Customer Review

31 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a somewhat entertaining book about a not-too-likable person, November 19, 2012
This review is from: Going Rogue: An American Life (Hardcover)
Since I don't have any idea whether Sarah Palin (1) actually wrote this, (2) actually read this, or (3) is telling the truth about all the incidents she discusses, I'm going to take it at face value: that is, to assume that (1) and (2) are correct, and that Palin at least believes her version of the truth. A few thoughts:

*Generally, I thought this was an easy, light read- just entertaining enough that I was willing to finish it, not so entertaining that I couldn't put it down. Mostly it is about Palin's adventures rather than her ideology.
*Palin comes across as a pragmatic, status-quo conservative rather than an ideologue. She recites her allegiance to the usual conservative bromides, but doesn't attack Social Security or any other longstanding government program, and in fact goes out of her way to praise Title IX (a statute mandating equal treatment of male and female school athletes) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (which gets the federal government involved with educating disabled children)- two statutes I doubt a principled libertarian like Ron Paul would support. The only major government programs she seems to oppose are those proposed by President Obama.
*As a religious person, I was interested in her discussion of the collapse of her mother's Catholic faith. She grew up Catholic, but in small-town Alaska, far from the bonds of an urban Catholic community, she found an evangelical church more fulfilling, as did Sarah. I gathered from this that Catholicism, like Judaism, is a team sport, and dies when it is just one of many churches on the frontier.
*Palin comes across as energetic, and bright enough to handle issues intelligently when she focuses on them (e.g. energy). However, she doesn't seem to have educated herself deeply on national issues other than those relevant to Alaska politics.
*Palin seems to be a person who makes lots of enemies wherever she goes. From Wasilla to Anchorage to the McCain campaign, she dishes about the many people she does not like, and/or who do not like her (all of whom seem to be corrupt or at least jerks, or, as she calls John Kerry, "an elitist loon"). Generally, I sensed very little respect for adversaries in this book.
By comparison, I read President Obama's books a few years ago, and (if my memory serves me correctly, which it might not) he tends to be much gentler in his treatment of politicians he disagrees with. The notion that negative speech or gossip is a bad thing doesn't seem to be part of Palin's makeup.
As a person, Palin sounds like the person who could be a devoted friend, but who is also capable of being pretty vicious. She doesn't come across (to me) as very likeable.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Michael Lewyn
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: New York, NY

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,362