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Buck up, Suck up...and Come Back When You Foul up: 12 Winning Secrets from the War Room Hardcover – 24 Sep 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (24 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743224221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743224222
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 959,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Tom Peters author of "In Search of Excelllence" Carville asked me to blurb this book. He doesn't know me from Adam. He kissed my ass. I read the manuscript. (I planned to skim it -- I ended up inhaling every word and missing a few Sunday NFL games.) I love this book. I'm going to buy fifty copies -- at retail -- and send 'em all to my CEO friends. There's real wisdom here -- 1,000 miles from the usual self-help crap. Does it fit the business world? 100 percent. After all, every world is eventually about getting tough stuff done -- that is, hardball politics. Bravo!

About the Author

James Carville is the best-known and most-loved political consultant in American history. He is also a speaker, talk-show host, actor, and author with six New York Times bestsellers to his credit. Part of a large Southern family, he grew up without a television and loved to listen to the stories his mama told. Mr. Carville lives with his wife, Mary Matalin, and their two daughters in New Orleans. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Judging from this book I'm sure campaigning is never dull with these guys around. Maybe there's a few too many smarts remarks for my liking, and maybe they don't present you with a gigantic break through in political or media science. But behind all the wise cracks you actually find some good advice if you're planning a high profile career - especially in politics. Allthough based on American experiences the basic rules laid out by Carville and Begala are highly applicable to the European scene - mainly because the two consultants are the key inspiration for European political campaigning.
If you're already a spin doctor - the advice given will not surprise you (well, maybe part of it will). But if you're new to the game this is an easy to read introduction and a must read for all aspiring political leaders!
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By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Politics is a grass roots, slug-it-out fight with a winner and a loser and no prizes for second place. Every step is a battle because so much is at stake. Authors and veteran political consultants James Carville and Paul Begala, who were notably pivotal on the Clinton campaigns, cleverly explain what makes a winning campaign work and what gets a politician elected. They also present the flip side and honestly explain why campaigns, including some of theirs, fail. The account is made richer by their knowledge of memorable historic elections, their references to using campaign concepts in business management and a few good recipes. Conversational, loose, opinionated and frank, this book is entertaining and instructive, with clear explanations of carefully distilled ideas and plenty of insider war stories. The authors may harbor some warmth for the Democrats, but that doesn't tame them as they skewer and critique both parties. We recommend this book to executives and professionals as a fun, extended metaphor on winning that includes some practical rules and sharp storytelling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Item as described, No problems. Would buy from this vendor again.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
Caution: This book features lots of coarse language. If that sort of thing offends you, skip this book.
The two Democratic strategists combine to describe the key elements of how they feel that political candidates (whether Democrats or Republicans, conservatives or liberals) can win elections, and successfully pursue their agendas in office.
The general advice is to take the offense, and stay on it, even when on defense.
Let me paraphrase the key points into a shorter list to make the concepts more understandable:
1. If you keep trying your hardest to get elected, someday you will succeed. Abraham Lincoln is the prime example.
2. Honestly seek out allies when you need them to get elected. John F. Kennedy taking on Lyndon Johnson as his vice presidential candidate is the main example.
3. Attack your strongest candidate in the general election constantly above the belt. Attack first, attack hardest, and counter-attack first. The first Clinton presidential campaign is the main example.
4. Pick the issue where the strongest general election opponent is most vulnerable, and don't let go! "It's the economy, stupid!"
5. Tell your story unceasingly in a brief, emotional, unique, and relevant way. "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
6. Be quick to lead with your mistakes, weaknesses, and flaws by realizing that people want to hear it from you first. They will find out anyway, and you can gain credibility and trust this way.
7. Once you are in office, use your political capital wisely where it will make a difference. Build on success!
I suspect that most of these points are not new to you. Why read the book, then?
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 77 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and fundamental rules 18 May 2002
By Kevin Brianton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At the conclusion of his lament on life, Ecclesiastes says to work hard, and honour god. Carville and Begala come to the same conclusions by a more indirect route. Beneath the jokes and the outright political bias, are two very clear minds giving very sound advice. The book is worth purchasing for their chapter on hard work alone. It advises no short cuts or get rich schemes. Success requires focus and commitment. The only thing that the authors skate over is a moral purpose. They clearly forgive Clinton for lapses, but they do not forgive politicians - of any side - for abandoning their moral beliefs. Hence I would have liked one more chapter on ethics, but I cannot deny the immense value and wisdom of this book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for Winning in Politics or in Business 21 Feb. 2002
By Edward W. Matchett - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Regardless of your personal politics, this is an excellent book which is written in a "to the point" style with content both useful and fun to read at the same time. I couldn't put it down! I read it in the airport and I read it on the plane. I feel that having read this book will make me more effective in managing a political campaign but it also will provide the energy and focus required to develop and expand my law practice. For anyone with an interest in politics, this is a "must read" book. For anyone seeking to build a business or a professional practice, this book is more useful than ninety-nine percent of the self-help, motivational books I have read. I give this book five stars or an A+! Buy it now, read it and give it to your best friend.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Informative--an excellent read 23 Jan. 2002
By E. Stacy Aab - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I'm usually snobbish when it comes to books purporting to advise me on Better Living. Unless from well-respected holy folks (and even then still), I tend to find these books cheesy--as I often find those people who don't have the sense to at least hide their copy of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
But after reading their book, I really felt that I learned from their experiences. This all happened without being talked-down to, or without them resorting to spacey warm and fuzzy motivational speaker drivel. I felt like I was getting face-time with the bosses, and they were giving me valuable advice--not just shouting down wornout platitudes. And while some people from the Right might be instantly repulsed by the sight of them, they should know that Carville & Begala go out of their way to be balanced, and that the lessons they offer can (and should) be embraced by all.
For those of you considering buying this book, I'd say do it. It's both a down-to-earth and entertaining read.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice/2 of best & funniest in the advice biz: 5 Jun. 2002
By Kate S. Palmer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Begala and James Carville are synonymous with the Clinton administrations--but no matter what your political orientation, you'd be nuts not to take their advice seriously.
Their anecdotal approach to the "Buck Up" section of the book is inspiring--and funny.
They explain why you have to "Suck Up," why so many folks don't or won't, and the consequences of failing to do so. It's really not so awful, they contend--and besides, you're not as special as you think you are.
Politicians, businesspeople, those climbing the corporate ladder--anyone who has a goal s/he'd like to achieve--every one of us "Fouls Up" on the way.
That is when you "Buck Up" and start over.
This book is as passionate as Carville and as unflappable as Begala. It makes you laugh and it makes you think.
The authors do not pretend to be non-partisan in their personal views, but their aim here is not to advance that partisanship.
Their aim in this book is to provide practical advice, based on personal experience, to anyone who has a goal. Anyone with a dream to achieve.
They know what works and what doesn't, and they reveal their insights with humor, much of it self-deprecating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Business-Strategy Book 16 Nov. 2004
By Sherri R. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not just about politics. It is chock full of winning strategies, personal stories, political stories, and "five simple rules of great communicating." If you are in sales, management, college, or just want to know secrets in communicating, you need to read this book. It provides great insight from two political strategists who know what it takes to win. Be prepared to take notes, it is well worth your time!
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