Renee's Reviews > Going Rogue: An American Life

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
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's review
Nov 21, 2009

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bookshelves: bestseller, memoir
Read in November, 2009

After hearing so many people defend Palin due to the media coverage that is decidedly skewed in both directions and rarely unbiased, I was excited to read words directly from her. Obama’s book left me amazed at his ability to comprehend a variety of political historical events/trends/leaders and make predictions from those experiences. Palin’s book left me satisfied but not as impressed.

I do believe it was well-written and maybe even more well-edited. The topics are easy to follow and mix personal and political in a way that keeps the reader’s interest. It’s hard to describe the tone of the book, though. Maybe you knew a kid in high school that would brag to his friends how little he had studied and how much he liked to party, and then would tell his parents and teachers how hard he studied and how driven he was? It felt like that. The same situation was often portrayed in multiple ways, trying to sound cool and then trying to sound like a plea for sympathy. One example is the way she tells how she slacked off originally in college, and then won beauty pageants to pay for several years of college, and then is appalled when people criticized her multiple schools and 5-year-plan and defends herself as a hard-working person that had to work to pay her own way through and that used to be a valued characteristic. A lot of emotionally conflicting stories like that.

While I respect her decision to speak her end of what went on in the VP election, the tone came off probably with more whining than she wanted. She did take responsibility for several situations she wished she could have handled differently. And some of the odd comments or situations definitely made more sense with background. But everyone that was nice to her was described as attractive and bubbly, and people that she thinks betrayed her were described condescendingly with terms like “tired-looking” or “the falafel lady.” I also found it amusing that Levi was never mentioned by name, and only referred to in two sentences near the end (very negatively). Sarah certainly did not hold back, which made for good reading.

Politically I was relieved with what I read. I do think she was effective in her terms as mayor and governor, and works hard to realize her goals and not cut corners. I admire these characteristics very much. And I fully believe she is very honest. However, I think she almost focuses too narrowly on limited topics for the VP role she ran for. I think she could be highly effective and happy on a specific committee or running local government, but I didn’t get the feeling that she comprehends broader issues or can relate to people that aren’t like her or come from different backgrounds. For example, in support of drilling, she disagrees that the moose population would be hurt by the pipeline, but she states that even if they were going to be killed off, she would “tell the moose to take one for the team.” Those kinds of statements will alienate all environmentalists pretty quickly.

Nearly all of her historical references are to Reagan. The recent Bush is mentioned maybe twice and Clinton only once. Not much before that. She is very focused on taxes and energy and building up the army, but doesn’t seem to step back from that enough to help run a country. Personally I disagree with the mentality of trying to scare other nations with the size of our military. Financially, I did feel she has thought through her economic perspective well, but the presentation was so full of hatred for anything liberal or left that the tone distracted from what would have otherwise been a good explanation. As an example, she went on what I thought was a good spiel about the need for unbiased media, and then at the end of it, finished off with the comment that we should be wary of the liberal and leftist groups that try to shut down unbiased media.

So while this book clearly wasn’t written for anyone who isn’t a conservative or has every disagreed with a conservative policy, I did appreciate the insights and felt that I better understand why the republicans chose her as the running mate. Her ability to juggle family life and an intense political schedule was admirable and authentic, and she does believe very strongly in the platforms she supports, and is willing to work hard to achieve honest success.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Lori (new)

Lori You are incredibly unbiased in your review. Thanks for the low-down.

Renee Best compliment I could hope for. Thanks, Lori.

message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Bain I'm very impressed with your objective read, and that you took the time at all to her her in her own words.

Diane Familia In my opinion I rather see a moose gone than an American soldier which is what she was referring to.

Renee Hello, Diane from Texas - I didn't even realize people I didn't know could comment on my reviews. How interesting! Anyways, that comment has been read differently than I intended several times, so I'll try to clarify. I was not at all defending the moose, and actually believe that Sarah has a lot more background in whether or not the moose is at risk and/or important. Instead, I was trying to convey my concern that she isn't as skilled at debate and getting people with other opinions to agree with her, as I would like to see in a national politician. I believe our country is founded on the concept of differing opinions and freedom to think how you want, but in order to make progress and decisions at a national level, you have to be able to convince your opponents that you see their side, understand their concerns, and present facts as to why you are arguing for something else. A dismissive attitude, which I was trying to show in that example, just won't be effective at anything other than dividing our country further apart. You may still disagree with me, but I hope that at least clarifies what I was trying to say.

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