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Going Rogue: An American Life [Hardcover]

Sarah Palin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,554 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

No good deed goes unpunished. Just ask Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s campaign manager and the guy who pushed Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. Now, in Palin’s much-hyped book, he’s just a fat, smoking bullet-head who told her to “stick to the script.” The feeling running through Going Rogue is that Palin has been bursting to take a whack at those she believes didn’t do right by her during the campaign. (Katie Couric, we’re looking at you!) Before readers get to that, however, there’s personal biography. We’re introduced to Sarah the reader—loved to read—the basketball player, hunter, wife, mother. Then lots and lots of Alaska politics, which will probably be a little hard even for people from Alaska to plow through. (Scores are settled here, too.) Once Palin gets into the 2008 campaign, the tone is folksy, but the knives are out. Much has been made of her criticisms of Schmidt and another McCain staffer, Nicolle Wallace. But less has been said about Palin’s comments about Barack Obama. For instance, she notes that when she and husband Todd first heard Obama speak, they saw the wow factor but worried that his “smooth” talk would hide his radical ideas. She also implies that Obama wanted to shield only his own children from the press, though, in fact, in September 2008, he told CNN that Palin’s children must be off limits as well. Ronald Reagan’s name is mentioned by page 3 and invoked regularly throughout. There’s no doubt Palin sees herself as heir to his legacy. But many readers will see the Sarah Palin revealed in these pages as much closer to George Bush, someone you’d like to have a beer with. Or perhaps dinner: “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals—right next to the mashed potatoes.” --Ilene Cooper

Review

Truly one of the most substantive policy books I’ve ever read (Rush Limbaugh)

From the Back Cover

On September 3, 2008 Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gave a speech at the Republican National Convention that electrified the nation and instantly made her one of the most recognizable women in the world.

As chief executive of America′s largest state, she had built a record as a reformer who cast aside politics-as-usual and pushed through changes other politicians only talked about: Energy independence. Ethics reform. And the biggest private sector infrastructure project in U.S. history. While revitalizing public school funding and ensuring the state met its responsibilities to seniors and Alaska Native populations, Palin also beat the political "good ol′ boys club" at their own game and brought Big Oil to heel.

Like her GOP running mate, John McCain, Palin wasn′t a packaged and over-produced "candidate." She was a Main Street American woman: a working mom, wife of a blue collar union man, and mother of five children, the eldest of whom was serving his country in a yearlong deployment in Iraq and the youngest, an infant with special needs. Palin′s hometown story touched a populist nerve, rallying hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans to the GOP ticket.

But as the campaign unfolded, Palin became a lightning rod for both praise and criticism. Supporters called her "refreshing," "honest," a kitchen-table public servant they felt would fight for their interests. Opponents derided her as a wide-eyed Pollyanna unprepared for national leadership. But none of them knew the real Sarah Palin.

In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska; meeting her lifelong love; her decision to enter politics; the importance of faith and family; and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare, mom′s-eye view of high-stakes national politics - from patriots dedicated to "Country First" to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost.

Going Rogue traces one ordinary citizen′s extraordinary journey, and imparts Palin′s vision of a way forward for America and her unfailing hope in the greatest nation on earth.

About the Author

Sarah Palin is the former governor of Alaska, the youngest and first woman elected to the office; the first woman Republican vice-presidential candidate in American history; and the author of the number one New York Times bestsellers Going Rogue and America by Heart. She was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in 2010, hosted TLC's Sarah Palin's Alaska, and is a Fox News contributor. The mother of five children and grandmother of two, she lives with her husband, Todd, in Wasilla, Alaska.

From The Washington Post

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by by Matthew Continetti Like a lot of people, as soon as I got my copy of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue," I immediately thought of the German literary critic Hans Robert Jauss. Jauss is known as the father of critical reception theory. According to Jauss, every book is read in a social context. In his view, the reader's attitudes, beliefs, values and judgments are just as important as the text. Sometimes more. Palin probably didn't set out to write a book that tested Jauss's thesis. But, in so many ways, the reaction to "Going Rogue" is as interesting as its content. Palin's memoir is everything you'd expect from a politician who has no intention of leaving the national scene. With the aid of Lynn Vincent as her ghostwriter, she tells homespun stories, cracks a few jokes, provides juicy campaign gossip and lets the reader know where she stands on issues such as the right to life, government taxes and spending, health care and climate change. Like a good Republican, she invokes Ronald Reagan's name at every opportunity. The book is so packed with facts, history and encomiums about her state, she's practically a one-woman Alaska Division of Tourism: "We have the highest number of pilots per capita in the United States." Palin tells her side of a story that's usually told by her opponents. It's the tale of how she rose from small-town mayor to the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee to her current status as global celebrity and one of the most polarizing figures in American politics. She writes in the warm, casual, occasionally corny voice that has made her so lovable to some and revolting to others. I'll go out on a limb and predict that if you like Palin, you'll like "Going Rogue" -- and if you don't like Palin, well, I hear the new Stephen King is pretty good. What's unusual is that "Going Rogue" has ignited such a media firestorm. After all, politicians write books like this all the time. Nobody pays any attention. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Bill Frist, John Ashcroft, Mike Huckabee, Joe Biden, Henry Waxman -- and many, many more -- have all put pen to paper (often with help from collaborators) in order to record the authorized accounts of their political and personal lives. But they don't often go on "Oprah." For the typical pol, a book serves as the news peg for a media tour. He gets to go on "The Daily Show," comment on public affairs and remind his constituents and campaign donors that his opinions matter. Then the book disappears. The pol returns to other business. Palin is different. Her book has become the occasion to re-litigate the 2008 presidential campaign. All the raw cultural battles over abortion, feminism and populism that erupted when she strode into the limelight have sprung up again. All the stand-up comics who had a blast last year reducing this conservative reformer to a cartoon are ridiculing her once more. The press and established powers in Washington consistently hold Palin to a higher standard. The AP assigned a team of 11 reporters to "fact-check" Palin's book. I don't remember Harry Reid's "The Good Fight" getting that treatment, but then, hardly anybody remembers "The Good Fight." Among the AP's discoveries was the fact that -- I am not making this up -- Palin is ambitious. One critic described Palin as being "ungrateful" to the McCain campaign. Why? Because in her book Palin returns fire on the anonymous campaign strategists who called her a "diva" and "whackjob" to eager reporters. What was she supposed to do? Play the role of the orphan Oliver Twist and ask, "Please, sir, I want some more"? Through no fault of her own, Sarah Palin has become a sort of political lens, refracting the different ways conservatives and liberals see the world. To her supporters, she is, as she puts it, a "common-sense conservative" who isn't afraid to make moral judgments. To her detractors, she's a moronic zealot who has no place in American public life. The two interpretations are concrete. "Going Rogue" won't do much to change any minds. But for what it reveals about our current political culture, Hans Robert Jauss would say it can't be beat. bookworld@washpost.com
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.
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