Falling Up: How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting
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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