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The Gospel According to the Fix: An Insider's Guide to a Less than Holy World of Politics Paperback – July 10, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The Gospel According to the Fix is a great read and guide for both amateur and professional political junkies alike.” —Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent, NBC
 
“This is a smart, funny road map through the maze of presidential politics, replete with Chris Cillizza’s trademark insights and keen wit. If you have time for one guide to politics, The Gospel According to the Fix is it.” —Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent, NBC

The Gospel According to the Fix hits its stride in several ambitious explorations of various aspects of the political scene….The speed, volume and reach of [Cillizza’s] take on matters not only chronicles the daily grind but influences it, too: Consultants read him, and their candidates react.” –Ken Kurson, Wall Street Journal 

About the Author

CHRIS CILLIZZA writes The Fix for the Washington Post. He is an MSNBC contributor and political analyst who appears regularly on the network in addition to NBC, PBS, and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. Chris has worked for Roll Call, the Cook Political Report, and Congress Daily. His freelance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Atlantic, Washingtonian, and Slate.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307987094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307987099
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chris Cillizza's first book is a good effort that fits snuggly alongside many of the books now focused on the political environment. Coincidentally, it came out on the same day as "It's the Middle Class, Stupid," and adds more texture to what Carville & Greenberg discuss in that book about the upcoming election. Cillizza's chapters compartmentalize different aspects of the electoral process in the way a blog would--often using sports analogies: things like biggest issues, best ads, October surprises, 2016 Republican and Democratic all-star teams. They're serious topics, but Cillizza doesn't take them or himself too seriously.

I agree with another reviewer that Cillizza is not overly partisan. I'm sure he fights those tendencies because he is an MSNBC contributor and on multiple shows each day, but he does a good job in this book of looking at both parties, handicapping their chances, recognizing their up-and-comers, and leaving it for readers to decide where they stand. The people he skewers deserve to be skewered -- by their actions and not their affiliations.

I wanted to see how the blogger/contributor perspective compared to these other authors. I'd agree that Cillizza didn't do all the reading and footnoting that others have (hence no index), that he's not hosting a daily show or a former elected official himself, but his book shows you how people think and cope who follow the details of day-to-day politics and campaigns and immerse themselves in seeing close up how politicians act, keep or lose their way. It also shows how we as citizens and periodic voters choose to care or not care about the issues they talk and blog about every day. So from that angle of making politics more understandable, this book does the job it promises.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of the facts in this book are interesting if you are, like me, a real political trivia junkie. This does not save this awkward, unedited pastiche of columns from being a random collection of thin gruel. A collection of columns almost never makes a good book (exception: Mike Royko) and while I enjoy the author's columns in the Washington Post this book just does not coalesce. He needs to sit down and be a bit more serious and thoughtful and might then produce an interesting, thoughtful in-depth book on current American politics. This is not it. Avoid.
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Not for several years have I opened up a book and read it cover-to-cover in a single day. The Gospel according to the Fix changed that because it described the world of politics from an accessible angle. As a Politico myself working in the elections a lot of this stuff was well known, and the conclusions similar to those read & repeated in bars by the rest of DC. But what most of us lack is the historical perspective around a lot of those conclusions and Chris Cillizza gets into them with just the right amount of detail to keep you interested & educated. I for one had some gaps in my political history and this certainly helped fill them. Certainly anyone wanting to understand more about politics in 2012 will find this an enjoyable, quick read that informs while making you laugh and cry at the state of american politics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chris Cillizza is a talented journalist and his blog "The Fix" at The Washington Post is insightful, entertaining, and comprehensive in its coverage of American politics. It's a shame then that Mr. Cillizza's book, The Gospel According to the Fix, is such a dreary failure.

As a loyal reader of The Fix, I have come to rely on Mr. Cillizza to deliver timely and well crafted insights into the story behind the story. Unfortunately, for readers like me, the book introduces no new insights. In addition, the writing style that has made The Fix easy to read simply does not work in a book format. There are extensive and circuitous analogies (e.g. the link to Friday Night Lights), overuse of the m-dash, introduction of non-words (what's "cashola"?), and other such offenses against the English language. The chapters appear to be in some random order that don't tell a cohesive story: for example, the first few sections about the recommended blogs should really be appendices. Finally, there's wild speculation about candidates for 2016 with a justification of how such a discussion appeals to political junkies--this is a far cry from the thoughtful commentary that has made The Fix a destination for analysis versus opinion.

Chris Cillizza is an important voice in an increasingly noisy world of political journalism. Mr. Cillizza will do well to fire his editors and work a professional team for his next book (which I'll be borrowing from the library rather than purchasing!).
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Like others reviewing here, I'm a big fan of Chris Cilizza's WaPo blog, The Fix. It's juicy and insightful - his hard work is evident in every timely post. And, I appreciate his well-tuned sense of humor. Whether it's his "Worst Week in Washington" post (his "Congrats, or something" salutation to the 'winner' never ceases to make me laugh) or his "call your office" posts to politicians falling bumptiously off-message, his style is perfect for blogging. It's no wonder 'The Fix' has become a must read, both inside and outside The Beltway.

As a book, not so much. I consumed this collection of pieces quickly but don't have a lot to say. Though the one chapter that stuck with me is the nice one on Richard Ben Cramer and the cult of What It Takes: The Way to the White House. Cilizza modestly cites that book as his - and much of his generation's - inspiration. Cramer's book was almost universallly panned or ignored when it came out shortly before the 1992 election. Since then - thanks to devotees like Cilizza and his colleagues - it has become seen as the sui generis hallmark of political books. Cramer gives a nice interview to Cilizza. That Cramer has been ultimately triumphant by developing a unique vision of political reporting (the 1,000 page (!) book took six years to research and write) is a nice story of perseverance and talent winning out. That a fan like Cilizza gets to write that story is really great.

Many of the others chapters have a lot to thank EPSN's Bill Simmons for. Cilizza is an unabashed Simmons fan (he met him once and asks his readers to remember the SNL skit of Chris Farley 'interviewing' Paul McCartney to get an idea of what the exchange was like).
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