Nicole's Reviews > Going Rogue: An American Life

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
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's review
Feb 04, 2010

it was ok

More like a 2.5. Palin's memoir is readable, as far as political memoirs go, and though the work is accessible and full of the folksy straight talk the former Veep candidate is now in/famous for, the book is not particularly interesting, revealing or insightful. Reminds me of what Freud said regarding why he never wrote a memoir, that in order to be truly, autobiographically revealing, which is what distinguishes memoir from other literary mediums, one has to say quite lot about others, which means revealing things about these people they likely don't want revealed. For this reason, Freud, the maestro of revelation, declined to write a memoir, knowing a good memoir would be too difficult for his friends and family, and a watered down recount of personal history that doesn't implicate friends and family would make for a bad one.

I sensed, in reading this, that Palin (Palin's ghostwriter?) struggled to find some balance between being revealing and being too revealing, and the result is a friendly, if tepid and predicatble (the DNC whomping of the GOP in '08 was not her fault!) account of Sarah, the politician.

The issue here isn't that the writing is bad (it's good, maybe a bit functional, but technically good), or that Palin isn't interesting (she is). The problem is her memoir is a series of memories that lack perspective. Had she written this five years from now, I bet it would be more direct and potent for the multiple views/takes the distance would have granted her. As is, this is a collection of events, but not a memoir, at least not one that does anything interesting with memory. Look out, though. Palin is not without her charms, talents, and rhetorical abilities, and she's more popular than ever. And there is too much Palin in the work to have been totally ghostwritten, which means in five years Going Rogue II could get 4 stars from me--me, a card-carrying liberal.

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

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Nicole For my second poetry collection 'Tax-Dollar Super-Sonnet Featuring Sarah Palin as Poet,' due out from Black Radish Books late 2010/early 2011. Gotta do my research.

message 2: by Marthe (new)

Marthe Reed OMG!

message 3: by James (new)

James Check out "The Wit and Wisdom of Sarah Palin." Well worth a read.

message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark I still think she should have called it "My Struggle."

Nicole Ja.

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