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The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an…
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The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Haynes Johnson, Dan Balz

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1374132,321 (3.7)5
Member:robmills
Title:The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election
Authors:Haynes Johnson
Other authors:Dan Balz
Info:Viking Adult (2009), Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:ebooks, Your library
Rating:
Tags:politics, ebook, politics: American, culture wars

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The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election by Dan Baltz (2009)

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Showing 4 of 4
A narrative about the election of 2008. It wasn't quite as popular as "Game Change" and it's not hard to see why. Something about Balz's writing is very off-putting--I found it very hard to read through, as well as his 2012 e-book. It might be because he's really a newspaper guy and not a book writing, but I'm not sure.

Still, like GC it goes through the 2008 election, with an emphasis on the Democratic side of things, where an epic showdown took place between the Clintons and Obama. McCain and the Republicans were also covered as well, but I felt more time and detail went to the D's. I re-read GC not too long ago and it was nice to see where the books agreed and where they didn't, as well as where this book gave more focus where the other did not.

If you are a student or at all interested in elections, this isn't a bad read. However I'd recommend getting it from the library, borrowing it otherwise or getting it really cheap. Game Change was (I feel) the superior book on the 2008 election. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
This is a brilliantly readable account of what was indeed an extraordinary election in America in 2008. It starts from the beginning, with the candidates announcing their intentions to run, thoroughly discussing the Democratic and Republican campaigns to get the nomination, and then the presidential campaign. The Democratic nomination campaigns quickly became a two-person race, between the well-known Hillary Clinton and the newer face of Barack Obama. (While I do think Obama is terrific and I was lucky enough to be in a blue state in America for both of his elections, this book reinforced my view that Hillary would also have done an excellent job.) The book demonstrates how important the Iowa caucus was to both candidates, and how infighting and bad management of finances within Hillary’s campaign caused so many problems. Barack Obama’s campaign, while certainly not without its problems and mis-steps, seemed to run much more smoothly, in the end helping to win the nomination for him instead of the Clinton powerhouse. (I actually found Bill Clinton’s part in Hillary’s campaign to be fascinating, as it seemed to hinder her as much as help her.)

McCain’s campaign for the Republican nomination was not without its problems either, as many of the party viewed him with some suspicion. However, he got the nomination and then faced an even tougher battle against the by this time seemingly unstoppable Obama. The successful parts of his campaign are discussed, although at times there do not seem to be too many of them, and his bizarre choice of running mate is also examined in detail.

Sometimes I think if this was fiction and was made into a film, people would find it too unbelievable, but this is all true! The narrative is presented in an engaging tone, and it never feels dull or dry. It also stays unbiased, and although it reports on some of the more unsavoury press which the candidates received during their campaigns, it never resorts to using the same tactics. Overall, I would say that this is well worth a look to anybody with even a passing interest in politics or the election process. ( )
1 vote Ruth72 | Nov 26, 2013 |
The book that I actually read is the paperback edition with the new afterword from March 2010. I highly recommend reading that edition with the new afterword or borrowing that edition just to read that afterword.
  jeshakespeare | Aug 7, 2011 |
4713. The Battle for America 2008 The Story of an Extraordinary Election, by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson (read 27 May 2010) Even though I read Game Change (on 25 Feb 2010) and this book covers the same election, I thoroughly enjoyed this book also. It is so great to read an account where one knows that it all comes out fine in the end. This book again makes clear how important Iowa was to Obama and how serious for Hillary was her failure in Iowa. And McCain's weird behavior in September 2008 in response to the economic collapse, combined with his goofy choice for vice-president, determined the outcome of the election. A very enjoyable book. ( )
  Schmerguls | May 27, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
“The Battle for America 2008” ...makes for engaging reading — for both politics addicts interested in small new details and the more casual reader interested in a broad, savvy overview of the run-up to a historic election.
 
The range of personalities and the grind of campaigning -- the missteps and outright failures and successes -- are well evoked by Balz and Johnson, who have an eye for plain-spoken truth.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Baltz, Danprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Haynesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Heroes and philosophers, brave men and vile, have since Rome and Athens tried to make . . . transfer of power work effectively. No people have succeded at it better . . . than the Americans. - Theodore H. White, The Making of the President 1960
Dedication
For Tim Russert, friend and colleague, who defined the race only to miss the last chapter

and to our wives, Nancy Balz and Kathryn Oberly
First words
Sunday, March 4, 2007, Selma, Alabama
Barack Obama is sitting aboard his modest six-seater chartered aircraft on the tarmac at Selma - waiting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670021113, Hardcover)

The election of 2008 shattered political barriers, illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class, and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable rivals ever to seek the presidency in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. It was an election that played out against a backdrop of war, economic collapse, and deep pessimism about the future. Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson followed this campaign from the candidates’ first forays into Iowa and New Hampshire to the historic night of Obama’s victory celebration. They offer behind-the-scenes details of turning points like the stunning endorsement of Obama by Senator Edward M. Kennedy. They probe the strategic mistakes of the Clinton campaign and the story behind Obama’s breakthrough organization. They cast in new light McCain’s struggle for survival in the Republican primaries, his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, and the economic meltdown that ensured Obama’s victory. Exclusive interviews with the candidates and their top strategists produce intimate portraits of Obama, Clinton, and McCain under stress throughout the longest and most expensive presidential campaign in American history. Balz and Johnson also move far off the campaign trail to listen to voters in battleground states express their deep anxieties about the darkening economic climate and the challenges facing the United States. This audiobook is a riveting account of how this election not only marked a new era in American politics but also offered a test of historic proportions at a watershed moment for our nation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:04 -0400)

The election of 2008 shattered political barriers, illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class, and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable political rivals ever to seek the presidency in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. The election played out against a backdrop of wars, a shattered economy and deep pessimism about the future. Journalists Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson follow this campaign from the candidates' first forays to Obama's victory celebration. They reveal the strategic mistakes of the Clinton campaign and the story behind Obama's breakthrough organization. They cover McCain's struggle for survival in the Republican primaries, Sarah Palin, and the economic meltdown. Exclusive interviews with the candidates and their top strategists produce intimate portraits of Obama, Clinton, and McCain under stress; they also move far off the campaign trail to listen to voters express their anxieties about the darkening economic climate and the challenges facing the U.S.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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