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This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 16. Juli 2013
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"This Town is funny, it's interesting, and it is demoralizing ... I loved it as much as you can love something which hurts your heart."—John Oliver, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
“In addition to his reporting talents, Leibovich is a writer of excellent zest. At times his book is laugh-out-loud (as well as weep-out-loud). He is an exuberant writer, even as his reporting leaves one reaching for Xanax…[This Town] is vastly entertaining and deeply troubling.”—Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review
"It's been the summer of This Town. What lingers from This Town is what will linger in Washington well after its current dinosaurs are extinct: the political culture owned by big money."—Frank Rich, New York Magazine
"Many decades from now, a historian looking at where America lost its way could use This Town as a primary source."—Fareed Zakaria
“Here it is, Washington in all its splendid, sordid glory…[Leibovich] seems to wear those special glasses that allow you to x-ray the outside and see what’s really going on. Start to finish, this is a brilliant portrait – pointillist, you might say, or modern realist. So brilliant that once it lands on a front table at Politics & Prose Leibovich will never be able to have lunch in this town again. There are also important insights tucked in among the barbs…So here’s to all the big mouths, big shots, big machers, and big jerks. In case you’re wondering, Mark Leibovich is on to every one of you, and his portrayal of This Town is spot on.” —David Shribman, The New York Times
“In his new book This Town, Mark Leibovich commits an act of treason against the Washington establishment… Thoroughly entertaining… Leibovich is a keen observer and energetic writer.”—Reid Pillifant, New York Observer
“This Town is a frothy Beltway insider tell-all …rollicking fun and sharply written. A big, sprawling fun beach read of a book—snappy and well-crafted.”—Susan Gardner, The Daily Kos
“This Town is as entertaining for the broader picture it paints of a capital that corrupts even the most incorruptible as it is for the salacious gossip that dominated early reviews. Books like Leibovich’s are important resources for historians who, a century from now, will use This Town as a trove of background information for a pivotal period when our politics became poisonous.”—Reid Wilson, The National Journal
“Leibovich delivers the reportorial goods. He is in all the parties, and supplies a wildly entertaining anthrolopogical tour.”—Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
“Leibovich has written a very funny book about how horrible his industry can be… Uncommonly honest.”—David Weigel, Slate
“[Leibovich] is a master of the political profile… This Town is as insidery as Game Change”—Carlos Lozada, Washington Post
“Intensely anticipated…. [Leibovich] has a real affection for many of his characters… [and] also throws a few unapologetically hard punches.” —Ben Smith, Buzzfeed
“Witty, entertaining….the book is enlightening on how journalism is practiced in Washington…This Town could also be source material for your book about what’s wrong with these horrible people and – more importantly, but also much more difficult – how to fix the culture that led to their ascendance….This Town is a funny book, but it should probably make you as angry and depressed as “Two American Families.” —Alex Pareene, Salon.com
“For the sweaty, twitching, huddled masses of Washington gossip addicts, This Town is rife with such shiny nuggets, the literary equivalent of crack.”— Lloyd Grove, Newsweek/The Daily Beast
“Corrosively funny and subtly subversive…. siren song of money and pseudo-celebrity ….irresistible."—Walter Shapiro, The American Prospect
“Like a modern-day Balzac to US capital power players….hilarious….perceptive.” —Richard McGregor, Financial Times
“A rollicking, if disconcerting, read.”—Denver Post
“Provides a lancing, often hysterically funny portrait of the capital’s vanities and ambitions.” —The New Yorker
“A common trope among conservatives is the “cocktail party scene,” which Republican reformers encounter when they go to Washington and which lures them into selling out their beliefs. This Town provides plenty of evidence not only that those worries are grounded, but that it’s far worse than we imagined….[U]nusual and refreshing…. [A] successful and needed undertaking…. Leibovich enlivens his tedious subjects with a funny and vivid writing style…. he’s also an engaging storyteller. The last quarter of This Town, which dishes on Leibovich’s encounters with the major players from the 2012 election, is undeniably good reading… If you want to understand why you should wake up quivering with white-hot hatred for elite Washington, This Town is well worth your time.” —Matt Purple, The American Spectator
“[A] sharp-eyed, funny and elegantly written takedown of Washington’s crass, insidery, back-scratching (by journalists and politicians alike) culture…. [T]he Tony Soprano of journalists…but with a heart.” —Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg News
“This book has to be the book of the summer, open on the fat or flat bellies of Washington's privileged political elite at Rehoboth, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Even if they are in it, or are looking for themselves in it with dread or delicious anticipation, a Washington version of narcissism, "This Town" is not to be missed.” —Dan Simpson, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
“Not since Truman Capote’s “Answered Prayers” knocked New York society on its heels with its thinly fictionalized revelations of real players who had thought the author was their friend has a book so riled a city’s upper echelons.”—Lois Romano, Politico
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Mark Leibovich is The New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. In 2011, he received a National Magazine Award for his story on Politico's Mike Allen and the changing media culture of Washington. Prior to coming to the Times Magazine, Leibovich was a national political reporter in the Times' DC bureau. He has also worked at The Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News and The Boston Phoenix, and is the author of The New Imperialists, a collection of profiles on technology pioneers. Leibovich lives with his family in Washington.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The remarkable aspect of the book is the author's ability to not take sides, politically: most books on politics end up offending readers from one side or the other but here both sides are equally hoisted on their own petards. Democrats may outnumber Republicans but only because Leibovich is writing about the last several years, with much of the book centered upon the 2012 elections. But, as a New York Times reporter, the author certainly isn't anti-liberal, by any means; he's simply giving an honest account of what he has seen behind the curtains.
