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Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor's Office and into Prison Hardcover – September 14, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The story of the disgraced Illinois governor who sold the U.S. Senate seat of President Obama is well known, another fading chapter in the long history of corruption in the state. Chicago reporters Coen and Chase impart more inside knowledge than the national press has. They offer a nuanced context of political corruption overlaid with Blagojevich’s extraordinarily flamboyant personality, from the profanity to the hair obsession and outsize ego. Drawing on interviews and trial transcripts, Coen and Chase provide a fast-paced and probing recollection of the rise and fall of Blagojevich and the behind-the-scene deal making that brought him down. The son of Serbian immigrants, he advanced on the strength of his charm and personality, aided by his marriage to the daughter of a powerful alderman. Colorful characters and political chicanery and manipulation add to the detailed drama of the pay to play scheme to sell Obama’s seat to the highest bidder that entangled Blagojevich and other Illinois politicians, including Jesse Jackson Jr. The scheme was part of a long résumé of scandalous behavior, including doling out state contracts in exchange for campaign contributions. The authors go beyond the disgrace of Blagojevich (sentenced to 14 years) to ask broader questions about how the system produces such people and why citizens elect them. --Vanessa Bush

Review

"Through indefatigable reporting and deft writing, [Chase and Coen] take us into a fascinating, Byzantine world of Chicago politics and power that largely goes unseen."  —David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power



"This is a lively, intimate primer on the bad and the ugly of Chicago and Illinois politics that reads like a novel by reporter-authors who were there from Blagojevich's promising beginning to humiliating end."  —Jim Nowlan, senior fellow at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs

"Golden is the definitive book on former governor Rod Blagojevich. The saga of his life and two trials provide a road map to the highest levels of corruption in Illinois. This cautionary tale leaves us with the task of ending the corrupt political culture that made his crooked wheeling and dealing possible."  —Dick Simpson, University of Illinois political science professor and former Chicago alderman

"[A] definitive account of one of America's most morally reprehensible political-corruption sagas."  —Kirkus Reviews


"All those interested in the Blago drama or political intrigue in general can dive into this book with relish."  —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[The authors]offer a nuanced context of political corruption overlaid with Blagojevich's extraordinarily flamboyant personality, from the profanity to the hair obsession and outsized ego." — Booklist


"Golden tells the story of Blagojevich's downfall with admirable detail, although it can be a slog at times." — Illinois Issues magazine
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (September 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569763399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569763391
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Treftz on September 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too much of America got to see Blagojevich as a bit of a cartoon character due to his media appearances and reality TV work without understanding the who and the why behind him. The authors do a great job of not only following the trials but providing illustration after illustration of why fundamentally the guy was not equipped nor wired to be a governor. The book also helps explain the whos whos and the whys behind the people who help make the political process in Illinois 'unqiue'.

If you want the story behind the clown show that became Rod Blagojevich, read this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like every other citizen of Illinois; I followed Rod Blagojevich's downfall with interest but I never really quite got the whole thing. It seemed to me that he jus talked a mean game and, while that talk was sleazy and unbecoming of a governor, I didn't understand how it was criminal. After reading this book, which lays this whole ordeal out in vivid detail, I can fully understand the events that destroyed the man. It wasn't just his big mouth; it was an almost obsessive greed and a contempt for the people he was elected to serve that did him in.
This is compelling reading. I had several encounters with Blagojevich both in Chicago and Springfield and he always struck me as a fun guy. He was but he was also an almost cartoonish sneak; a devious man to whom everything that he did was calculated to benefit him in the end. It's ugly. I sincerely hope that future leaders read this and learn from the mistakes Blagojevich made. I have no faith that will happen but this is a primer on how to screw up your life in dramatic fashion.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would not consider Blagojevich a tragic figure. It is a sad commentary that such a selfish and shallow person should be able to achieve the political status he did. The book reveals a very disturbing fact politics in the state of Illinois have been for far too long. That is what the focus should be for those reading this book and living or planning on living in Illinois. It is embarrassing how the political character of the state of Illinois has fallen from the heritage left by Abraham Lincoln.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having recently seen the play Blagojevich, Blagojevich really inspired me to get this book. It was very interesting and talk about the cast of characters. Greed is a very dangerous thing and this is what happens when one gets sucked into such folly. I just don't understand these people. Since this book was so very interesting and intriguing, it was a fast read. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.
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This book reveals the shocking manner in which some politicians do the people's business. The Chicago Mob is not dead, they have just gone into politics! No wonder the state cannot meet their financial obligations.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I saw this book in the library, I had to pick it up.
Blago was good for a laugh every time he appeared in the news, but I knew little about him. This book tells us everything we could possibly want to know: the not-very-bright con man who smiles and lies his way to power. And the best part - losing his Governor position and getting thrown in jail.

But reading this book, it occurred to me that Blago was not unique among politicians who came of age during the Clinton years. People who smile at you and tell you what you want to hear. In older times, such phonies couldn't get elected dog catcher, but after Clinton these smiling empty suits have won elections big and small. Why? Maybe we have become obsessed with
empty suits, whether they be Bieber, the Kardashians, or Blago.
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Heres a guy that had the world by the balls, and f it up.He married into a clout heavy family and bit the hand that fed him.Being for Illinois I have to say he was the worst governor the State ever had. Now remember that we have had 6 other governors serve time in prison.The book is very detailed and I enjoyed it.Blago the boob thought he was the 2nd comming of Elvis.He also hurt a lot of people
he's got 13 years in prison to think about it.
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