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The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power

by Geoffrey Dunn

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-60186-7
Publisher: St. Martin's

Metro Newspapers senior correspondent and Huffington Post contributor Dunn adds to the growing shelf of Sarah Palin books.

Unfortunately, the author doesn't convincingly substantiate his statement that Palin’s “ambition is as unbridled as it is morally corrupt.” Too much of the book is simply a retread of familiar stories from the 2008 news cycle, embellished with gossipy details about how, as a kid, the former Alaskan governor enlisted her 8th-grade friends in intrigues against a rival, as well as innuendos about her parents’ and her own marriage. By loading the narrative with such trivia, Dunn downplays Palin's more significant lies—e.g., about her husband's membership in the separatist Alaska Independence Party. However, the author effectively dismisses her ordinary-soccer-mom cover story, demonstrating that she has been an ambitious career politician since 1992, when she was first elected to the Wasilla city council; and that she has depended upon a growing base of support from conservative, evangelical Christians. Dunn documents her reprisals against political opponents of her campaign to censor library books when she was mayor, her abuse of power as governor in a personal vendetta against her brother-in-law and her overall lackluster performance as governor. More tantalizing is the author’s account of a meeting in the summer of 2007, between Palin and a group of neoconservative pundits and politicians, including New York Times columnist William Kristol, who became the point-man for the Palin-for-VP campaign. Whether she will be a serious contender in 2012 is questionable, but as a political celebrity she has made a soft landing as a political consultant on Fox News and on the international speakers circuit, where she joins notables such as Bill Clinton at $100,000 per engagement.

A fundamentally dull book, likely of more interest to Palin publicists than to serious readers.