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Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders Hardcover – February 17, 2009

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

STANLEY B. GREENBERG is chairman and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. In addition to those covered in his memoir, Greenberg has served as a polling advisor to national campaigns for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Al Gore, Chris Dodd, and Joe Lieberman. Greenberg is the author of The Two Americas, Middle Class Dreams, and The New Majority.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (February 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312351526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312351526
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kare Anderson VINE VOICE on March 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
So much at stake. So many smart but power-driven people doing peculiar (sometimes stupid) things when the stakes are high. This is the kind of first-hand account of real life adventure stories that will interest even the apolitical (and who's really not thinking about the machinations of government and politics in this bail-out era?) I've found myself quoting Greenberg's book when talking with friends about politics today. He has an astute way of describing specific political actions that help me understand some of the choices candidates make - and the people who work for them and fund them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SLD on March 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Whether or not you like the world leaders profiled in this book, it provides a fascinating look inside the campaign process and then the challenges of leading once elected. Greenberg is pretty reflective about the benefits and limitations of polls in both campaigns and governing. He's even critical, at times, of the role consultants and research play. Regardless, it provides real insight into how leaders consider and sometimes reject public opinion and has real application to our ongoing politics.

The chapter on Nelson Mandela is particularly compelling. Not only is Greenberg deeply steeped in South African politics - his academic work was focused on South Africa and he was banned by the government for his writings against apartheid - but learning how Mandela made the transition from fighting the government to governing, using insights from public opinion research is incredibly interesting. It also just reinforces what a brilliant man Mandela is, as he is able to adjust to changing realities.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stanley Greenberg is one of, if not the best, pollsters around. When you read this book you realize that pollsters are not just statisticians, but they can be intensely passionate about their candidates. And Greenberg is. You can feel his awe - and be jealous of his incredible position - in the room with Nelson Mandela, as the former prisoner became president.
Greenberg makes the case for the way great pollsters don't just measure opinion to get the proverbial "finger in the wind" for flimsy politicians. Instead you see how the pollster helps candidates to truly understand some of the deep needs and hopes of the populace. Can those feelings be manipulated? Sure, but in the first place, Greenberg shows how his great client-candidates came to UNDERSTAND the people's needs and hopes. And there is surely value in that.
I've worked numerous campaigns and worked with pollsters and strategists. I understood, after reading Dispatches, many of the things I just didn't get while I was in the middle of it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book provides a fascinating look at the sausage factory of political message making. The author describes how he helped shape the message of several significant political campaigns, including those for Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair. The lesson to be learned from this book is that while "what you say," is very important, "how you say it," is important as well. A popular political idea, poorly expressed, is not going to do nearly as well with voters as a popular political idea that is well expressed. The author describes how he helps his clients find "what to say," or at least what to emphasize, and "how to say it," in a way that voters will be most likely to accept. Interesting stuff if this subject is your cup of tea.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn on March 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, I'm not just saying this because he's my dad. I've tried to read all his books and this is the first that not only did I finish but I couldn't put down. Getting an inside view of these compelling leaders as candidates and then as they try to implement their agendas was fascinating and very relevant.
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