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The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down Paperback – Bargain Price, August 31, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"A book worth reading for its larger drama. With a title that ultimately works like a shiv in the ribs, Mr. Young’s book examines what a politician really is:  the value of his words... the extent of his feelings of entitlement, the outrageousness of his ego...and the gap between his public convictions and private behavior" - Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Mesmerizing...This is not a political memoir. It’s a morality tale with the chill of Hitchcock.” ---Tina Brown, The Daily Beast

“Replete with colorful anecdotes and vignettes, this forceful memoir offers a familiar, if a bit slippery, tale of lost youthful innocence.” --The New York Times Book Review

How often does the quest for the White House become an unhealthy obsession, not just for a candidate and his spouse, but for the people around them?” --The Boston Globe

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

John Edwards’s longest-serving former aide gives us the inside story—in shocking, explosive detail—about the meteoric rise and scandalous fall of


Andrew Young volunteered for the Edwards campaign for U.S. Senate in 1998 and soon became the Democratic candidate’s right-hand man and most trusted friend. As Edwards became a national star, Young’s responsibilities grew to include a series of questionable assignments that culminated with being asked to conceal the Senator’s ongoing adultery. Then, days before his run in the 2008 presidential primaries began, Edwards was faced with a publicity nightmare: Rielle Hunter, the campaign videographer with whom he’d been having an affair, was pregnant. Edwards insisted that Young claim paternity—but America would eventually learn the truth…

“A book worth reading for its larger drama. Mr. Young’s book examines what a politician really is.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Young believed that Edwards could be a great president, and was assured throughout the cover-up that one day Edwards would come clean to his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth—and the rest of the country—and take responsibility for his actions. Instead, Young watched as his own career and family life fell apart. With this memoir, he finally has the chance to share his account of what really happened—and go beyond the headlines to show who John Edwards really is.

 “Mesmerizing...This is not a political memoir. It’s a morality tale with the chill of Hitchcock.” —Tina Brown, The Daily Beast

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312668252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312668259
  • ASIN: B0058M5YU6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,708,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 196 people found the following review helpful By L. Miles on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book is like falling down a rabbit hole into a world where everyone is mad.

John Edwards is portrayed as a sociopath with a Cheshire grin. Elizabeth Edwards, (with her creepy voicemails), comes across as menacing and unstable. From where I'm sitting, the author appears to be a spineless, yes-man, flunky who repeatedly cites his "need for healthcare" as an excuse for his questionable behavior.

Not only is this book a devastating indictment of the Edwards family and their cronies -- it really gives one pause as to what is going on in Washington, in general. How can government ever improve when the inmates are literally running the asylum?

I wouldn't let any of these people within 100 yards of my family much less give them a vote for anything.

This is 301 pages of lying, cheating, power-grabbing and backstabbing. It is a veritable encyclopedia of how not to live your life.
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319 of 363 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Prentiss on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If someone had asked me three years ago what the future for John Edwards would look like, I most certainly would have said he would one day be President of the United States. He had everything going for him--wonderful wife, lovely children, the story of a dad finding the strength to overcome the death of his teenage boy, wealth most of us can only dream of, a background as a tremendously successful lawyer, an already established career as a US senator, charismatic speaking ability, good looks, a clean past, a failed, yet flattering showing as John Kerry's running mate, and a reputation as a populist who was willing to fight for poor people like no one else. Enter 2008 and Edwards' admission of having an affair with Rielle Hunter. And then fast-forward to 2010 and the admission of fathering a child that all of us already knew was his. Oh how the mighty have fallen! The book is written by a true insider, and whether you agree with that idea or not, Andrew Young isn't shy about opening up.

I remember first hearing about the affair back in 2008. I couldn't believe it--not because I enjoy judging people who cheat--that's none of my business--but rather for the unforgivable timing of it...and I think most Americans felt the same way. His wife had incurable cancer for God's sake! And he had been a serious candidate for the democratic nomination. His asking for my vote made the affair "my business" because in most cases (save Clinton) cheating on your wife is an automatic political disqualifier--and Edwards knew this yet did it anyway. I remember saying, "You mean to tell me that this guy was running a serious campaign with the complete knowledge that he had had this intense affair?
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88 of 100 people found the following review helpful By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was thinking this book could easily be written off as an extention of tabloid trash. It is well-written, obviously well-documented, and while I am writing this it is not the end of the story based on current developments regarding that sex tape and the 1 mil plus that was dedicated to this cover-up.
John Edwards failed to man-up and admit he lied in increments to his wife, his jack-of-all-trades Andrew Young, and the american people when he confessed paternity re: Frances Quinn Hunter through a spokesman. Naturally he was in Haiti saving the people with his $400 haircut and his toothy grin. I bought this book because I figured his contrite prepared announcement was timed to deflect the publication of this tell all. What did he fear? Apparently there was a lot he hoped people would ignore such as this book which is fairly straightforward.
The Politician is a compeling and factual account of John Edwards' grab for power and his subsequent downfall. It reads like a political thriller, but is somewhat creepy and frightening re: the depths of ambition, greed, lust, narcisism, and privilege that extends into the world of modern day american politics. I kept thinking how sincere Edwards came across while he was lying into a tv camera. Geez, he could have been president. Wasn't Bill Clinton enough? All these folks are hypocrites. No wonder most people don't trust politicians.
Andrew Young portrays himself as an Edwards worshipper who thinks the man is going to save the world when he becomes president. Andrew might aptly be described as a gofer who hitches himself to the Edwards bandwagon in hopes of sunning himself in Edwards' reflected glory while incrementally increasing his personal income.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful By CelticWomanFanPiano VINE VOICE on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If one reads this book looking for salacious gossip on the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter affair than I actually recommend reading the articles from "The National Enquirer." As they have done a more in-depth job of the details. However, if one is seeking insight into the life of a political campaign staffer then I do recommend this book, highly. As a former staffer on local and state-wide campaigns I recognize many of the elements present in this book. The devotion to the candidate, to the point where higher principles such as right and wrong get blurred. The all consuming, twenty-four hour seven days a week, schedule dependent upon the candidate's whims. The intense competition and backbiting between the staffers. The ability of the candidates to just drop cold a friend they were previously close to. The ability of the candidate to switch personalities on and off in the blink of an eye. All these elements are present in this narrative and quite typical. What is revealing in this book is the author's flagrant willingness to participate in facilitating John Edwards' communication with Rielle Hunter. Sure he is concerned about providing for his family, but he seems unaware that in so doing he is enabling another family to be destroyed. The author is a "yes" man to the point where it is overdone. He ties his future so tightly with that of John Edwards that at times he sees no way out of the mess. When in reality, he could have just had his wife take up nursing again until the author found a less humiliating position. However, as one reads the author's narrative one gets pulled into his way of thinking. It isn't until one pulls away from the text that one realizes the author in a sense got what he deserved. He acted as a celestina and then was dropped when he was of no further use.Read more ›
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