Falling Up: How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting

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LSU Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 306 pages
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This brash and rollicking autobiography is a potent primer of the rough-and-tumble world of political consulting by one of its founding fathers and preeminent experts. A cross between a patriotic redneck raconteur and a TV-savvy renaissance man, Raymond Strother is unafraid to name names and refuses to mince words in tales of what he calls "the beauty and gore" of American politics. Strother begins with his blue-collar Democratic upbringing in southeast Texas and the crash course in Louisiana politics and corruption he received following graduate school. With the pervasion of TV and his mastery of the subtleties of political commercials, he entered into the big-time senatorial and congressional races of the 1970s and early 1980s. Strother's book reaches its dramatic climax in the never-before-fully-told story of Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign; the author crystallizes an image of Hart as a brilliant, enigmatic, but ultimately self-destructive man and a democracy increasingly bedazzled by celebrity, blinded by breaches of privacy. Further adventures of Strother with the Clintons, Al Gore, and Louisiana notables, as well as famous consultants such as Dick Morris, Matt Reese, and James Carville, both tantalize and instruct. Falling Up is a wildly entertaining, controversial, but finally optimistic political and media success story that will thrill and inspire a broad range of students, academics, journalists, and anyone spellbound by American politics.
 

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Contents

Prologue
1
Growing Up in Texas
14
Get the Hell Out of Here You Have a Future
41
The First Lessons
55
Sunshine Rains on Me
70
James Carville and Iceberg Lettuce
87
Season of Discontent
102
The Kingfish Lends a Hand
117
A Pretty Woman with a Smudge on Her Cheek
157
The Wise Ones Stumble Again
172
Bill Hillary Al and the Gang
206
Buddy Roemer and the Silver Bullet
222
Where Dreams Go When They Die
234
Kicking Ass and Taking Names
263
The Sea Creatures Crawl to the Shore
282
Index
297

What Is It You Do Sir?
130

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About the author (2003)

Raymond D. Strother is president of Strother, Duffy, Strother and a former fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

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