Monday, February 09, 2009

Vote for Me: The Long Road to the White House, by John Barron

John Barron is an ABC journalist with an interest in American politics. Besides writing this book, he also made a film of his experiences covering the 2008 US election. Contemporary academic books on politics can be dull, dull, dull. Barron avoids this by holding back on his own personal opinions and rather reporting what he finds 'on the ground'. This approach makes the book quite a lively and refreshing read. It's all the small details that make the book intriguing, like how Hillary Clinton gets around, the security detail that she commands, and even down to the fact that she doesn't sweat when out on the hustings in stifling heat.

Barron interweaves this with lots of titbits of American history. He also conducts interviews with important figures from the past. There is also lots of interesting interview material with people close to the main players in the 2008 election.

Vote for Me is a breath of fresh air in political reporting from someone who sees American politics pretty much as a personal hobby. This alone makes it a guaranteed fun read.

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