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Book It Looks Like a President Only Smaller: Trailing Campaign 2000

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It Looks Like a President Only Smaller: Trailing Campaign 2000

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | It Looks Like a President Only Smaller: Trailing Campaign 2000.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Joel Achenbach(Author)

    Book details


Provides a humorous look at the 2000 presidential election campaign, from the primaries in New Hampshire to the recount debacle in Florida.

It's not entirely clear whether Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach is a journalist who writes with humor or a humorist who engages in journalism, but that hardly matters. It Looks Like a President Only Smaller is a witty chronicle of the 2000 presidential election that bears no resemblance to The Making of the President. As Achenbach writes in his introduction: "There was no intention at any point to document comprehensively the events of 2000; these are word-doodles, some marginalia on the historical record." The result is a fast-paced and funny account of the Bush and Gore campaigns. Cyberspace gives Washington Post science reporter Achenbach--author of Captured by Aliens (1999)--a chance to branch out; his thrice-weekly column, "Rough Draft," appears on washingtonpost.com . With a bit of editing, those columns form the basis for his often tongue-in-cheek campaign "diary." Achenbach warns readers not to take him too seriously, for his observations are merely "word-doodles, some marginalia on the historical record." (Let the reader beware: although some pieces are fairly straight, if funny, reporting, others make up "facts" for their humorous impact.) Not an essential acquisition but appropriate where political humor circulates. Mary CarrollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

3.5 (4247)
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Book details

  • PDF | 192 pages
  • Joel Achenbach(Author)
  • Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 9, 2001)
  • English
  • 2
  • Politics & Social Sciences

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Review Text

  • By A customer on March 21, 2001

    I went into this book skeptically -- the election was not something I cared to revisit -- but I enjoy Achenbach's columns on the Washington Post website, so I thought I'd give the book a chance. I'm really glad I did. Achenbach does a great job of parodying the main characters of the campaign and election and recount -- Bush, Gore, Katherine Harris, etc -- while taking the Average Joes quite seriously and unironically. He does more legwork than the average columnist and he's funnier, too. Who knew I would laugh out loud when reading about chads?

  • By john hargrave on April 27, 2001

    Why would I spend... on a book that contained columns I had read on-line for free? Because I wanted a concise history of Campaign 2000, not a 700+ page tome penned by a ponderous pundit. But I got much more than I bargained for. The new material that links the columns provides just the needed context and background to link the columns into a seamless narrative. I think if more political journalism were like Mr. Achenbach' we'd see higher numbers in the voting booths. I'd add a superlative, but everyone else has already used them all.

  • By Guest on May 21, 2001

    If you followed Joel's column during campaign 2000, you no doubt found yourself chuckling regularly as he gave us a real sense of what it was like to cover campaign 2000. Joel penned the column with the zeal and glee of a true Political Junkie! This book delivers the goods in the entertainment department-- its party Primary Colors, part Empire Strikes Back.... It's worth reading if you carefully followed the election, while still working as a well fashioned epilogue on campaign 2000.

  • By Gina Leahy on August 30, 2001

    This book is hysterical! It needed to be written, although with all due respect, it probably wrote most of itself. (The truth, you know, is stranger than fiction...but not as strange as politics!)I'm passing this book on to everyone I know...it's really saite at its best, by the Post's funniest "sometimes columnist."

  • By Guest on September 20, 2001

    This is a light book and can't get a heavy review. It does manage to earn four stars, but basically for one reason: It made me chuckle out loud a couple of times. That last star is always tough to earn. For a humor book, it would have needed to provoke some big belly laughs and provide some really interesting new perspectives, but at least for me it didn't go that far. In fact, if I didn't basically like the perspective, it could have dropped a star.The book is organized in four sections covering the primaries, the conventions, the actual campaign, and the rather bizarre recount. My capsule impressions are:1. Primaries: many serious elements, light humor2. Conventions: heavy sarcasm, but a little funnier3. Campaign: trying to be sarcastic, but mostly failing and relatively more unfunny stuff4. Recount: kind of wild and crazy, matching the reality, with a mix of serious and funny elementsOf course that's a very subjective evaluation. What I find funny might offend some other people, and vice versa. I felt there was a bit of evidence that the author personally prefered Gore, but it's actually possible that a Dubya-supporter would have felt the opposite. I probably laughed hardest at the jokes about Bush, but there were plenty targeted on Gore, too. And you can't be at all sure in a case like this. He may just like the politicians who provide the most amusing fodder for his humor columns.Except for a few interstitial comments, the articles which were collected to make this book were written as brief columns expected to have very short lives, and he frequently comments how he his morning's work could be obsolete and unfunny by the time it was published on the Web in the early afternoon. Also, he didn't include all of the columns he wrote, so these are presumably filtered as funnier or more interesting than average. As far as I can recall, the only column I'm pretty sure I had read before was the one he wrote as the editor of the imaginary chad research magazine.Given my usual verbosity, I'm sure you should be surprised to hear that's about all I can say on this book. Because of the mix of reality and jokes, I can't really guess which is which. I think that some comics do have deep insights, and there might have been a few flashes here, but not a whole lot. You might find the book amusing, as I did, and maybe not. I did feel that it accomplished it's primary goal of being funny, but humor is a funny thing.<BR

  • By The Orange Duke on August 1, 2002

    Achanbach's little book is as funny as it is easy to read. It's the kind of book your sarcastic roommate might write if he road along on the press bus during a national election. Of course, the books strength is also it's weakness, since Achenbach seems to know as much about the history of politics and elections as your sarcastic roommate might. His observation that the campaign was vapid and devoid of ideas was accurate but his assumption that it was unique because of this is faulty. Likewise his assessment of the candidates, summed up by his title, is correct but his assumption that in the past the country sent moral or intellectual giants onto the campaign trail is flawed. Every politician is considered a pandering vapid idiot in his time, and is excoriated by his enemies for his intellectual and moral deficits. It is possible that Gore was more boring than average and W was stupider, but you could not discern this simply by reading accounts written during elections. Achenbach is on target when he suggests that the candidates do not represent the voters, but again he is off base when he tries to explain why. He would have us believe that it is the independent voters that vote for the likes Nader and Buchanan are to blame. It is not those who actually vote for leaders they admire who are the problem, it is those like Achenbach who dutifully pull the handle for whomever the party bosses select. Achenbach is no Jack Germound, to be sure, and this book should not be seen as a serious, detailed explanation of the nuts and bolts of the campaign. It is not. It is a playful romp, a witty, vicious assault from a neophyte. There is nothing wrong with that. It's darn funny and quite a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.


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