I AM MARTIN EISENSTADT by Martin Eisenstadt


One Man’s Adventures with the Last Republicans
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Fact/fiction hybrid profiling the fake conservative pundit whose Internet hoaxes caused a small ruckus during the 2008 election.

Martin Eisenstadt is the creation of filmmakers Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin, who now give their Frankenstein his own book, a purported memoir. Marty’s childhood is little more than the punch line to a joke about his mom, a secretary at the Nixon White House having sex with John Ehrlichman in the Oval Office. Soon enough her son will be having sex himself, with Iran Contra scandal bit player Fawn Hall. The use of boldface names, intended to be amusingly nervy, comes across as a crass device to float Marty through rough Washington waters and spare the authors the hard work of building a character. Marty is just one more unscrupulous Washington operator who will use any means necessary to become an A-list pundit. He helps Lee Atwater create the notorious Willie Horton ad and slimes John McCain in his 2000 campaign against Bush. Along the way he founds his own think tank, named for Warren Harding; fails to establish a casino in Baghdad’s Green Zone; and is held captive by Somali pirates (a fleeting reference). More contemporaneously, he wins media attention with his raw YouTube videos for (or against?) Rudy Giuliani and then, referred by his good friend Joe Lieberman, joins the McCain campaign and does sterling work in the blogosphere, sometimes fooling the cable-news channels. His finest hour comes sitting next to Meghan McCain and Joe the Plumber at an election-special Saturday Night Live show. Next thing you know, Marty is finished, having hubristically exposed himself as the source for a Sarah Palin story. Is this, then, the “presidential campaign tell-all book” the publisher promises? The claim may bring to mind Joe Klein’s fictional take on Bill Clinton’s campaign, but Primary Colors had a meaty story line and characters. All Mirvish and Gorlin offer are leftovers.

By now, this joke has worn very thin indeed.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-86547-914-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2009


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