Top positive review
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There is no ideal or unique model among politicians!
on May 3, 2015
Though the book has 1 1988 copyright date, the information is essentially timeless. It could have been written as a weekend conference hosting Prince Machiavelli, King Solomon, Sun Tzu and Dale Carnegie as its collective writing staff. The only facet that establishes a time frame is its real-life cast of characters, from Wendell Wilke and LBJ to Edmund Muskie and Ronald Reagan. Chris Matthews picks no favorites as he shows the merits and faults of many players quite candidly. His endless series of anecdotes are divided into chapters with unique central points which are wisely matched with exponents who mastered those techniques. Matthews takes many of the stories from firsthand experience as an operative with the respective master as he was employed in a variety of ways with many of the highlighted pols over a lengthy career in Washington.
As the author points out, virtually all of the techniques, systems and characteristics are universal and could be used in sports, business, for-profit and non-profit environments as well as high-level politics. It is a book that is fun to read and does not bogged down with details or tedious issues of the day, choosing to focus more on the actions and reactions of the proponents and antagonists as they fought for their cause de jour. It's a primer for PoliSci 101, not too heavy but not kindergarten either. Neither a Pulitzer candidate or a coffee table tome, it will keep your interest especially as you relate the chapter's characters with the chapter's title.