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Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in America
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Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in America [Bargain Price] [Paperback]

Donna Brazile
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 24, 2005
Cooking with Grease is an inspiring, behind-the-scenes memoir of the life and times of a tenacious political organizer and the first African-American woman to head a major presidential campaign.

Donna Brazile fought her first political fight at age nine -- campaigning (successfully) for a city council candidate who promised a playground in her neighborhood. The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, she committed her heart and her future to political and social activism. By the 2000 presidential election, Brazile had become a major player in American political history -- and she remains one of the most outspoken and forceful political activists of our day.

Brazile grew up one of nine children in a working-poor family in New Orleans, a place where talking politics comes as naturally as stirring a pot of seafood gumbo -- and where the two often go hand in hand. Growing up, she learned how to cook from watching her mother, Jean, stir the pots in their family kitchen. She inherited her love of reading and politics from her grandmother Frances. Her brothers Teddy Man and Chet worked as foot soldiers in her early business schemes and in her voter registration efforts as a child.

Cooking with Grease follows Donna's rise to greater and greater political and personal accomplishments. But each new career success came with its own kind of heartache, especially in her greatest challenge: leading Al Gore's 2000 campaign, making her the first African American to lead a major presidential campaign.

Cooking with Grease is an intimate account of Donna's thirty years in politics. Her witty style and innovative political strategies have garnered her the respect and admiration of colleagues and adversaries alike -- she is as comfortable trading quips with Karl Rove as she is with her Democratic colleagues. Her story is as warm and nourishing as a bowl of Brazile family gumbo.

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Editorial Reviews Review

Harvard professor, Washington power broker and former Gore 2000 campaign chair Donna Brazile's life might make for a pretty entertaining Hollywood movie if an actress could be found gutsy enough to take on such a complex and intimidating leading role. From humble blue-collar Louisiana beginnings as one of nine children, Brazile went on to organize voter registration drives, marches to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr., and ultimately national political campaigns. In her memoir Cooking With Grease, Brazile shares candid perspectives on her employers and causes. And while Mike Dukakis and Dick Gephardt fans will be pleased to know their men are included, it is the insights on the charismatic preacher/activist/presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and Al Gore, whom Brazile insists won the controversial 2000 election, that make this a must read for devotees of modern political history. Her accounts of being backstage in the Gore camp shed valuable light on the tense political climate of that year's election and post-election recount mess in a way that only a select few from either the Bush or Gore campaigns could legitimately offer. Still, none of the candidates shine quite so brightly in this book as the author herself. Washington is, after all, operated, with a few exceptions, by moneyed white men and for a black woman from a humble background to succeed requires determination, a quick wit, and a powerful intellect. As Brazile climbs the political ladder, those qualities come in to sharp relief. But while Cooking With Grease is inspirational, and Brazile really ought to be auctioning the film rights if she hasn't already done so, it doesn't preach, inspiring by example rather than exhorting the reader to follow Brazile's own course of action. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Brazile's lifelong love affair with politics culminated in September 1999, when she became Al Gore's presidential campaign manager. She was also the first African-American woman to head a mainstream national presidential campaign. Both achievements are the subject of this lively, sometimes moving memoir. After joining the Dukakis campaign at age 21, through wise strategy choices and sheer ability, Brazile carved out a place at the table with the primarily male, white, middle-aged political elite. Her colorful observations about the high-profile politicians she met (black and white) are often entertaining, although she tries not to slam the door on potential future campaign positions. Bill Clinton "had the mind of six men..."; Rev. Jesse Jackson "was brilliant in terms of politics and he was a master of manipulation when it came to the media." Yet for all the insider look at the Gore campaign, the book's strength is Brazile herself, a self-described "abrasive Black woman." And while some may find self-serving her penchant for distancing herself from the Gore campaign's mistakes, readers will respond positively to the loving description of her Louisiana roots, her remarkable sense of purpose and her fierce loyalty to friends and family. Being a black woman informs all of Brazile's experiences, and readers get an invaluable glimpse of what it is like to be who she was, where she was, during one of America's most tumultuous political moments.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074325399X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743253994
  • ASIN: B001OW5N82
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,018,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I bought Brazile's book with the hopes of gaining an understanding of the inside scoop of Gore's campaign, and not only does the book deliver on that front, but it gives a wonderful insight into the life of a dynamic organizer who is literally the "American Dream" personified. She rose from poverty in the segregated south to running a campaign in which she was responsible for turning out the most democratic votes ever. Gore won the popular vote at the hands of this political genius. I do not understand the review from MD, as it seems that he has not read the book, or he would know the complexity of the situations for which he admonishes Brazile for. A smart reader will learn that many strategic decisions were made by a handful of paid consultants, and not endorsed by Brazile herself. Read this book if you truly want to have an understanding of what it means to be an American, and especially a studied voter.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside look with little "spin" July 8, 2004
Hundreds of "insider" political biographies have been written over the last few years. This book gives a very accurate and insightful look at what actually goes on at the highest levels of national politics, with a minimum of "spin." Unlike many others, Brazile has few axes to grind and spends little time shining her own reputation. I found the chapters about her early years more compelling than those written by Bill Clinton about his early life. This is an important book to read now, but it may be even more valuable to historians years from now in their attempt to understand this period of US history.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read August 20, 2004
I started reading this book and could not put it down. It is a very interesting read and gives an insight on how important voting is. Every true (and I mean EVERY!!) patriot should read this book. I have always watched her on CNN and wondered what was behind her; now i know. To Donna, you are simply the greatest of all time!!!!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Woman of Our Time July 8, 2004
I enjoyed this book! Ms. Brazile offers a very telling view of her life growing up in Louisiana, and her extensive career in politics. The secrets she revealed in this book both amazed, and inspired me. Donna Brazile is certainly one of the great women of our time, and she reaffirms my belief that America truly is the land of opportunity. I highly recommend this book.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brazile fired me up! June 6, 2004
By A Customer
I just finished Brazile's book and am more inspired than ever to get involved in the 2004 election. Donna Brazile's life has been remarkable so far. This book should be required reading in every high school and college. Brazile not only demonstrates how tenacity, hard work, and a little spunk can get you from almost nothing, to having one of the most powerful jobs in America - campaign manager to a major presidential campaign- but she does so with ease. The book flows beautifully. It's honestly a page turner, that will not leave you wondering how many pages you have to go until the end. This is a quick read, and it packs a punch. Whatever your political leanings may be, you will find this book inspirational and will come away respecting one of America's greatest living treasures.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I just finished this book and am ecstatic to report that it provided a fantastic glimpse into the machinery of American politics and those who ensure that it operates in a well-oiled manner. Brazile is unique in her ability to tie in her compassion, knowledge, and life with the issues with her politics and strategy. Thank you for sharing your life, Ms. Brazile! I am grateful for committed and passionate people like yourself that represent the voiceless. Thanks for transforming politics so that it serves many. Keep the faith!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting June 19, 2004
I am really enjoying this sisters story. One can appreciate the road and sacrifices she endured to help some of this country's Presidential candidates run for the highest office. Truly inspiring and very interesting especially with the cooking segment thrown in.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Politics Is Local, Hot, Spicy & Greasy September 14, 2004
In Cooking With Grease, Donna Brazile shows she can bring home the political bacon on a local and national level, using her God given ability to connect with and organize people from all walks of life for a favorable political and social end. From her humble beginnings in Louisiana, when at the age of 9 she became involved in grassroots organizing for a city councilman, to the apex of her career as campaign manager for Al Gore, Brazile championed "family values" without ever using the phrase. Brazile's story of politics and power is interwoven with stories about her religious beliefs, intimate details of her family relationships and glimpses of the family lives of politicians with whom she worked.

