by Mark Halperin, John Heilemann
The American presidential election of 2008 was as riveting a spectacle as modern politics has ever produced. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton - and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama's partner and America's face to the world. The mercurial, at times erratic, performance of John McCain. The mesmerising and bewildering emergence of Sarah Palin. But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines has yet been told. Race of a Lifetime pulls back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. How did Obama convince himself that, against enormous odds, he should be, and could be, the nation's first African-American president? How did the tumultuous relationship between the Clintons shape - and warp - Hillary's supposedly unstoppable bid to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? What drove her husband's loss of composure and devastating political miscalculations? Why did McCain put the unknown, untested governor of Alaska on the Republican ticket? And was Palin merely as out of her depth as she appeared - or troubled in more unsettling ways? Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Race of a Lifetime answers those questions and more. Vivid and novelistic, fast-paced and character-driven, this is a tour de force: an intimate, often hilarious, sometimes shocking portrait of the quest for power.