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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matt Bai Narrator: Rob Shapir Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine brilliantly revisits the Gary Hart affair and looks at how it changed forever the intersection of American media and politics.

In 1987, Gary Hart—articulate, dashing, refreshingly progressive—seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for president and led George H. W. Bush comfortably in the polls. And then: rumors of marital infidelity, an indelible photo of Hart and a model snapped near a fatefully named yacht (Monkey Business), and it all came crashing down in a blaze of flashbulbs, the birth of twenty-four-hour news cycles, tabloid speculation, and late-night farce. Matt Bai shows how the Hart affair marked a crucial turning point in the ethos of political media—and, by extension, politics itself—when candidates’ “character” began to draw more fixation than their political experience.

Bai offers a poignant, highly original, and news-making reappraisal of Hart’s fall from grace (and overlooked political legacy) as he makes the compelling case that this was the moment when the paradigm shifted—private lives became public, news became entertainment, and politics became the stuff of “Page Six.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The kerfuffle about alleged sexual impropriety that torpedoed Gary Hart’s presidential bid in 1987 drove an uncommonly promising leader from public life. It also helped to spawn the ‘gotcha’ journalism that has ever since sacrificed propriety and substance on the altars of prurience and sleaze. Fueled by a keen reverence for the finest traditions of his craft, Matt Bai revisits the sorry tale of Hart’s humiliation to measure the depths of journalism’s debasement today, and the harm it continues to inflict on American democracy.”

    David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Freedom from Fear

  • “In the tradition of his friend Richard Ben Cramer, Matt Bai astonishes us by delving deeply into a story and thus overturning our views about how the press should cover politics. This fascinating and deeply significant tale shows how the rules of American politics and journalism were upended for the worse by the frenzied coverage of Gary Hart’s personal life. The soot still darkens our political process.”

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs

  • “A finely written, strikingly mature, and thoughtful revisitation of the tawdry episode that destroyed Gary Hart’s promising political career. It would have been enough for Matt Bai just to tell that story, or to assess what it cost those directly involved, including the journalists sucked into it, but he goes much further, weighing its profound cost to us all. All the Truth Is Out is in the impressive tradition of Nixon Agonistes, only with a dramatic personal narrative at its core. I could not admire it more.”

    Mark Bowden, New York Times bestselling author of Black Hawk Down

  • “What a tally of loss is to be found in this passionate and unsparing book about a turning point in modern America—an insider’s account, brilliantly told by one of America’s finest political journalists.”

    Lawrence Wright, New York Times bestselling author of The Looming Tower

  • “Political columnist Bai makes a persuasive case for reexamining the career of presidential candidate Gary Hart, whose downfall in the wake of speculation about an extramarital affair, he argues, marks a turning point in the deterioration of American political journalism and democracy…Bai appraises Hart the politician, political visionary, and high-minded yet obstinately private man, and asks what the country might have lost with his foreshortened career. This first-rate work of political journalism will fan embers long thought to have gone out.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A new look at a scandal that changed American politics…Hart once said that obsessive scrutiny of sex as an indicator of character would give America the politicians it deserved. In this probing narrative, Bai comes to another dismal conclusion: it would give America the news coverage it deserved—entertainment-driven, dominated by shallow pundits, and bereft of intellect and ideas.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Important and compassionate.”

    Ted Koppel, award-winning television news anchor

  • “In buoyant, vivid prose…All the Truth Is Out gives the reader a visceral appreciation of how our political discourse has changed in the last two and a half decades, and how those changes reflect broader cultural and social shifts…Bai adroitly shows us how an array of forces was converging to change the dynamics of political coverage.”

    New York Times

  • “A miniclassic of political journalism that will restart the debate of 1987.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Fast-moving [and] vivid…This book will tell you a lot about what politics asks of and takes out of people and about the highly imperfect ways in which we now assess ‘character’ and ‘substance’ when choosing our leaders.”


  • “Matt Bai is right to see the story of Gary Hart’s downfall as a singular moment in American politics.”

    Washington Post

  • “Narrator Rob Shapiro’s voice plumbs the lower end of the bass scale, but, with the dark overtones and air of shame of this audiobook, his reading fits well. He provides emphasis without character voices, and his diction is clear.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award
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