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Game Change

On the eve of the 2012 presidential election, I am turning my focus back to 2008 - an election of historical proportions. Game Change is the story of the election; the primaries, the candidates, the race itself. Written by political journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, the book takes you through the political year of 2008. Part 1 (the longest section) is the story of the Democratic primaries; from Obama's road to the nomination, officially beginning in January 3rd, 2008 in Iowa ("On this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn't do.") to Clinton's exit in June 2008. It was interesting to see a look behind the debates and the news cycle. I didn't really follow the election in '08 as intensely as I am this year, so in reading this I didn't really remember what actually happened during primary season. But it was so powerfully written that it sucked you right back into the election drama. Part 2 (quite short) is the less heightened race of the Republican primaries; McCain's sound defeat of Huckabee and the present 2012 nominee, Romney. Part 3 delves into the race between Obama and McCain, and the choosing of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin for Vice Presidential nominees. Facing backlash over accuracy after it was published in 2010, Heilemann responded, saying, "We tried to tell a story of the intimate reality of what it's like to run for president. Gossip is that which is unverified ... Everything in our book is factual." I read the book at the behest of my dad, who had read it and loved it. Adapted into a film by HBO, focusing on the chapters about Palin's depressive and unresponsive tendencies during the campaign. Game Change received critical acclaim, especially Julianne Moore's portrayal of Palin. So as America prepares to re-elect the 44th president, or elect a 45th, it might be a nice break to reminisce on 2008. Rating: ★★★★

The Sun Also Rises

Tender is the Night