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Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down Paperback – September 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"A politician of eye-popping integrity . . . and probably the most popular public official in any state." - Fox News Network


"Sarah Palin is a politician of eye-popping integrity."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Epicenter Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980082560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980082562
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kaylene Johnson is author of five books about Alaska and the people who live there. Her books include Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down; Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor; Portrait of the Alaska Railroad and the memoir A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Son in Alaska. Her award-winning articles and essays have appeared in the Louisville Review, LA Times, and other publications . She received a B.A. from Vermont College and holds an M.F.A. in writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Ader on September 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was written and published months before Sarah Palin became the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, so those harping about this being a political stunt for McCain need to go back and brush up on their reading skills: Published April, 2008. I'm sure now there will be other books written, both praising and condemning her.

This is a basic introduction to Mrs. Palin, a place to start for anyone wanting to find out about her early years.
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97 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Michelaneous by Michele on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a review of the book, not of Sarah Palin as a candidate. I felt I needed to get my hands on this in order to learn more about the person who has been thrust into the national spotlight and may soon hold an extremely high position in the U.S. Government. Her selection came as a surprise and I had to try and understand why John McCain chose her, other than because she brings excitement and intrigue to the ticket.

This brief book, a character sketch with many photos, is written in a straightforward style. It holds Sarah Palin in a very positive light. (Initially published before her selection as the GOP running mate, this version has been renamed and scooped up by people like me as an attempt to get to know her.) She is portrayed as an ordinary mom (a hockey mom) who, according to her father, has had an impenetrable stubborn streak since childhood.

The family came to Alaska from Idaho in 1969. She is the daughter of a teacher (and part time hunting/fishing guide) and a school secretary. They lived modestly. Her highlight reel in public life includes a captain's position on the high school JV basketball team, the beauty queen title "Miss Wasilla," and stint on the city council. This was her introduction to the good old boys network, which she has spent the rest of her career pushing aside. She was elected president of the Alaska Council of Mayors, chaired the gas and oil conservation commission and gained a reputation as a reformer. Next step: the Governor's office, which she's held for two years.

Does this brief introduction to this head-turning politician enable the reader to decide whether or not she's qualified to be a heartbeat away from the highest elected office in the land? No. Is it an interesting read? Yes. All party politics aside, she's a fascinating woman. And right now, this slim book provided more information than I could get anywhere else.

Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Groothuis on September 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many enlivened to the 2008 presidential election by Gov. Palin's participation want to know more about this fresh face that has the left in paroxysms of ad hoc outrage. I wanted to know more, too, especially since she hails from my home state and grew up (in Wasilla) about thirty miles from where I did (in Anchorage).

This book is an enjoyable, friendly, and compelling story of the rise of an Alaskan women to the Governor's mansion. It was written before Gov. Palin became the Vice Presidential nominee. Apparently, it is being republished by a major publisher. This edition is by a small publisher.

This is not an expose or an in-depth assessment of Gov. Palin's personal life or politics. You will not find any psychoanalysis, cultural critique, or political theorizing. It is a homey biography. The broad outlines are of a truly Alaskan (tough, independent) women whose determination and principles led her into political leadership and to challenge some of the major political players in Alaska.

Readers will become more informed about the Alaskan way of life, which is quite alien to many in "the lower forty-eight," as we say. Alaskans love the outdoors, its scenery and wildlife. They often hunt, fish, climb, and sky. It is an oil-rich state with a significant population of native Alaskans from various tribes. (Gov. Palin is married to a man who is half native Alaskan.) Those who write off Gov. Palin as "the new governor of a sparsely populated state" (the Democrats' talking point) will find that governing Alaskans is anything but easy. The state brings its own unique challenges and requires real savvy from its leaders.

I'm sure several books will be written about Sarah Palin in the years to come--and from every possible angle. She is a compelling figure and may be in the political theater (I hope) for years to come. This book, though, will take its place as a matter-of-fact chronicle of an unlikely ascent to public service.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Alexander on September 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Author Kaylene Johnson mentions the concept of "Sarah-dipity" on several occasions throughout this short, 146-page book. Talk about "Sarah-dipity" that Johnson had her manuscript ready to go to press when Sen. John McCain brought Gov. Sarah Palin onto a stage in Dayton, Ohio, a few weeks ago and introduced her to the U.S. as his running mate for vice president! This concise bio is definitely an upbeat, "campaign biography" (unabashedly slanted in Palin's favor), which I found helpful to people (like me) who are sifting through endless numbers of sound bites and apocryphal stories while trying to get to the heart of who Sarah Palin is. Johnson describes her as a fearless yet down-to-earth Alaskan--a "populist" who is willing to take on "good ol' boys," regardless of their political party affiliations and financial connections. The closing sections of the book seem to be hastily written, which is understood considering the time crunch of the campaign season. However, the meatier parts--those relating to Palin's service as mayor of Wasilla and reformer of Alaskan state government--compose the real story that Johnson is trying to tell, and the story which Americans need to hear. I came away from reading this short biography with a respect for the industrious and independent-thinking Alaskan people, from whom Palin comes and whom Palin hopes to "put on the map," so to speak, come 11.04.08.
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