it dated, but it is a fun read for those who enjoy political novels. In the end, the big surprise and result stretches credulity, as Incan't figure out why it was hidden so well, but I still enjoyed the book.
An interesting read but with more pretensions to significance than it really had. I enjoyed it while considering it a pretty mediocre, unmemorable book.
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James Charles Lehrer is an American journalist and the news anchor for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, known for his role as a frequent debate moderator during elections. Lehrer is an author of non-fiction and fiction, drawing from his experiences and interests in history and politics.

More about Jim Lehrer...
Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain Top Down: A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination The Special Prisoner No Certain Rest The White Widow

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