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Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor's Office and into Prison Hardcover – September 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The story of the disgraced Illinois governor who sold the U.S. Senate seat of President Obama is well known, another fading chapter in the long history of corruption in the state. Chicago reporters Coen and Chase impart more inside knowledge than the national press has. They offer a nuanced context of political corruption overlaid with Blagojevich’s extraordinarily flamboyant personality, from the profanity to the hair obsession and outsize ego. Drawing on interviews and trial transcripts, Coen and Chase provide a fast-paced and probing recollection of the rise and fall of Blagojevich and the behind-the-scene deal making that brought him down. The son of Serbian immigrants, he advanced on the strength of his charm and personality, aided by his marriage to the daughter of a powerful alderman. Colorful characters and political chicanery and manipulation add to the detailed drama of the pay to play scheme to sell Obama’s seat to the highest bidder that entangled Blagojevich and other Illinois politicians, including Jesse Jackson Jr. The scheme was part of a long résumé of scandalous behavior, including doling out state contracts in exchange for campaign contributions. The authors go beyond the disgrace of Blagojevich (sentenced to 14 years) to ask broader questions about how the system produces such people and why citizens elect them. --Vanessa Bush

Review

"Through indefatigable reporting and deft writing, [Chase and Coen] take us into a fascinating, Byzantine world of Chicago politics and power that largely goes unseen."  —David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power



"This is a lively, intimate primer on the bad and the ugly of Chicago and Illinois politics that reads like a novel by reporter-authors who were there from Blagojevich's promising beginning to humiliating end."  —Jim Nowlan, senior fellow at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs

"Golden is the definitive book on former governor Rod Blagojevich. The saga of his life and two trials provide a road map to the highest levels of corruption in Illinois. This cautionary tale leaves us with the task of ending the corrupt political culture that made his crooked wheeling and dealing possible."  —Dick Simpson, University of Illinois political science professor and former Chicago alderman

"[A] definitive account of one of America's most morally reprehensible political-corruption sagas."  —Kirkus Reviews


"All those interested in the Blago drama or political intrigue in general can dive into this book with relish."  —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[The authors]offer a nuanced context of political corruption overlaid with Blagojevich's extraordinarily flamboyant personality, from the profanity to the hair obsession and outsized ego." — Booklist


"Golden tells the story of Blagojevich's downfall with admirable detail, although it can be a slog at times." — Illinois Issues magazine

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (September 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569763399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569763391
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Treftz on September 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too much of America got to see Blagojevich as a bit of a cartoon character due to his media appearances and reality TV work without understanding the who and the why behind him. The authors do a great job of not only following the trials but providing illustration after illustration of why fundamentally the guy was not equipped nor wired to be a governor. The book also helps explain the whos whos and the whys behind the people who help make the political process in Illinois 'unqiue'.

If you want the story behind the clown show that became Rod Blagojevich, read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mokenavince on October 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Heres a guy that had the world by the balls, and f it up.He married into a clout heavy family and bit the hand that fed him.Being for Illinois I have to say he was the worst governor the State ever had. Now remember that we have had 6 other governors serve time in prison.The book is very detailed and I enjoyed it.Blago the boob thought he was the 2nd comming of Elvis.He also hurt a lot of people
he's got 13 years in prison to think about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patti on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great reporting job by Coen and Chase. The Blagojevich case is the story about a governor who didn't want to govern but focused almost entirely on raising funds. I recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Abe Krieger on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
When I saw this book in the library, I had to pick it up.
Blago was good for a laugh every time he appeared in the news, but I knew little about him. This book tells us everything we could possibly want to know: the not-very-bright con man who smiles and lies his way to power. And the best part - losing his Governor position and getting thrown in jail.

But reading this book, it occurred to me that Blago was not unique among politicians who came of age during the Clinton years. People who smile at you and tell you what you want to hear. In older times, such phonies couldn't get elected dog catcher, but after Clinton these smiling empty suits have won elections big and small. Why? Maybe we have become obsessed with
empty suits, whether they be Bieber, the Kardashians, or Blago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By NumbersGuy on September 25, 2012
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The authors were in the right place at the right time to watch Rod Blagojevich destroy himself and seriously damage the government of Illinois. This book, Golden, delivers an up-close, hard-hitting view of the flawed Governor, his inner circle, and those who brought him to justice. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Rees on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have followed the Blagojevich investigation from the beginning to end, and I find the book accurate and it fills holes left by newspaper coverage. It is a fun read and it proves again that truth is better than fiction.
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