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Extended Audio Sample All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid Audiobook, by Matt Bai Click for printable size audiobook cover
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 Shapiro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9780553399868
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Yahoo's national political columnist and 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 24-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

  • 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….Mr. Bai adroitly shows us how an array of forces was converging to change the dynamics of political coverage. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • Bai doesn’t just make an argument: He tells the juicy Hart story all over again, right down to the oil-stained alley in which reporters cornered the candidate and interrogated him about the blonde in his apartment.…Bai’s important call for perspective is a reminder to all of us in the press and the electorate to recognize the complexity of the human condition, whether we’re casting aside candidates because they wear a funny helmet in a tank or because they once committed adultery. Slate
     
    “Gary Hart. Remember him: the presidential contender who rode a boat named Monkey Business into a media whirlpool? You should, as [this] book…makes clear. And the reason isn’t so much the scandal that swallowed him or his particular exit from the campaign arena. It’s the warning that his story sounded—about a new brutality on the campaign trail, about uncharted waters of media invasiveness and about the way both would wind up culling the herd, not in favor of the strongest candidates but in favor of those so driven or vacuous that the caress of the spotlight redeems the indignities of the process.
  • 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. The Atlantic
  • Matt Bai is right to see the story of Gary Hart’s downfall as a singular moment in American politics. The Washington Post
  • You think you know it all: Donna Rice, Monkey Business, Hart taunting the press. You don’t. The combustible mix of new technology and politics was birthed in [the 1987] presidential campaign, and there was no turning back. NPR
  • “Bai…tells [Hart’s] story with details that only great reporting can provide. L. A. Times
  • An introspective book that is set in another era but offers insights into ours…Bai says what is obvious—that the Donna Rice furor irreparably hurt Hart—but he also says what is less obvious, and very wise: that it hurt us all. The Boston Globe
  • This book isn’t just for politicos. It is a must read for anyone interested in contemporary politics and media. The Christian Science Monitor
  • If you think you know what happened to Gary Hart, read this book….A volume of insight and wisdom, an uncommon page-turner about the turning points we don’t recognize until we’re too far beyond them to turn back. Star Tribune
  • A masterfully written account...this first-rate work of political journalism will fan embers long thought to have gone out. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Bai shows that he is [Richard Ben] Cramer’s worthy successor—his important cautionary tale will resonate with journalists and members of the media as well as with political players and readers of current history. Library Journal, starred review
  • Vivid, suspenseful, instructive…There are so many good stories in All the Truth Is Out, it’s hard not to keep telling them. The Citizen-Times
  • Bai’s title embodies the wry humor and empathy that makes All the Truth Is Out such a compelling read...The truth Bai is after is something larger and more substantial. Bai argues that Hart’s fall unleashed what President Bill Clinton would later call the ‘politics of personal destruction,’ and that the fixation of the media on the ill-defined ‘character issue’ constituted a tragedy for the entire country. Columbia Journalism Review
  • “Perhaps you’re one of the many millions who believe something has gone sadly wrong in national politics….If so, All the Truth Is Out is for you. The Dallas Morning News
  • A new look at a scandal that changed American politics…[a] probing narrative. Kirkus
  • Digging deep into a long-ago, mis-remembered scandal, Matt Bai has written an acutely intelligent and surprisingly moving page-turner about Gary Hart, journalistic blindness, and the trivialization of American politics. George Packer, author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America
  • 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, author of Steve Jobs
  • All the Truth Is Out offers a terrific portrait of how news gets made…It’s riveting, a slow-motion car crash…[with] shrewd observations on the miserable state of contemporary political journalism (and politicians)….The media, as Hart experienced, pick and choose raw material from an individual life and fashion an image that often bears only a slim resemblance to the human being behind it. What matters is not who someone really is or what he has done. What matters is the symbolic need he meets. Salon
  • “A miniclassic of political journalism that will restart the debate of 1987. Jack Shafer, The New York Times Book Review
  • If you like political thrillers, if you like dramatic novels about the world of power and personality, you’re going to love the new book All the Truth Is Out. The Michael Medved Show
  • “Compelling….Bai’s superb book provokes many questions, and I gulped it down in a single sitting. Ken Auletta, The New Yorker
  • 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, 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, author of The Looming Tower
  • As an account of an emblematic scandal—what we knew, thought we knew, and never knew till now—Matt Bai’s All the Truth Is Out is funny, sad, and riveting. As a work of cultural history and criticism, it is splendid—a clear-eyed but wholehearted exploration of the forces that have given us our (often disastrous) contemporary notions of campaign coverage, leadership, ‘character,’ privacy, and redemption. Margaret Talbot, author of The Entertainer
  • 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, author of The American Pageant
  • What makes All the Truth Is Out such an extraordinary achievement is that the reader is spellbound by every unfolding detail, in the manner of a crime novel—even while, as Matt Bai makes all too clear, the true crime of the Gary Hart saga is how politics and journalism descended hand in hand into a ‘gotcha’ netherworld from whence it’s unlikely to return. Robert Draper, author of When the Tea Party Came to Town
  • With extraordinary care and rare insight, Matt Bai leads us from the unraveling of Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1987 to the present day—a trail that has brought American politics to a truly sad state. Robert B. Reich, author of Aftershock 
  • Important and compassionate. Ted Koppel
  • “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.”

    Atlantic

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • 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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About the Author

Matt Bai is the national political columnist for Yahoo News. For more than a decade he was a political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, where he covered three presidential campaigns. He is the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, named a notable book of 2007 by The New York Times. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

About the Narrator

Rob Shapiro can be heard narrating audiobooks such as the bestseller The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood; Frank: The Voice; and the fantasy noir Low Town. He performed several seasons of radio comedy on Minneapolis Public Radio and voiced the titular lion in Leo the Lion. Shapiro is a musician and composer with his critically acclaimed band Populuxe. He is also a business consultant and software system designer.