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Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,031 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
For twenty years, James Carville and Mary Matalin have held the mantle of the nation’s most politically opposed, ideologically mismatched, and intensely opinionated couple. In this follow-up to their groundbreaking All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, Carville and Matalin take a look at how they—and America—have changed in the last two decades. If nothing else ...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Blue Rider Press
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Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books that I've ever read, regardless of genre. Matalin and Carville are such good communicators, story tellers, and their frank exposure of their most extreme beliefs (which they BOTH have, and BOTH are open about) is refreshing.

I've seen many reviews on here, people who rate the book lowly because they disagree with either Matalin's or Carville's political beliefs -- one review even said that they stopped reading less than a chapter in because of a one-sentence state
Christine Olson
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I never understood how these two could be married. I wouldn't even date a republican much less marry one. Republicanism and cannibalism are deal breakers for me. But I digress, this book is insightful, funny and informative. I thought I would be able to say, some of Mary's political beliefs make me want to gag (if not worse) but some of James' do also. Wrong he says nothing wrong and she is a republican, nuff said. At least I found their relationship more believable when I learned they barely sp ...more
Rick McGee
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book at the LBJ Library and had it signed. Mary and James were at a table, pens in hand, and no one in line. The moment was right and luckily I done in and grabbed a terrific read. The authors go back and forth and apply their wit, humor and smarts on a variety of topics. Their honesty and transparency shines through as they discuss emotional topics and toss a few political barbs over the transom. My sole criticism is for James. He scratched a signature that looks like a humped bac ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
I stopped reading as soon as Matalin used the phrase 'Obama's economy.' Is she really that ignorant? Or has she chosen to conveniently forget all the horribly awry choices her bosses made? Sub-prime mortgages were perpetrated largely by money hungry republicans. I didn't care for her before. If possible, I care for her even less now.
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I started paying attention to politics in the early nineties when I was in high school and my dad began listening to Rush Limbaugh. And I noticed when these two (Matalin and Carville) got married. I've been vaguely curious about what their marriage must be like ever since, so when I noticed this book on the new non fiction shelf at the library I had to pick it up. It's an easy, guilty pleasure kind of read. If you're not interested in politics I don't think you'll be drawn to it, but if you are, ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was recommended to me as an interesting read to see politics from both sides. Unfortunately, I didn't love it - the concept of pitting Matalin and Carville against each other seemed hackneyed and sensationalistic. There were some interesting inside looks at various political events, and I particularly enjoyed learning more about what it was like to work in the White House on 9/11, but overall I was kind of bored.
Karen West
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up because I love James Carville, and I have enjoyed Mary and James battling on, yes, MSNBC and CNN. I found Mary's defense of the Republican machine and the "fair and unbiased reporting" of FOX news a bit hard to take. But the information regarding the elections and working in the White House was quite informative. Mary's criticism of the liberals and the liberal media was hard to stomach, and I agreed much more with James Carville and his comments, but it may be because of m ...more
James Carville and Mary Matalin were career political advisers when they met and fell in love. It was almost a Romeo and Juliet thing because they come from opposite sides of the aisle. She's a hard core Republican and he's a tried and true Democrat. They are both great story tellers.

Why I started this book: I picked this book up when it came into my library, because I had just visited New Orleans and the title caught my eye. After reading the back blurb I was interested.

Why I finished this book
Tom Turbiville
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
My fault -- I thought this book would be something more cerebral than self-serving. We get it that you're political opposites and married but why does that warrant a book of any interest. Turns out it didn't.
Kudos for a moving description of their heartbreak at the death of Tim Russert, but Mary's seemingly never-ending description of what she wore to work the morning of 9/11 was as offending as using this event to try out some humor on the reader.
It was obvious James didn't want to write this
Rose Marinelli
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics of their careers, political points of view, marriage and family! Loved reading about their move to New Orleans!!
Jenna M
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A spirited and real dual bio about two fascinating and inspiring people and their complicated lives.
Ruth Glen
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great audio, they read it.
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
good read if you enjoy their story and have followed their politics. I started following their dynamic relationship after viewing the War Room with James and George Stephanapoulas.
Lara Lillibridge
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book for background on something I was writing that then went in a different direction, but I liked the book enough to keep reading. It is the memoir (for those who don't recognize the names) of a husband and wife, one democrat, one republican who actually love each other and manage to peacefully coexist. The narration switches back and forth between Matalin and Carville, though Matalin writes the majority of the book.

One unexpected take away for me was that this book is
Arno Hartholt
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy read I picked up in a cabin, finishing most of it in front of the fireplace. It’s remarkable to see the inside of a marriage between such prolific Democratic vs Republican strategists, but they sure make it work. Family, friends, work and rebuilding New Orleans are the major themes here, and there are a lot of interesting insights, regardless of your political leanings. Mary provides the bulk of the text, which at times can get lost into her love for animals, while James’ random insertions ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be delightfully readable. I expected it to be more political than it was, however, I was not disappointed by the insights into Washington politics, process, and relationships. What I really enjoyed, though his narratives were shorter, were the James Carville insights on leadership, Catholicism, and community. If Mary and James were my neighbors, I expect I would hang out with Mary and engage in a fair number of fun sparring matches with James.
Rebecca Morgan
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I love politics, this book made me love NOLA more. I wanted to visit and walk the streets after reading it. You can tell they love the town and they describe it well. It was a fun he said, she said read too, if you like these two. I’m said they’re less involved these days!
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Covers parts of their lives but focuses on their move from Washington DC to New Orleans. I enjoyed the back and forth (Mary & James) discussions on like topics.
Christi Cassel
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Rating: 2.5/5

Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters, and One Louisiana Home, begins with a list of FAQs that Matalin and Carville assure the reader will be answered “in vivid and occasionally lurid detail in the pages to follow.” They include:

-- “Is your marriage a sham?”
-- “Is your marriage a political stunt?”
-- “Is your wife as big a b**** as she seems to be on TV?”
-- “Is your husband weird like that at home?”
-- “What do you fight about the most?”

