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Book Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008 by Greg Mitchell (2009-01-14)

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Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008 by Greg Mitchell (2009-01-14)

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Review Text

  • By Charles Geraci on February 4, 2009

    Barack Obama may only be in his third week as president, but the history of the presidential campaign and the election is already being published.One of the first accounts, Greg Mitchell's latest book "Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008," provides a comprehensive look at the reasons for Obama's eventual victory.The editor of Editor & Publisher Magazine, Mitchell, who has written eight nonfiction books to date, relives the historic presidential campaign with the reader--beginning in November 2007 and concluding a year later with the election and subsequent analysis.With the entries organized by date, Mitchell meticulously records all of the major moments from the campaign, and does it from a media perspective, including not just the coverage of the mainstream media, but also the blogosphere and the Web in general. He explains why this election was different; it was "the first national campaign profoundly shaped--even, at times, dominated--by the new media, from viral videos and blog rumors that went 'mainstream' to startling online fundraising techniques," as Mitchell puts it in his introduction.It's hard to think of one major moment of the campaign that Mitchell does not include. It's all here--the abundance of candidates in '08, the primaries, the conventions, the debates, the "race factor," Sarah Palin and the role of "Saturday Night Live," and yes, Barack Obama's embarrassing bowling.But the latter is just one example of the refreshing humor that Mitchell brings to the book.In describing when the media was fixated on Obama's bowling technique and "promoted 'gutter politics,'" Mitchell will surely land more than a few laughs from readers.He writes, "You won't find many references to bowling when examining the lives of other allegedly 'manly' presidents, including JFK, LBJ (who couldn't even golf), Reagan, Poppy Bush. Who was the biggest bowling advocate near the top? Dan Quayle."Nixon and Quayle. That is really something to aspire to."Tracing the campaign day by day, Mitchell explores the themes of race, media bias, the role of the Internet and Web-based politics, among many others, and does it in a straightforward, honest manner.As someone who closely followed the campaign, I highly recommend this book to any student of journalism or politics, those in the media, or anyone looking for a convincing argument as to why Obama won.

  • By Reginald Sigler on September 20, 2013

    It's always good to get a perspective of what has happened to see what's going on now. The election of 2008 laid the groundwork for the deep divisions we have today. The Republicans lost badly and have shown that they didn't learn from that loose. They have tripled down on their own agenda and they don't car about the people. If you care about politics you must read this.

  • By N. Gargano on February 23, 2009

    I guess I did not understand exactly what this book was when I ordered it, but I'm glad I did. It is a day by day commentary or day by day when something happened day, about the primary and the election of 2008. If you are an Obama fan, and want to relive the great days of the great election, this is for you. Would others like it? Not sure, but I'm glad I bought it.

  • By John Doble on January 23, 2009

    Greg Mitchell is one of the most insightful observers of the American political scene. He writes with style, grace, and an abundance of wicked humor. I've read nearly all of Mitchell's books, and this work proudly stands alongside his very best.J. DobleNew York City

  • By Sylvia Birdsworth on May 22, 2009

    interesting to read this stuff knowing the outcome--the racism, the fear-mongering--didn't work, folks!wish it had been longer, but I'm a political nut and could read and read and read anything to do with the election


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