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Going Rogue: An American Life

A 2009 memoir by former American Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

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Folksy anecdotes, not political philosophy

  • Dec 8, 2009
As shown by the reviews on this site, most people are judging this book based upon their political persuasions. That's unfortunate because many people probably want to know whether or not this is a good book, not the reviewer's political party. Sarah Palin is a fascinating political figure and, liberal or conservative,* I think Americans would do well to get to know her better.

So, the book - Going Rogue: An American Life. I really wanted to learn more about Sarah Palin, but too often it seems to be full of folksy anecdotes about her life in Alaska and her political career. It's fine, and decently written, but probably nothing too exciting. What I really hoped to learn was more about how Sarah Palin's mind works. I wanted to get a sense of how her political philosophy developed, the major influences on her life, and her preferred policy solutions to today's problems. Unfortunately, this section of the book was rather uninformative. Her proposals (cut taxes, strong national defense) are slogans, not policy. She talks about how being a "commonsense conservative" means respecting history, tradition, and traditional moral principles. However, I think most people BELIEVE that they respect history, tradition, and traditional moral principles, so that doesn't tell us much.

Admittedly, most politicians' books don't lay out detailed policy platforms, but they do at least provide some insights into why politicians adopt a certain point of view. For example, John McCain's Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir and Worth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired Him stand out as probably the best modern political autobiographies. In those books, McCain identifies his role models and events that informed his later votes in the Senate. Unfortunately, Going Rogue: An American Life doesn't provide any such revealing insights.

I think Sarah Palin is much smarter and more skillful than her critics believe. She has an amazing ability to arouse intense emotions, either loyalty or hatred. Regardless of my political views,* I do hope she runs for president one day because we do need more women in politics. However, before she does so, she's going to have to explain her life and political philosophy much better than she did in Going Rogue: An American Life.

* Full disclosure: I considered myself a big McCainiac in 2000. I voted for Obama in the 2008 elections, but now regret it.

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January 31, 2011
Interesting take on the read. Excellent review.
More Going Rogue: An American Life reviews
review by . November 09, 2010
Yes, I bought it when it first came out, and yes, I read it very quickly in those first few days. Yes, I pre-ordered it. Yes, I enjoy Sarah, the stories she tells, and what she can bring to any political debate. But knowing how controversial she's been treated in the media and by the general internet community, I wanted to take my time before writing a review. I couldn't say why other than the fact I didn't really look forward to getting clubbed over the head for reading GOING ROGUE, …
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
I probably oughtn't rate it, since I couldn't finish it. However, that's my review: I just couldn't take any more of it. It just doesn't seem the slightest bit real, or realistic, or have any aspect of reality in it. I'll not descend into flaming or name-calling; I simply can't believe that the sky is blue in this woman's world.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Sarah Palin should just die already.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Strong women have always offended the brainwashed masses.
review by . December 06, 2009
Living the American Dream
Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin Book Review by Bob Kellemen   Book Details   *Author: Sarah Palin (with Lynn Vincent)   *Publisher: HarperCollins(2009) *Category: Autobiography, Politics *ISBN and Length: 978-0061997877, 413 Pages   Recommended: Going Rogue offers Sarah Palin’s fast-paced, well-written, personal account of her American life from her relative obscurity in Alaska to her meteoric rise as John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate.   …
review by . March 17, 2010
Politicians write books to show how they excel as leaders and why they should be recognized as fit to represent the public in government offices, and this is what readers should look for when they evaluate their books. One thinks of the first President Bush's autobiography in which his most significant prior accomplishment seemed to have been the placement of new doors on the CIA building. If this is the best that the politician can write about himself when he is attempting to persuade us to vote …
review by . December 05, 2009
Sarah Palin tells her story in her own way in GOING ROGUE. I gained a new appreciation for her love of family yet her savvy ability to lead as a politician who walks to the beat of a different drum. The book is insightful about what happened in the last political campaign and gives a different perspective than you will ever find in the media.     I enjoyed this book and recommend you read it and decide for yourself.
review by . November 26, 2009
Sarah Palin's Going Rogue is an interesting Autobiography that is a lot more and a lot less that a lot of people seem to be making of it.    It has been made out to be an "attack book" but that is a misnomer, it is more of a question of telling one side of the story than a "revenge" book and even that is a very small part of the book told in context    It is a political memoir that really isn't that much about politics.    Rush Limbaugh …
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #77
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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About this book


Going Rogue: An American Life is a memoir by former American Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, co-written by ghostwriter Lynn Vincent of San Diego, and edited by Adam Bellow, son of novelist Saul Bellow, for HarperCollins. The release date is slated for November 17, 2009. The book's title is a reference to a phrase that arose during the latter part of the 2008 presidential campaign. Palin embraced it after the question, "Has Sarah Palin 'gone rogue'?", appeared in the lead of an article in the magazine, Slate. The subtitle, "An American Life", is the same as the title of Ronald Reagan's autobiography.

Source: Wikipedia
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ISBN-10: 0061939897
ISBN-13: 978-0061939891
Author: Sarah Palin
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date Published: November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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