Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What a Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals” as Want to Read:
What a Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What a Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  26 reviews
I thought I knew Terry McAuliffe as well as anyone, but this time he surprised even me. Who knew Terry could sit still long enough to give us a book this good? "What a Party!" is a must-read for all of us who love politics, believe in public service, and know that laughter is often the best survival strategy."
--President Bill Clinton
"No one knows more about American poli
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What a Party!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What a Party!

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  154 ratings  ·  26 reviews

Sort order
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
The subtitle of this book is not appropriate. Instead, it should be What a Party! How Terry McAuliffe Has Never, Ever Made a Single Mistake on a Matter of Any Real Importance. This reads like a caricature of a memoir, where the writer is a hero on every page and when bad things happen, it's always someone else's fault. (Did I mention that McAuliffe also seems to have had his friends and employees shill the book with a glowing Amazon review or three? Apparently he forgot or just doesn't care that ...more
May 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
This book is hilarious. Read it for the humor and don't focus on the politics. It's a political beach read. Great stories though on the Clinton years and honest reflection on issues with the Kerry campaign. Also really interesting to hear from Terry himself about how he turned around the DNC. Note- this book is best for those who align themselves more to the left although even republicans will find themselves chuckling at some of his stories (like he seriously did wrestly an alligator to raise m ...more
Steve Comstock
McAuliffe's memoirs are rollicking and energetic. Of course he is pretty partisan, critical of the Bush administration and Republicans in general, which is to be expected from a former DNC chairman. He does not spend much time on policy discussion, but formats the book in a fast paced storytelling style. His energy pops right off the page. This is a great read for political junkies who want a behind the scenes look at the nuts and bolts of campaign work.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, biography
Kind of a fun read. McAuliffe is a natural storyteller, in the classic tradition, which means you're never entirely sure how much of the story is pure BS. He's very difficult not to like, despite the naked egotism, false humility, and so forth. It's an interesting look into how you can become a real power player in U.S. politics as well.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
a easy read and interesting look at a Clinton insider.
Colin Cox
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish reading it. I got the point early on about how important Terry McAuliffe is.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining.
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
An interesting book filled with fascinating stories about what it takes to be a money-man in Democratic politics, even if you have to wrestle alligators and have little family time. Many of his stories are lively and interesting and he tells them with much vim and verve. His passion for principles is also an undeniable driving force of many of his tales. I gave this book only four stars though because of two things: shamelessness and chronology. He is absolutely shameless about making anybody in ...more
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Die-Hard Democrats Only
This is the most partisan book I have ever read, and it was pretty fun. Terry is arrogant in a charming way -- you have to roll your eyes when he insists that he predicted everything that has ever happened in politics and that he is responsible for most of the good and none of the bad. (Also, he must have kept a log of how late he stayed up each night because that detail was on nearly every page. Bizarre.) Tons of great behind-the-scenes stories about the Clintons and the recent presidential cam ...more
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
An entertaining book about McAuliffe's path to his involvement in the Democratic party. I enjoyed his stories (especially the one about having to wrestle an alligator for money). However, it got boring at times, and had to skip over some parts to sustain my interest. Also, if you don't like him, the Democrats or the Clintons, don't even bother reading this - he comes off as very self-involved unless he is praising Bill and Hillary.
Sep 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Pure fun for any Democrat looking for the inside scoop from the former head of the DNC - lots of stories and remembrances and silly stuff. You aren't going to find anything heavy or controversial here - just lots of info about the exploits of consummate Democratic insider and friend of the Clintons.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
I liked this book because Terry is/was so close to the Clintons. I especially liked the description of Bill Clinton when he would challenge someone at a game. It sounds like he was unbeatable, especially at the NY Times crossword puzzles.

However, my sister, has become a crosswords puzzle champion of sorts. I bet she could give Bill Clinton a run for his money.
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politico
An entertaining, motivating, and thought-provoking book (as is the 2000 election - WTF were these people doing?!?), thoroughly charming guy. It's no wonder he gets people to hand over fistfuls of money - I purchased 3 full priced books after hearing him speak. And if that is not a testament to his ability, I don't know what is.
Evan Macbeth
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
It jumps around at the beginning, the name dropping is constant, and the pace is relentless. In short, this is pretty much Terry McAuliffe's quintessence in book form. I really liked it. A fascinating and clearly one-sided perspective on the last thirty years of Democratic politics, and definitely a necessary read for anyone who claims to understand them.
Ryan Naples
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer2007
Very light reading. Too little of the book talked about his time as Chairman of the DNC, though probably because despite his best efforts, 2000-2004 was not the best time for the party. It's nonetheless a pretty good read for a political junkie like say, me or Suzanne Globetti.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: political junkies
Terry McAulliffe's book is somewhat self-serving, which is something he even admits to in the book. Nevertheless, it is an interesting and insightful book. I particularly liked McAuliffe's insights on the Clintons, failures of the Kerry presidential campaign, and modernizing the DNC.
Johan Sulaiman
I lean more towards R than D, but this is a fun book filled with insider anecdotes about the life of a Democratic fundraiser. His rise to fortune is also an inspiration, as well as educational. Terry sounds like a really good person to know and watch.
May 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Kind of a "kiss & tell" for the political set. Lots of name-dropping of world leaders (which is kind of interesting). Offers great insights into the wild world of political fundraising. If you're not a Dem, don't bother.
Mary Grogan
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Democrates
The book reads like a history lesson so you not only learn about McAuliffe's life growing up with a political father but also how campaignes are run and won.
Laurel Snode
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
He is a real player, and I kind of liked him.
Paola Moll
Oct 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
I've always thought this guy was hilarious, and it definitely came across in the tone of the book. A good read for someone who wants to be a political operative/fund raiser.
Mar 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
A book of anecdotes from fundraising guru to the Dems.
Molly S.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book!
G Crawshaw
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great audiobook. As always with political books, entirely partisan but in a fun & interesting way
rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2014
Grace Novak
rated it it was ok
Mar 21, 2015
rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2017
Sarah Scully
rated it it was ok
May 24, 2007
karl taylor
rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2015
Chris Case
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »