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Mad As Hell: Revolt at the Ballot Box, 1992 Hardcover – July, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 534 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446516503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446516501
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have always been a fan of Jack Germond. For years, I have watched him on news programs such as "McLaughlin Group" and "Inside Washington." His comments, dry humor, and honest opinions of the situation have often been a sharp contrast to the more partisan voices heard on those programs. However, until I read this book, I had no idea he was such a talented writer. I had of course read some of his political commentary over the years, but that is really not a test of someone's ability to write a book.

From the book, three facts about the 1992 presidential election are strikingly clear:

*) Bill Clinton is a masterful politician, he understood exactly what the electorate wanted in 1992. Despite all his personal, political baggage, he managed to handily defeat an incumbent president.

*) George H. W. Bush is a terrible politician; he understood almost nothing about what the electorate wanted in 1992. Bill Clinton didn't beat him; he lost to Bill Clinton. The best line I have ever heard about him was uttered shortly after he was elected, "The American people wanted a caretaker president and they got one."

*) Ross Perot is a genius at making money, running a business and getting things done in a business context. However, if he were placed in a situation where he couldn't control everything, such as being president of the United States, he would have been a disaster.

Germond and Witcover take you through the election of 1992, which was rocked by some of the best scandals and pseudo-scandals of modern political times.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Germond/Witcover series is the best set of "campaign books" in recent years. And while the solid reporting continues in this effort, there's something missing. Many political junkies rank 1992 as the oddest election in memory, stranger even than the de facto tie of the 2000 race. Why? Two reasons: the inexplicable buoyancy of Bill Clinton, and the Perot phenomenon -- that brief springtime period when a businessman on a third party ticket shot to 40 percent in the polls while the Democratic nominee fell to third place (less than 25 percent!) and then recovered to win the election -- and oust an incumbent Republican who had polled a 91 percent approval rating less than two years earlier. Germond and Witcover tell the whole story, but the sense of the bizarre that pervaded that election is lacking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on September 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Germond and Whitcover carry on the tradition of Theodore H. White's "Making of the President" series with their recap of the 1992 election. Theirs is the most complete recap available of the campaign that put Bill Clinton in the White House. They are experienced and vetran reporters who have seen many campaigns and are able to capture every nuance in a complete and readable manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Max on November 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was going through some boxes of old stuff the other day and came across this book. The presidential campaign of 1992 was a great time for political junkies, it was one of the strangest political years that I can remember. Even more so than 2000, and Jack Germond captured the excitement, mystery, and sheer lunacy of it to a tee in this book. Even 14 years later, it hasn't lost anything. It's not often that you can call a non fiction book about a political campaign a page turner, but this one is impossible to put down.

I didn't find Jack Germond to be biased at all, but any honest examination of the 92 campaign will have Bush coming across as increasingly exasperated and clueless, he had never really had to face an opponent that was as charismatic, and talented politically, as Bill Clinton. And not just Clinton, but a folksy rogue like Ross Perot, no wonder he seemed to come a little unhinged over the course of the campaign.

Germond doesn't let Clinton off the hook either, he gets across how phony Clinton could be with hilarious descriptions of Clinton talking about his 'mother' in front of staid northern crowds, and switching to a thick drawl speaking of his 'mama' in front of southern audiences.

After I read this back in 92, I sought out Germond's other books about presidential campaigns, and they were good, but they couldn't compare to this one. I guess the unique wackiness of the 92 campaign must have inspired him, no wonder he didn't follow it up in 96, there's no way he could top it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on February 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a straightforward narrative of the 1992 Presidential campaign. Authors Jack Germond and Jules Whitcover describe the political events in that year, giving readers a feel for the USA and its major issues. Prior to 1992 many saw President George Bush (Sr.) as unbeatable given his high approval ratings following the Gulf War. But Bush was hurt by a sluggish economy, his less than stellar political acumen, and a primary challenge from right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan. Democrat Bill Clinton of Arkansas was a successful governor, one whose charisma and centrism were enough to overcome extra-marital affairs and having avoided military service. The year 1992 also saw business tycoon Ross Perot surge to a lead in the polls that Spring as a third-party phenomenon before inexplicably and temporarily quitting the race. The authors also examine the political strategies of various candidates, and the year's surge in voter interest and turnout. Some suspect that Clinton's win led to added bitterness from Republicans, who saw that their "lock" on the White House was weaker than assumed.

This is one of several talented campaign narratives by the journalist team of Germond and Whitcover. The authors offer crisp analysis and readable prose, and occasionally show their liberal leanings. They don't quite match Theodore H. White's MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT series, but they do a solid job.
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