Jake's Reviews > Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

Game Change by John Heilemann
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's review
Jan 24, 2010

really liked it
Read from January 31, 2010 to August 15, 2012


The backstage pass offered here is fascinating, but ultimately tinged with what seems like inaccuracies. I would liken reading this to having a book on the history of Tobacco Road with both authors holding degrees from Chapel Hill. There's plenty of gossip and damaging characterizations throughout this, but none of it is really directed at Obama. The little invective pointed in his direction either doesn't stick or is painted as preposterous because of its sources. As someone who worked on Hillary's campaign, I can hardly claim to be an unbiased audience. That said, I also know that there were other allegations concerning Obama and his campaign's behavior throughout. The fact that he comes off as a Golden Boy with a little bit of an attitude problem is disconcerting, to say the least.

I also thought it was problematic that so little attention was focused on McCain, Palin, and the Republican nomination process. I can't imagine they exhausted the depth of information out there for an overarching view of the proceedings. Pieces of this book dive into highly-detailed spans of time, and then months elapse in a matter of paragraphs.

I think what I'm trying to say is this - the book overall is impressive and quite intriguing. The research is well done but far from the final word. Consistency is a major weakness here, and, while I found the book fascinating, I was left wanting something more. In that way, it's quite similar to the 2008 election itself - and Obama's campaign.


This book is just as manipulative two years later. I appreciate the research and how easily one plows through this story, but the obvious characterizations and tweaking of reputations is pretty nauseating. They have a boner for Obama and hated pretty much everyone else involved, and it's hard to read at times as a result.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley "To Read" = for serious.

Jake Can.Not.Wait.

message 3: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Did you see the excerpt in NY Magazine? C-razy!

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