That honesty, however, has its limits and this is my main criticism of the book. Leibovich shies away from exposing true corruption and seems to want to be friends with these people. I suppose a political reporter needs friends and allies in Washington and is disinclined to burn too many bridges by exposing the true breadth and depth of the decadence of 'The Club'. However, it's often like a member of the club - which the author certainly is - having had a few drinks too many is giving us a verbal sneak peek of how Washington works behind the scenes, but giving us only a few quick glances behind the curtain before closing it again (lest he risk his membership for exposing too much). But, to his credit, Leibovich does expose the way-too-cozy relationship between politicians and the media people who cover them, which seems to be the reason why Washington never changes: the public rarely gets the whole truth.
Overall, the book is an amusing and insightful view of Washington that most people never see. Full of unflattering anecdotes about top politicians, but more so a view of the culture that breeds such people and the constellation of enablers which surrounds them. If nothing else, it's a very entertaining book.
The book begins during the final months of the 2008 election between Senator Obama and Senator McCain and ends with the completion of the 2012 race between President Obama and Mitt Romney. It starts with the Washington establishment attending the service commemorating the death of NBC's reporter Tim Russert. It is an interesting and effective start to the book. The attendees have duel objectives in being there. Part of it is to hobnob with other players in the D.C. game. Networking is the major religion in this town. My word, the amount of parties thrown in D.C. is practically infinite. I'm an introvert. Even typing about these people networking and attending oodles of parties makes me almost break out in hives and want to puke. It sounds like my version of Hell. Mr. Leibovich covers such things as the incessant social climbing, the dinner-and-cocktail circuit, the trivilization and gossipy nature of news, the economic D.C. bubble that's impervious to recessions, the Correspondents' Association dinner, how Politico has altered the Washington news landscape, how lying is as common as breathing to these people, how they believe most voters are stupid, and the revolving door between careers as politicians and lobbyists. I was surprised to read some names of past politicians who are still working and schmoozing in D.C. Heck, I thought some of them were dead. Trump is mentioned in passing as simply a wacky nuisance. Boy, have times changed since the book's publication.
Maybe it was unavoidable that Washington would evolve into what it now is. Most of the people mentioned work long hours in an effort to succeed. Success in D.C. is usually defined by either money, celebrity, money, helping form policy, or money. 'This Town' is a good explanation of the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the nation. I can see why the author/reporter was once an idealist who evolved into a cynic. The book is informative, occasionally funny, gossipy, and snarky. D.C. is an interesting place to visit but I sure wouldn't want to live there.
Having viewed many of these Beltway shenanigans from a distance, I often suspected that the behind-the-scenes action was clubby and elitist -- that they all were in it together, Republicans and Democrats alike, media personalities and their sources, putting on a partisan show for the rest of us so we would think they were doing something meaningful. Now we have proof that the whole thing is a scam, courtesy of Mark Leibovich.
For years I've been annoyed at the cloying, saccharine way media 'pundits' talked about every little non-event in Washington as if it actually mattered. And the way that every influencer-wannabe obsessed over Senator Armpit's (R-Podunk) legislative aide sleeping with Rep Who's-It's (D-Bumf**k) husband, as if anyone cared, including Rep Who's-It. Finally, Mark Leibovich has come to my rescue, calling a spade for exactly what it is. I feel, as the therapists say, validated.
The media suits, particularly those who presume to call themselves journalists, should be ashamed to report this treif. All of Washington is like a huge Rube Goldberg machine that feeds itself and works hardest at keeping a straight face so the rest of us won't see past the illusions it spins. The average citizen can't do much about this and outrage seems to make no difference, so all we can do is laugh.
And you will definitely laugh throughout This Town, assuming you appreciate irony and don't take the government too seriously.