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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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
on July 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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
on August 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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
on July 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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
on June 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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
on July 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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
Format: Hardcover
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
on September 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The 2000 Presidential election was a devastating experience for the Democratic Party and for the country. Voting irregularities and dirty politics blazed the trail to the White House for George W. Bush. As the Democrats struggled to recover from an election that was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court, Donna Brazile, the manager of the Gore-Lieberman campaign, pondered her political future. She had made history as the first black person to head a major presidential campaign, now it was time to pick up the pieces and decide what was next in her life. Ultimately she would turn to her humble beginnings for support and guidance.

Donna Lease Brazile was born December 15, 1959, in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of nine children in a poor working class family that was low on money but rich in pride and intelligence. She started her illustrious political career at the age of nine and never looked back. Donna went from registering people to vote in her neighborhood to planning marches to have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday declared a national holiday. However, her key role has been twofold: to get out the black vote during elections and to make sure that the black vote is not taken for granted by the Democratic party. She takes the political process very seriously and wants to bring the same keen awareness to others.

COOKING WITH GREASE: Stirring the Pots in American Politics by Donna Brazile is the true story of an enterprising and determined woman whose passion for politics and for her people propelled her to lead a major campaign. She is a great storyteller and the fact that each chapter was named after a tasty New Orleans dish made reading this book even more enjoyable. I am very inspired by the author's story and I am much more motivated to become a part of the political process.

Reviewed by Simone A. Hawks

of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Cooking with Grease "Stirring the Pots in American Politics" is our ultimate wake-up call to action! Passive and dormant no more, we must all recognize that an ongoing simmer is sure to boil at a certain temperature. In the book, you'll read and understand how "quick-second" decisions made by our politicians will create circumstances that have an altering and enduring impact to our lives -individually and collectively. The book also documents the value of collective organization, our vote and the exhilaration of empowerment when we GOTV. "Get out the Vote". If you've never experienced this feeling before, you must read this book!
Born in New Orleans and the third of nine children, Donna educates the reader as she prefaces each chapter with the essential ingredients used to make certain home-style New Orleans dishes that were traditional in her family. In each chapter, she brilliantly draws comparisons of cuisines to the harmonious blending of ingredients that are necessary for political success. For instance, Chapter 3 "Red Beans and Rice"... "Traditionally, it (red beans & rice) was served on Monday -washday-so the red beans could simmer and cook all day while attention was paid to the laundry drying on the clothesline. For me, the dish also represented the mixture of dark and light, black and white that I would encounter when we were bused to new schools to achieve integration".
The book provides insight and the behind-the-scenes political traps that reveal just how powerful our vote -and in Al Gore's case; the Electoral vote, really is. You can't help but feel the warmth and support of the author's family throughout the book. You'll get the real feeling of the love and family ties that created the foundation for the integrity and values that are evident and visible in Donna today -despite the dirty games that people play.
We have a calling. We have a duty to "stir up the pot" and get out the vote. This time, we cannot wait. At every level, we need to sniff, scrutinize and screen out excuses that will leave us divided and left behind. Buy the book, submit online reviews everywhere and encourage others to do the same! Let's organize and reclaim our power at the polls this time!
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