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Download Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized By People Who Think You're Stupid Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (179 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Klein Narrator: Joe Klein Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9780739325452
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People on the right are furious. People on the left are livid. And the center isn’t holding. There is only one thing on which almost everyone agrees: there is something very wrong in Washington. The country is being run by pollsters. Few politicians are able to win the voters’ trust. Blame abounds and personal responsibility is nowhere to be found. There is a cynicism in Washington that appalls those in every state, red or blue. The question is: Why? The more urgent question is: What can be done about it?
Few people are more qualified to deal with both questions than Joe Klein.
There are many loud and opinionated voices on the political scene, but no one sees or writes with the clarity that this respected observer brings to the table. He has spent a lifetime enmeshed in politics, studying its nuances, its quirks, and its decline. He is as angry and fed up as the rest of us, so he has decided to do something about it—in these pages, he vents, reconstructs, deconstructs, and reveals how and why our leaders are less interested in leading than they are in the “permanent campaign” that political life has become.
The book opens with a stirring anecdote from the night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Klein re-creates the scene of Robert Kennedy’s appearance in a black neighborhood in Indianapolis, where he gave a gut-wrenching, poetic speech that showed respect for the audience, imparted dignity to all who listened, and quelled a potential riot. Appearing against the wishes of his security team, it was one of the last truly courageous and spontaneous acts by an American politician—and it is no accident that Klein connects courage to spontaneity. From there, Klein begins his analysis—campaign by campaign—of how things went wrong. From the McGovern campaign polling techniques to Roger Ailes’s combative strategy for Nixon; from Reagan’s reinvention of the Republican Party to Lee Atwater’s equally brilliant reinvention of behind-the-scenes strategizing; from Jimmy Carter to George H. W. Bush to Bill Clinton to George W.—as well as inside looks at the losing sides—we see how the Democrats become diffuse and frightened, how the system becomes unbalanced, and how politics becomes less and less about ideology and more and more about how to gain and keep power. By the end of one of the most dismal political runs in history—Kerry’s 2004 campaign for president—we understand how such traits as courage, spontaneity, and leadership have disappeared from our political landscape.
In a fascinating final chapter, the author refuses to give easy answers since the push for easy answers has long been part of the problem. But he does give thoughtful solutions that just may get us out of this mess—especially if any of the 2008 candidates happen to be paying attention. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke Chaffee | 1/16/2014

    " Really well written. Klein is a columnist for the NY times and thus is a good writer. An interesting perspective on the lost art of politics. Mostly he blames T.V. and I must agree. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meredith | 1/16/2014

    " an interesting analysis of the evolution of the modern campaign, despite klein's tendency to stray into arrogant and gossipy rants "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ray | 12/25/2013

    " One of my favorite political journalists. this book was not his best effort, but i like his observations and usually agree with his appraisals of politics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 12/2/2013

    " I don't particularly like Joe Klein, but I can't disagree with him about how the politcal process has been hijacked and sanitized. It's bullshit, it's maddening and it's so, so true. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph Serwach | 11/30/2013

    " Great insights -- fair to both parties -- great information. Teaches and reaches out much more than it preaches. Joel is a great writer and wordsmith. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kcallihan | 11/27/2013

    " Joe Klein's take on political handlers since Pat Caddell - mostly Democratic campaigns with stories full of gossipy inside info with tons of players and their role. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 9/26/2013

    " Klein describes how the business of polling and campaign advising has led most Presidential candidates to package and sell themselves rather than speak from the heart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas Ptacek | 9/25/2013

    " Strong prose. Hangs together well. Left-centrist perspective; you don't get the impression that he has a blind spot where the GOP is concerned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 8/3/2013

    " This is much more intelligent and informative and worthwhile than the silly title would suggest. It's an insider history of the American political process in the television age. Not especially ideological or partisan, and not a rant, except maybe in the short final chapter. This is a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 12/8/2012

    " Politics Lost is an excellent chronicling of how American Presidential candidacy has come to require such inane posturing and leaves us devoid of anything or anybody with substance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 9/29/2012

    " Interesting insights into the changes in politics and the power of polls and sound bites. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 8/28/2012

    " "Any politican who can communicate strenght, originality, and a vibrant humanity - and who has the confidence to celebrate the occasional Turnip Day - probably will win...and so will we. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat Stromquist | 1/27/2012

    " I don't think Klein's thesis is quite clear here. But it is an interesting insider's look at campaign consultancy, and very readable. He'll always have a place in my heart...somewhere behind Paul Krugman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jays | 8/14/2011

    " Man, politicians and the people who advise them are totally stupid. Don't they know anythi... oh wait... crap, I forgot, I'm one of them! Man.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garrett Hall | 7/10/2011

    " Interesting look at the problems with politics, but it would take a whole library to cover all problems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karmen | 7/7/2011

    " What a wonderfully down to earth book. Joe Klein writes of the transition of the political process from issue based to character (i.e. PR) based. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tarin Allen | 5/22/2011

    " A little dry in the beginning but stick with it- it gets better! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karmen | 4/12/2011

    " What a wonderfully down to earth book. Joe Klein writes of the transition of the political process from issue based to character (i.e. PR) based. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 5/22/2010

    " This is much more intelligent and informative and worthwhile than the silly title would suggest. It's an insider history of the American political process in the television age. Not especially ideological or partisan, and not a rant, except maybe in the short final chapter. This is a good book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 4/22/2010

    " "Any politican who can communicate strenght, originality, and a vibrant humanity - and who has the confidence to celebrate the occasional Turnip Day - probably will win...and so will we. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph | 12/1/2009

    " Great insights -- fair to both parties -- great information. Teaches and reaches out much more than it preaches. Joel is a great writer and wordsmith. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garrett | 10/8/2009

    " Interesting look at the problems with politics, but it would take a whole library to cover all problems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke | 1/7/2009

    " Really well written. Klein is a columnist for the NY times and thus is a good writer. An interesting perspective on the lost art of politics. Mostly he blames T.V. and I must agree. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ray | 11/1/2008

    " One of my favorite political journalists. this book was not his best effort, but i like his observations and usually agree with his appraisals of politics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 je-ne-sais-kat | 7/30/2008

    " I don't think Klein's thesis is quite clear here. But it is an interesting insider's look at campaign consultancy, and very readable. He'll always have a place in my heart...somewhere behind Paul Krugman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tarin | 7/28/2008

    " A little dry in the beginning but stick with it- it gets better! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kcallihan | 3/25/2008

    " Joe Klein's take on political handlers since Pat Caddell - mostly Democratic campaigns with stories full of gossipy inside info with tons of players and their role. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 3/13/2008

    " This is my kinda book. The history of the post war spin doctors in the presidential political races. Very interesting on how they got these guys elected.

    If you like politics and the inner workings of a political campaign, then this is an excellent book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 2/29/2008

    " Klein describes how the business of polling and campaign advising has led most Presidential candidates to package and sell themselves rather than speak from the heart. "

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About the Author
Author Joe KleinJoe Klein is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the #1 bestseller Primary Colors. His weekly Time column, “In the Arena,” covers US politics, elections, and foreign policy and has won two National Headliner Awards for best magazine column.