Trail Fever, Spin Doctors, Rented Strangers, Thumb Westlers (Borzoi book) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1997
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"A fresh, hilarious must read... ["Losers"] is a winner."- "Time
""Hilarious, genuinely funny, and insightful, the work of a truly gifted writer."- "The Wall Street Journal
""A great book... Hilarious, unsettling... [and] wonderfully observed."- Dave Eggers, "Salon
""Unveils the pomposities and absurdities of spinning campaign life with wit and restraint, with a touch, in other words, that is all the more devastating for its lightness."- "Newsday" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
A wickedly funny and astute chronicle of the 1996 presidential campaign--and how we go about choosing our leaders at the turn of the century. In it Michael Lewis brings to the political scene the same brilliance that distinguished his celebrated best-seller about the financial world, Liar's Poker.
Beginning with the primaries, Lewis traveled across America--a concerned citizen who happened to ride in candidates' airplanes (as well as rented cars in blinding New Hampshire blizzards) and write about their adventures. Among the contenders he observed: Pat Buchanan, a walking tour of American anger; Lamar Alexander, who appealed to people who pretend to be nice to get ahead; Steve Forbes, frozen in a smile and refusing to answer questions about his father's motorcycles; Alan Keyes, one of the great political speakers of our age, whom no one has ever heard of; Morry Taylor--"the Grizz"--the hugely successful businessman who became the refreshing embodiment of ordinary Americans' appetites and ambitions; Bob Dole, a man who set out to prove he would never be president; and Bill Clinton, the big snow goose who flew too high to be shot out of the sky.
We watch the cliches of this peculiar subculture collide with characters from the real world: a pig farmer in Iowa; an evangelical preacher in Colorado Springs; a homeless person in Manhattan; a prospective illegal immigrant in Mexico. The politicians speak and speak, often reversing positions, denying direct quotations, mastering the sound bite, dodging hard questions, wreaking havoc on the English language. Spin doctors spin. Rented strangers (campaign workers) proliferate. One particular toe sucker goes awry. Ads are honed tomisrepresent and distort. Money makes the world go round.
And the citizens are left dumbfounded or cheering empty platitudes. When trail fever breaks on Election Day, half of America's eligible voters stay home.
This book offers a striking look at us and our politics and the mammoth unlikelihood of connection between the inauthentic modern candidate and the voter's passions, needs, and desires. In telling the story, Michael Lewis once again proves himself a masterful observer of the American scene. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lewis has truly captured the absurdity of the whole election year process. Pointing out how the only true candidate to speak freely (Taylor) got killed early on, as oppossed to the scripted efforts of the other candidates, was a sad reflection on how Americans are buying into the dog and pony shows as oppossed to ideas.
Read this book for a light hearted, enjoyable view of the 1996 campaign. If you want serious, this is not the place to be.
Did Steve Forbes really learn his lines by rote then never, ever strayed even when (or if) caught off guard? He did.And he didn't. Did Bob Dole's "rented strangers"-handlers hide him for fear that the American people would see the "real" Bob Dole, the one he so often referred to "Bob Dole keeps his word...Bob Dole'll win big time." Was Morry Taylor "The Grizz" the only real American in this campaign,the one who's made his money the American way thus freeing him from having "middle class" manners but not from the guilt that appears to pull so many moneyed individuals into politics. I'm giving something back!Here, a few million dollars of MY OWN MONEY in exchange for office!But the landscape is not complete without persons such as Senator John McCain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read. Michael Lewis, made famous for his witty observations about the machinations of Wall Street, turns his attention to the boring, quagmire that was the 1996... Read morePublished on 1 Sept. 1998
You'd hardly know that Bill Clinton ran against Bob Dole from reading this book. Lewis spends far too much time and energy focused on Morry Taylor, who was irrelevant in 1996, and... Read morePublished on 7 July 1998
Early in "Trail Fever", we find Republican candidate Morry "TheGrizz" Taylor in big trouble. Taylor is an irascible self-made industrialist who spent several million of his own... Read morePublished on 24 Jun. 1997