Baker & Taylor A critical survey of the democratic race for the presidency recounts the media critic author's pursuit of the campaign in a range of guises and from the vantage points of underprivileged communities and halfway houses, in a searing exploration that endeavors to expose a gap between political issues and the actual concerns of everyday Americans. 25,000 first printing.
Blackwell North Amer Working as a correspondent for the New York Press, The Nation, and Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi has close-up access to the Democratic primary for the 2004 presidential election: a seat on John Kerry's campaign plane, a face-to-face encounter with the pancake makeup of John Edwards, enough Howard Dean press conferences to memorize the good doctor's stump speech by heart, and, by way of contrast, a two-month undercover stint working for the republicans in Orlando, Florida. But the closer he gets to the candidates, the more pompous and vapid they appear. Taibbi fulfills his responsibilities as a serious campaign reporter with frequent bouts of blind panic, sad attempts to cope with drugs, and the donning of a gorilla suit; in addition, as he follows the dog-and-pony show around the country, he forgoes lavish journalists' watering holes in favor of hostels and halfway houses. Such devices allow our protagonist to register, with sharpness and mounting anxiety, the gaping canyon that divides swaths of sane working Americans from the political phonies who purport to represent them.