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on August 5, 1998
Senator-Elect Bill McKay, the clueless idealist who is pushed through a vapid Senate campaign to unexpected victory in the classic political film "The Candidate," turns to his campaign manager in the film's last scene and asks, "What do we do now?" The cries of the crowd block out the answer.
This book answers that question and gives newly-elected politicians, their appointees and citizens a guide to running their governments. It should be read by any political junkie who wonders why our governments seem paralyzed after the elections are over.
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on July 8, 1998
Every now and then a book comes along that makes me wonder why no one had ever written it before. The most basic point of our democracy is that we allow citizens to sweep out our leaders and replace them with people who may or may not know what they are doing. Sure, America's transitions between admininstrations are peaceful, but is our government competent? Not always. Is there any wonder why citizens are cynical when we put people in office who don't know how to get things accomplished in government?
Ye, as this book shows very well, there are elected and appointed officials across the nation who are succeeding everday. The book takes examples from the local, state and federal levels and draws unique lessons about what makes our government tick.
The book is also extremely well written. Highly recommended.
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on July 15, 1998
This book is filled with great stories of politicians succeeding and failing as they grab the reins of government after the election. It's an excellent read and must buy for anyone concerned about the lack of trust Americans have in their public officials.
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on May 9, 2014
Do you know what the biggest problem in government is today? Well, according to the two authors, it's all the amateurs who have the temerity to run for office and not trust the professional bureaucrats, who all have our best interests at heart. And the proof of the authors' thesis is a boatload of name-dropping anecdotes with no actual advice for new officeholders beyond "do what your told". Words like "budget", "waste" and "oversight" are rarely used, and then only to be dismissed as empty political rabble-rousing terms of the ignorant. There is precious little actual advice for office holders about how to learn and the negatives about how government actually works is lip service at a ten-to-one ratio of positives about the bureaucrats.
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on February 18, 1999
While the media forgets about politics after the campaign is over, this book focuses on what the election is really about.
The book is a great read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to fight the cynicism of our age and believe government can work for the people.
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on February 1, 2002
This book is simply superb and makes an essential addition to any bookshelf. You wanted to know more about government, here it is. Elegantly presented in an easily digestible format. Buy one for yourself and another for a friend or loved one, you won't be disappointed.
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on August 26, 1999
An excellent look at the problems of governing in our democracy. You will never again look at our country the same way after reading this book. The authors highlight the problem seen in all elections -- the point that no one focuses on what happens after you won.
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on January 23, 2014
Any online "news" organization that scrubs (censors) reader comments because they don't align with the views of the editors (Goddard) is nothing more than SOCIALIST COMMIE COWARDS!

Don't buy his books either.
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VINE VOICEon September 26, 2002
Here is a book that focuses on government, but not in the way most do. The fad today is books on 'banishing beurocracy' with trendy management techniques and buzzwords and this book, to its credit, realizes those books for what they are; bunk!
From the getgo YWNW focuses not on faddish trickery, but on how to make sure government GOVERNS, not just pays it lip service. Using a host of examples of government (state and federal) ideas gone wrong and right, the authors extract simple rules and 'tips'. The good news is that these tips are helpful, astute and right on the money.

The big problem- overwhelming, actually since it cost the book 3 stars- is the proportion of anecdotes to substantial analysis. Each chapter starts off with a 5-6 paragraph anecdote relating to the chapters theme, be it government takeoves, or the importance of vision. After the example, instead of the authors giving you the 'moral' of the story and connecting it to the theme, they give you another 5-6 paragraph anecdote. If your lucky, the authors will tell us what these examples have in common in a 2-3 paragraph conclusion, which occasionally is only another anecdote. If your luckier, you will only have to swim through 4 more stories before you get there. Stories and real life examples can make books more fun and interesting, but when there is a poverty of analysis and explanation in a book like this, it sort of defeats the point.
Unfortunately, I can't think of any better books to take it's place. As mentioned above, most others revolve around management fads and substance-less pep-talks. My reccomendation is to buy this one (possibly used) and read only the very beginning and very end of the chapters. Only then, if you've not grasped the chapters theme, read the anecdotes.
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on February 17, 1999
Check the facts from examples discussed in this books. Many are fabricated to support the authors' points of view.
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