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The Accidental Candidate: The Rise and Fall of Alvin Greene Paperback – May 31, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, May 31, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Long-form journalism meets sequential art in this startling and informative investigation of South Carolina politics. The titular subject is an unbalanced and unconnected man who was rumored to have been guided by Republicans to get his name on the Democratic ticket in South Carolina’s 2010 Senate contest. Hutchins, Axe, and Delliquanti explore the story and its lead persona with skill and a well-paced reconstruction of the extraordinary debasement of the political system, as Greene hijacked the ballot from more rational candidates to run against Jim DeMint. The black-and-white artwork provides excellent reportage of persons, dispositions, and the interplay between Greene’s delusions of grandeur and his reality. The reporters include themselves in the report, showing how and where they posed questions, as well as the responses elicited by various players. This is an important story that deserves wide reader attention as journalism, as well as providing a fine example, in a smaller frame, of the kind of work Joe Sacco has been doing for years. --Francisca Goldsmith --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Corey Hutchins, a reporter for the Columbia Free Times, is the South Carolina Press Association's 2012 journalist of the year. David Axe is a freelance reporter based in Columbia, S.C., and the author of the graphic novel WAR IS BORING. Blue Delliquanti is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Atlanta, GA, and the creator of the graphic novel O HUMAN STAR. Dre Lopez is a freelance illustrator out of Columbia, SC part of PIENSA: Art Company.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477461302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477461303
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,140,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathan Webster TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read a complimentary review copy of THE ACCIDENTAL CANDIDATE, which deals with Alvin Greene's shocking 2010 primary win over the South Carolina Democratic Party's annoited candidate.

Greene had no money, no political support, no campaign organization, no political friends, no career, and was facing criminal charges. So on paper, not really legitimate; yet he won by about a 100K to 60K vote margin.

If you read the story from old newspaper clips, it's difficult to find it anything but weird. Most of the coverage (which the book claims was the most afforded any campaign) focued on inside-baseball accounts of political machinations, with not much on the candidate himself. Granted, he was a strange man who didn't give 'normal' interviews.

There were allegations that Greene's out-of-nowhere primary victory was the result of dirty tricks or voting machine irregularities, or simply massive voter apathy to the point where nobody cared who they were voting for or why.

The graphic novel format presents this sobering story in a more accessible and humanizing way then newspaper stories, especially the beleagured Greene's life and biography.

The book does not speculate about Greene's political motivations, beyond what's in the public record. It presents his visit to the SC Democratic Party offices where he presents a personal check (with money saved from the Army) to file to run for office. Party officials don't know what to make of him.

Just like with Greene, the graphic novel presents all these nameless players in a more human way. Blue Delliquanti's artisitic representations recreate everyone with a visual panache.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever since James. L. Petigru commented on South Carolina's secession from the Union by describing the state as "too small for a Republic and too large for an insane asylum[,]" South Carolina's local politics have had a knack for garnering ridicule, whether it's our former governor deciding to coin an amazing new euphemism when he "hiked the Applachian Trail" or our current governor's somewhat more upbeat mandate that *all* state agencies answer the phone with "It's a Great Day in South Carolina!"

At first blush, that seems like all there was to the Alvin Greene story -- just another momentary blurb for the Daily Show, someone in South Carolina doing yet another thing for John Stewart to crack wise about. There's really a lot more to the story, though; as Axe and Hutchins tell Greene's tale, layering on the details, laying out the historical background, the book becomes more about the sorry state of South Carolina politics generally, the history of racial skulduggery, and the questions of corruption that have never been quite answered or settled.

All in all, this ends up being one of the best encapsulations I've ever seen of everything wrong with South Carolina politics. It's incredibly interesting, comic, and, well, if you have to live here, more than a little sad, both for Mr. Greene and for the rest of us as well.

If you want a little more insight into why and how South Carolina's politics don't work, read this book. It's more than just a funny book with pictures.
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Format: Paperback
Excerpt from "The Man Who Wasn't There: A review of The Accidental Candidate: The Rise and Fall of Alvin Greene," Rodney Welch, July 11, 2012, The Columbia (S.C.) Free Times:

All of us together did our part to make South Carolina a slightly more embarrassing place to live -- a real achievement in 2010, as it followed a series of scandals involving Mark Sanford, Nikki Haley and a horse belonging to a Conway woman.

So, how did we end up with Alvin Greene?

That's the story Free Times reporter Corey Hutchins and former Free Times reporter David Axe (War is Boring) tell in this excellent recap, which ably uses the graphic novel format, illustrated by Blue Delliquanti, to provide a bigger picture as to just what happened and why.

As a reporter covering state politics, Hutchins was uniquely positioned to follow this story when it looked as if a more conventional narrative was shaping up. Jim DeMint -- hardcore Upstate conservative and nationally recognized tea party demagogue -- was so flush with money he didn't even need to campaign. Vic Rawl -- an unknown, earnest Charleston County councilman and four-time-elected state Democratic representative -- was ready and willing to tear into DeMint.

Enter Alvin Greene, the embarrassment no one saw coming, who simply by being on the ballot defeated Rawl for reasons no one has ever been able to fully explain. Was Greene's candidacy, as Congressman Jim Clyburn suggested, a Republican put-up job -- smacking of a similar event in 1990, when Republican operative Rod Shealy paid an unemployed black fisherman to run as a Democrat? Still something of a question, considering this is one of those political jokes that seemed timed to go off right after it was too late to do anything about it.
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