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Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,776 ratings  ·  332 reviews
From Donna Brazile, former DNC chair and legendary political operative, an explosive and revealing new look at the 2016 election: the first insider account of the Russian hacking of the DNC and the missteps by the Clinton campaign and Obama administration that enabled a Trump victory.

In the fallout of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee--and as chaos t
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Hachette Books
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David In the book, she claims that she has no record nor any recollection of having sent an email to the Clinton campaign revealing debate questions in adva…moreIn the book, she claims that she has no record nor any recollection of having sent an email to the Clinton campaign revealing debate questions in advance, and that she believes that the leaked email purporting to show otherwise was a forgery.

Given her other, seemingly inconsistent statements about this issue in the past, I personally don't know what to believe at this point. But whether you believe her or not, it certainly is true that it is a common technique of the Russians to add just a few falsified documents into an email dump of mostly authentic documents. And other leaked emails in the WikiLeaks dump did turn out to have been falisfied.

See, e.g.,

See also, e.g.,
Lisa Majdub I'm here looking for the same answer. I've ordered plenty of times and have never had this problem. I'm going to write Amazon as their my App Store.…moreI'm here looking for the same answer. I've ordered plenty of times and have never had this problem. I'm going to write Amazon as their my App Store.(less)

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Richard Derus
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I said I wasn't going to review this book. I meant that. But the Epilogue has a phrase in it that I believe we all need to hear. Page 234:
This election...broke all the rules and destroyed all the traditions of civility—but after a firestorm what comes up first is hearty and strong. As a country we are back down to the fundamental questions: Who are we? What do we value? Can we find a way to trust again and not just seeing each other as partisan enemies? Can we remember that we have more in commo
Jon Nakapalau
Drawing up the curtain Donna Brazile takes us backstage as the DNC tries to regain election equilibrium even as Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns. The events that unfold have Donna Brazile putting out fires - even as she stands in a pool of gasoline. The main take away from this book is that elections have changed - from now on - and any party that fails to understand this simple concept will face harsh lessons in the future.
Someone asked me a question about Donna Brazile and I suddenly realized that I haven't read her book yet, although I had it for a while. So it was time to meet an amazing woman in politics on her terms.

I'm not going into the details of the book since it received so many reviews already and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for quite a while. So many interviews went down with Ms. Brazile about her controversial book.

According to the author this was her version of what happened and she
Gary Moreau
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever a nation stands at a crossroads, it is easy to believe that this one is somehow more meaningful or challenging than those we stood at before. Seldom in our history, however, have we stood at so many crossroads all at one time. Globalism, immigration, economic inequity, the threat of nuclear war, racial injustice, the treatment of women, sexual identity rights, gun control, and, of course, the recent horrors rained down on innocent people just going about their lives, all seem to have co ...more
L.A. Starks
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
The double entendre in the title promises some witty insight, but it's all downhill from there.

There's way too much info about Donna Brazile and her dog, and her favorite colors and foods and whatever. The juiciest computer hack is about her giving debate questions unfairly to Hillary, but she turns that into a self-pity-party, and thinks we should believe she's innocent despite the evidence because she cannot prove she is (huh?).

So why even give the book 2*? Because you can learn something fr
J. Boo
Nov 02, 2017 marked it as to-read
Teaser excerpt on Politico, where knives are stuck into several important (or "formerly important") political figures.

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

Brazile has always struck me as very capable. I'm fairly confident that what she writes is what she wants believed, with quite a lot true, and quite a lot of the truth shaded. Definitely worth a trip with her into the 'wilderness of mirrors', though.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I''m a pretty strong conservative, but I found this to provide an insight into a presidential campaign. Ms. Brazile is certainly not objective but she shouldn't be expected to be. She treats Hillary very gently, but it seems to me that the candidate herself is responsible for that campaign. She also skips mention (unless I missed it) of Hillary's private server fiasco. I don't blame her; Hillary did a profoundly stupid thing, at best. A criminal thing. What could possibly be said in
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cultural-social
So many problems with this past election. Overall, this book paints a troubling picture--but it is laced with hope. Moreover, even with the problems the DNC faced, I think there was a better candidate than Secretary Clinton.
Ken Oder
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm no expert on politics. In fact, I hate politics and generally avoid books about it. I picked up Donna Brazile's book because I hoped her writing style would be as engaging and candid as her public speaking and because, despite my aversion to politics, I find the Presidential election of 2016 to be an intriguing mysterious mess. In the lead-up to the election, I thought the Republicans nominated the only candidate who could lose to HRC and the Democrats nominated the only candidate who could ...more
Cynthia Rennolds
Donna Brazile needs to provide herself cover on what went wrong in the Hillary campaign and why it wasn’t her fault. Apparently she had absolutely no control over anything. Based on the book I don’t know what her job even was because nothing, absolutely nothing was her fault or under her control. She knew the entire time the campaign was failing but had no way to impact it. I found the book not very interesting or helpful in understanding what happened. And apparently she had no interactions wit ...more
Mary Abbott
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An eye opening page turner!