Yes, the tenor of the bo
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I come away from this book knowing that I could never be married to either James Carville or Mary Matalin, but spending 300 odd pages with them over the course of Love & War was akin to having a debate over drinks with charming, well-matched and extremely intelligent friends.

Although Carville, the democratic strategist credited with masterminding Bill Clinton's successful election in 1992, and Matalin, who worked tirelessly for both Bush 41 and 43, have vastly different political views - yo
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Looking in on someone's marriage could be perceived as spying, but in this case, the couple offers up a memoir of oddities, challenges, love and understandings of when opposites attract, so different in personality and political views one wonders, why in the heck are they married?

But they make it work. They being Mary Matalin and James Carville. Yes you may have heard of these two pundits. One right and one left. Politically Polarized.

Matalin, worked in the Reagan, Bush 41 and 43 administrati
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a good book. I love the back and forths between James and Mary. It's also simultaneously brutally honest (e.g. "We didn't speak during the Florida recount") and complete BS (e.g. "I loved waking up at 3AM to change my daughters' diapers"). It leans heavily towards honesty, though, and is clever and funny most of the time, too. Made me miss Louisiana something fierce.

James, on conspiracy and evilness in DC: "But in my experience, it's the exception, not the rule. There's a great te
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
As someone who works in politics, I was curious to read about the lives of these two. I was most interested in their reflections on their work, and how they balanced it with their unique family.

The book is arranged in short passages by each author, so you get the thoughts of each undiluted by the other. After the 2000 election, Mary Matalin assumes a very high position in the White House working under Vice President Dick Cheney. Here's a passage describing her feelings after being offered the j
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. While I have always found Carville entertaining and whip-smart about politics, I didn't jump to read this until I heard a few interviews with him and his wife Mary Matalin. Though I've never agreed with her politics on the political shows, I do respect her personality. What I didn't expect is that this book is inadvertently one of the most interesting books about politics and inadvertently a relationship guide. Had either of th ...more
Galen Johnson
This book appears to have been written in a hurry, without much consultation between the two authors, and poorly edited. It is organized in chapters on particular topics, with each chapter consisting of alternating sections by Matalin and Carville that often don't relate too well to each other. The style is distracting, and I felt like there was much more writing by Matalin although that may just have been that it is much more tedious to read her portions. Often, story threads just seemed to dis ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you are a political junkie, you should love this book. It helps if you like both James Carville (on the left) and Mary Matalin (on the right). One of the secrets to their marital success was a decision never to discuss the Iraq war.

This book is their second collaboration after "All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President," published in 1994. I enjoyed both. Carville and Matalin write alternating chapters. The chapters slide seamlessly back and forth.

I loved Matalin's chapters for their h
Rachel C.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am fascinated by James Carville and Mary Matalin's marriage. Damn, they must be able to compartmentalize like nobody's business. I mean, I guess it’s better to be with someone who shares your passion than not, even if they have completely opposite views. That’s why I tend to get along better with vegetarians who love food than people who will just stuff anything in their faces without caring what it is. Or take the guy who runs one of my book clubs. He has pretty much the exact opposite tastes ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
I really enjoyed getting to know Mary Matalin and James Carville in this book. I listened in Audible and it was read by the authors, each taking their own parts. James Carville reads REALLY fast. It was the first time I had cause to discover that Audible has a .5 speed. After a while, I got used to his fast talking, but it was a little overwhelming at first.

This is really Mary Matalin's book. Maybe 20% of it is James Carville. That's fine, as Matalin is charming and has fun stories to tell. I'm
Mary Matalin and James Carville, political strategists, one GOP the other a democrat met during the 1992 presidential campaign while working on opposite sides. They have been married for twenty years and have two children. I thought the book might be interesting to see how opposite keep it together. The book starts with their move to New Orleans in 2009 with Mary telling about her house hunting and finding a beautiful 1906 mansion. The book is written in two alternating and distinctive voices, t ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Important recommendation: Listen to the audiobook version. Otherwise you miss Carville's accent--the main reason I chose audio over print. But the bonus is that Matalin's voice and passion surprised and delighted me so much that even though I disagree with her on almost everything politically, I think I'd find her company to be quite enjoyable.
Brings me right to the reason I wanted to read this book--how can these two politically opposite Type As have such a long, apparently successful marriage?
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Mary Joe Matalin is an American political strategist and consultant. She is known for her work with the Republican Party. She was an assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney until 2003. In April 2004, she published the book Letters to My Daughters. In March 2005, Matalin was chosen to run a new conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster. She is ...more
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“Instead of taking all this information and using it as a window on the entire world, a big part of the media industry now exists in large part to confirm your beliefs. People have figured out that there’s a lot of money to be made telling you that you were right in the first place. It makes both sides more dug in.” 0 likes
“ones who had never met us but confidently” 0 likes
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