For anyone seeking to understand this highly regarded and complex woman, Cooking With Grease will give you an eye opening view of her. Her rise to political power begins with the matriarchs of her family, her grandmother and mother and creshendo's with the patriarch, her father. Her absolute affection, loyalty and devotion to Rev. Jesse Jackson caught me by surprise, but is noble.

I liked the book because it really affirmed Tip O'Neil's saying that all politics is local. Brazile and others like her add a litle spice everynow and then and help keep the Democratic party well seasoned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Care About Democratic Elections? Buy This Book!
i have always admired Donna Brazile when I would see her on TV talking about politics.When I discovered she had written a book I immediately got on Amazon Smile to order it. Read more
Published 26 days ago by goddess18
5.0 out of 5 stars Great example of grit and determination.
Very well written and compelling story. Ms. Brazile`s life is inspiring. She rose from a very humble background to the top of the political world.
Published 4 months ago by gerald tanner
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Brazille's memories of growing in LA and her beginning education...
I loved this book and wrote to her after reading to encourage another book using the same style. Again, I lent the book many times to friends who grew up in the South during... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Barbara J Whitehead
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Great book. Too much naming if names. Sone times too wordy but a great read on the inside of politics
Published 20 months ago by Cal Donia
4.0 out of 5 stars I feel I know Donna Brazile much better.
I read this book because I wanted to know Donna Brazile's story -- she's such an unusual character, being the only black woman in the higher ranks of the Democratic party. Read more
Published 21 months ago by agnes powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read; Learned So Much
I appreciate Ms. Brazile so much. Her knowledge and insight into politics, life, and reality are unmatched by most. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Dr. Reginal Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Brazile
Donna Brazile is amazing. I'm enjoy reading her book. She is someone for African American's to look up to and admire. I respect her views and outlook on life!
Published on June 10, 2013 by Juanita Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics
I absolutely love the candidness of the author as she shares her life story. This is a great book for anyone who enjoys autobiographies.
Published on April 25, 2013 by M L Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy
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Published on January 20, 2013 by KM134
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Values/Political Insight
Donna Brazile shares her life - the core of pure southern family values and their influence on the political process. Read more
Published on October 7, 2012 by Road Runner
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