This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!--in America's Gilded Capital

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Penguin, 2013 - Political Science - 386 pages
16 Reviews
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Tim Russert is Dead. But the room was alive.

Big Ticket Washington Funerals can make such great networking opportunities. Power mourners keep stampeding down the red carpets of the Kennedy Center, handing out business cards, touching base. And there is not time to waste in a gold rush, even (or especially) at a solemn tribal event like this.

Washington This Town might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of bug politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation's capital, just millionaires. That is the grubby secret of the place in the twenty-first century. You will always have lunch in This Town again. No matter how many elections you lose, apologies you make, or make, or scandals you endure.

In This Town, Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, presents a blistering, stunning and often hysterically funny examination of our ruling class's incestuous 'media industrial complex.' Through his eyes, we discover how the funeral for a beloved newsman becomes the social event of the year. How political reporters are fetishized for their ability to get their names into the predawn e-mail sent out by the city's most powerful and puzzled-over journalist. How a disgraced Hill aide can overcome ignominy and maybe emerge with a more potent 'brand' than many elected members of Congress. And how an administration bent on 'changing Washington' can be sucked into the ways of This Town with the same ease with which Tea Party insurgents can, once elected, settle into it like a warm bath.

Outrageous, fascinating, and destined to win Leibovich a whole host of, er, new friends. This Town is must reading, whether you're inside the Beltway or just trying to get there.

'Today's insider Washington has become a sprawling 'conversation' in which tens of thousands partake by tweet, blog, or whatever . . . The Washington story has become something more momentous, befitting a 'narrative': a pumped-up word in a pumped-up place where everything is changing, maybe more than in any city in the country . . . Or maybe nothing is changing at all, and the only certainty is that the city fathers of This Town will endure like perennials in a well-tended cemetery.' From This Town

Warning: This Town does not contain an index. Those players wishing to know how they came out will need to read the book.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - multiplexer - LibraryThing

I returned from vacation to discover the Washington Post -- a major character in a book I finished, _This Town_ -- was sold for $250 million in cash to Jeff Bezos. _This Town_ is mostly about the WaPo ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Smokler - LibraryThing

There are few things I care less about than Washington DC political intrigue. So I am only rating this book on whether I had fun reading it, not if it's accurate, even-handed, "gets Washington" or of ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Mark Leibovich is The New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. In 2011, he received a National Magazine Award for his story on Politico's Mike Allen and the changing media culture of Washington. Prior to coming to the Times Magazine, Leibovich was a national political reporter in the Times' DC bureau. He has also worked at The Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News and The Boston Phoenix, and is the author of The New Imperialists, a collection of profiles on technology pioneers. Leibovich lives with his family in Washington.

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