Thank you Donna Brazile for your service to America, for your grit, perseverance, and decision to tell the world about the internal struggles you and so many others suffered during the 2016 presidential election.

Highly recommended.
Chris Sosa
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. Donna Brazile oscillates between serious examinations of international hacking efforts designed to thwart American democracy and dishy stories about the drama of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The personal put-downs are sometimes so unnecessary, one has to wonder what Brazile hopes to gain from using a campaign memoir to emulate the infamous 'Mean Girls' burn book. Even more confusing is how someone with this temperament ended up at the helm of th
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
I’ve been searching for why and how information since the 2016 Presidential election results started to turn towards 45. This book adds a valuable dimension to the picture, including plenty of info about Russian hackers and cyber defense. Still, it’s highly readable and I absolutely recommend it for political history and memoir readers.

Full review at
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-election
Brazile's title refers to at least two hacks: the hack of the DNC and HRC campaigns servers and the hack organizers running the HRC campaign. More than two thirds of the book deals with the Russian hack. The criticism of the HRC campaign leadership is the juicy and personal part of the book while the story of the effort to block the Russians from further penetration of the American electoral process is really her main concern. Interesting how most of the noise about the book has centered on Braz ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, audio, politics
Is this a good book? I'm not sure. It isn't a 'literate' piece of nonfiction; it is, however, told in Donna Brazile's voice with the Louisianan vernacular so clearly Donna.

The media screamed headlines that claimed the DNC rigged the primary; those headlines failed to understand the nuance of the occurrences. Donna told the story in such a way that finally clarified what Debbie Wasserman Schultz did that was wrong. As a Democrat, I found Donna's descriptions useful in revealing the inner workings
Fred Klein
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
If there is a part of you that believes that the hacking of the DNC might have been done by a 400-lb. man in the basement of his mother's house, you must read this book.

This is the best account of what went wrong with the Clinton campaign that I have read -- better than Hillary Clinton's, better than Katy Tur's. Donna Brazile does not hold back when she describes what went wrong, both externally and internally, and she names names.

The DNC was strategically cyber-attacked by professionals at the
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
What a phenomenal book from a great lady. Brazile pulls no punches as she gives the reader an inside look at the DNC, the hacking of the election and the personalities of some of the major players.

When Brazile was brought in to take over the DNC mid-election, it was broke and seriously in debt. Obama had left the organization seriously in the red, and Hillary was raising her own money, which she wanted spent on her campaign, not the down ticket races. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had a big office wi
Robert Miller
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The author purports to shed light on the alleged Russian hack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—from the perspective of an insider – Donna Brazile, who had a reputation “as a one-stop shop for fixing sticky problems.” The book fails to reveal any meaningful novel intelligence on this subject, however. Rather, Brazile mostly sets out her angst over being ignored and mistreated by “Brooklyn,” the core of the Hillary Clinton campaign. As it turns out, she is probably correct—Clinton likely ...more
Paul Miller
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Per the author, Trump won because the Dems were hacked and Hillary didn’t give her any money to drive minority turnout. In her candor about these outrages, she also reveals that the primaries were rigged against Bernie, the only politics for the Dems is identity politics, their operations are totally amateurish, and Hillary was a horrible candidate - inspired nobody, even the Dems - her primary virtue was her gender. A really quick, fun read, believe it or not! You’ll laugh to yourself again and ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this as an ebook, then switched to the audio version, which is narrated by the author. I definitely prefer the audio book since it allowed the author's personality and emotional tone to come through more easily than the print version. I came to really like Donna's bold, to-the-point style.

Going into this book, I thought it was another Hillary bashing book since it was being used as proof by Bernie supporters that the Democratic primary was rigged. However, the book was not written for
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the most honest presentation of how Washington and it’s surrogates operate. Yet what is much more important is it provides an unintentional entry into Washington’s bazarro world where truth is what I say it is and truth is of course always second to winning.

