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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.
Still, if you can set aside a so-this-is-how-my-tax-dollars-are-spent mentality, you should find the book witty, gossipy and informative - though not surprising. You must see the politicos and hangers-on as the preening pretenders that most of them are. There are few statesmen and women among this crowd and few genuine leaders - from the voter's point of view. Even when they say they are not making deals, they are. I have heard there's no longer a big social scene in D.C., a la the Reagan years, but apparently there is.
I am put off that the author has commercialized his relationships - no matter how shallow they are - but I am a political junkie so I downloaded the book on my Kindle anyway. It confirms what many of us have observed for years: media are more intent on protecting treasured sources than reporting the truth. Sometimes media ignore nasty stories about their favorite news sources. Whether it's Clinton, Petraeus or someone like Anthony Weiner, media love to tear down public figures (it sells)but celebrate their so-called comebacks (it sells). This book also confirms that those who have gotten caught with hands in the cookie jar or on private parts of a much younger woman, were usually already knee-deep in their misdeeds. Lesson for us: forgiving is fine, but we should probably not reelect these people - and we don't have to admire them either. It's fun to just laugh at them.
I am not sure when Congress started putting campaigning ahead of governing, but I'm guessing it was about the same time the media stopped educating the public on the issues and turned to horse-race journalism. Is this really what the public wants? For politics and the news to be nothing more than another form of entertainment?
One example of Leibovich's self-promotion is his take on Mike Allen of Politico. Allen is a good reporter - but anyone reading this book would come away thinking Allen is THE ONLY go-to reporter in Washington - for everything! Allen is mentioned dozens, maybe hundreds, of times! What a coincidence that Leibovich wrote an extensive profile of Allen that won him an award, according to his bio blurb on the inside back jacket cover.
I kept plowing through until the end, hoping for some major revelations. There were none.
To top it off, this is not a well-written book - very choppy and disjointed.
Wish I had not bought it. Will be donating it to our local library.
Leibovich is chief national correspondent for "The New York Times Magazine" and based in Washington, D.C. He is deeply imbedded in the nexus of politics and media, a position he has no trouble making fun of. An important aspect of his book is political a** kissing by reporters trying to get inside information about the workings of our government. He doesn't hide the fact that he's right there on his knees, scrambling with the pooched-up multitudes, trying to get newsy tidbits.
The book has an abundance of snarky comments and hearsay gossip. His background material must be pretty solid because there's not much retribution being reported and he still gets to attend glitzy parties. It's apparent that the feathers of our political and media elite are well-conditioned to the downpour of criticism heaped upon them. Their memories are also short and, with a few exceptions, long-lasting enmity is a rare occurrence.
Massive egos and self-advancement agendas are readily accepted among the elite in Washington. Indeed, the practitioners of normally frowned upon mannerisms seem to rise to the top of the power heap where they are idolized and caressed. That's not to say they are admired. The author cites numerous comical and critical comments passed around under the breaths of observers as the political parrots strut around.
Being somewhat of a gossip-monger myself, I enjoy mud-slinging and "foul whisperings," as Shakespeare put it. I admire Leibovich's willingness to put himself out there as he spreads the slime found within the workings of our government. It's apparent that he doesn't consider it hazardous to shovel dirt and that makes for an entertaining read.
I had some problems with the book, as I always seem to have. I thought there were too many names of non-important people thrown around who really have nothing to do with the author's scandalous look at the political world in our nation's capital. I also thought the account of his involvement in some questionable e-mail distribution practices was too lengthy and not particularly earth shattering. I found him somewhat long-winded in places, going on at great length to describe events that didn't fit into his theme. But I don't know the guy; that may well be his modus operandi.
I enjoyed the book. My impatience with his wordiness was overshadowed by my appreciation of his writing skills and the inside look at our seemingly ineffective political process. I also appreciated his nonpartisan reporting. Pomposity, stubbornness, and greed have no political party. Authors who can be neutral when writing about politics are in short supply these days.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES