By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
The Lies of Sarah Palin
By Geoffrey Dunn (Scribe, $35.00, softcover, 458 pages)
This is an authoritative, detailed political biography of Sarah Palin, a controversial Republican vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska.
Described as a “maverick” and “rising star” in American politics, she was the Republican Party’s modern-day version of Cinderella. It’s claimed that Palin’s status as the first woman in Republican Party politics to have gained co-billing on a national ticket had figured significantly into her political ascendancy.
Based on more than 200 interviews and more than 40,000 pages of uncovered documents, Geoffrey Dunn explains that she is a product of the New Millennium and a decidedly contemporary phenomenon.
He even argues that the likes of Palin “could never have emerged as a national political figure prior to the advance of the Internet and the dominance of cable television in the national political dialogue”.
This book is invasive as Dunn presents the inside story of her betrayal of running mate John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign and her self-serving resignation as governor in July of the following year.
Dunn also examines her ‘troubling obsession with US President Barack Obama and skilfully places Palin in the American tradition of right-wing demagogues — from Huey Long to Joe McCarthy.
Subtitled ‘the untold story behind her relentless quest for power’, The Lies of Sarah Palin also records her dysfunctional childhood in Wasilla, her contentious run for mayor and her failed governorship of Alaska.
All about style and symbol, as opposed to substance and performance, the Palin phenomenon erupted in a communications age that is dominated by imagery where the lines between “politics and entertainment have become increasingly blurred”.
Dunn points out that the role of celebrity in contemporary American politics is as troubling as it is pernicious and cites Arnold Schwarzenegger (California) and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura (Minnesota) as examples.
“In an age of instant celebrity, Palin’s had spontaneously combusted”.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.