The writting starts with claiming Messrs. Obama, Hillary Clinton and the DNC Chairwoman Schultz,
are her long time friends and that they are all highly competent honest individuals. However, the rest of the book disparages their abili
Budd Margolis
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you wanted to know why Hillary lost the election then this book goes further to the truth than the recent book by Hillary. Donna goes straight to the heart of the matter and she pulls no punches. A person in politics who shoots straight and fights for what is right which is the exposure of the Russian hacking on the DNC, America and the Presidential campaign and election of 2016. The hacking issue is carefully explained and we see the efforts made to combat it some heroic and patriotic. She a ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Brazile certainly provides insight into the skullduggery of the 2016 campaign, and provides some interesting insights into the role of Russian hacking, and so on. However, any reader with an ounce of critical thinking will find that this book is a reputation-saving memoir designed to puff up the raging ego of Brazile. She details her snappy comebacks, and how snappy they were, as well as her GREAT reforms in the DNC, and how GREAT they were. Brazile fails to adequately condemn the DNC's blatant ...more
Robin LMD
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political junkies of both stripes
I wanted to read this book as soon as I heard about it because I knew there was more to the story of the DNC hacks....and there sure is. I also miss Donna Brazile as a CNN commentator and wanted to know more about what she says happened with the leaked debate question. If you are picking this book up to find the answer to that question alone, don't bother as the issue is addressed but never fully resolved to anyone's satisfaction. She details the behind-the-scenes tensions between the data-drive ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Not sure what I should say about this book because there are a lot of things that COULD be said about it. To be sure, Donna has an interesting story to tell and an interesting perspective. She is brave for telling many parts of it. It is sad to read about the many threats she received. Completely uncalled for. However, I found it frustrating to listen to someone who finds victimhood around every corner and in many different forms. She doesn't hesitate to use her race and gender to call others ou ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Donna Brazile writes her story in a relaxed and engaging way. She tells of her experience as the DNC Chair during the 2016 election. While Ms. Brazile seems like a person I would like to know and be very happy to have as a neighbor, I don't know that her book is 100% historically accurate, 100% honest, or 100% complete. I think a few things get fudged.

A biggie is her handling of the incident where she is alleged to have given a debate question to the HRC camp before the debate happened. (view sp
Laurel Starkey
What did I just read?

Donna Brazile’s book “Hacks” has an identity problem. Is it about the hacking of the DNC, the consequences of said hacking and the implications for future elections? Or is it about the hacks that ran the HRC campaign into a wall allowing the most outrageous GOP candidate in quite some time to win.

The tone of the book is self-indulgent, almost whiney and I found it frustrating to read. But the accusations it levels at both the Russians and the HRC campaign are worth examinin
John Jaksich
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting and clear take on how the DNC was blindsided by Wikileaks, Guccifer2.0, and Trump&Co.

This book is subtly written -- namely because we get a surreal feel for how Ms. Brazile recalls key events within a context of the disastrous 2016 election bid of H. R. Clinton. While Ms. Brazile conveys good natured "positive feelings" of being a significant player during the year leading up to the 2016 election, we get a sense of an undertow. This undertow is as treacherous as the ocean current
Robin Case
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better books about the 2016 election process. Ms. Brazile writes in a free flowing style about her experience from the inside of the election. Although I can not agree with all of her conclusions, I am struck by how much age, race, gender plays into our interpretation of facts. Ms. Brazile's knowledge of technology is limited as she attempts to explain the 'Russian hacking'. What I liked was the refreshing lack of elitism in most of her narrative. I have sympathy for her appar ...more
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Donna Brazile is an American author, educator, and political activist and strategist affiliated with the Democratic Party. She was the first African-American to direct a major presidential campaign.

Brazile was born in Kenner, Louisiana to Lionel and Jean Brazile, the third of nine children. She became interested in politics at age nine when a local candidate for office promised to build a neighbor

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“If the DNC was a small business, it was like no small business I’ve ever seen. We change bosses and objectives with each election cycle and our goal is to spend every dime we raise to get people elected. Long-term planning for things like investment in cybersecurity is hard to do in this environment. And in this cycle it sometimes seemed like Brooklyn wanted to strip it of its functionality nearly as much as the Russians had.” 1 likes
“Pitting these two angry bears against the DNC was not a fair fight, Shawn Henry of CrowdStrike said in the Post article: “This is a sophisticated foreign intelligence service with a lot of time, a lot of resources, and is interested in targeting the U.S. political system. You’ve got ordinary citizens who are doing hand-to-hand combat with trained military officers, and that’s an untenable situation.” 1 likes
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