Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: The Gospel According to the Fix

Cillizza, Chris, The Gospel According to the Fix:  An Insider's Guide to a Less Than Holy World of Politics (NY:  Broadway Books, 2012)

Cillizza writes the Washington Post's The Fix political blog.  I'm a daily reader of The Fix and enjoy Cillizza's writing and humor.  So I was looking forward to this book.  It is not simply a republishing of blog posts.  Many (most?) are based on his blog and I remember reading the earlier versions of some of them.  He has expanded, updated, and in some cases significantly rewritten the posts into longer chapters. 

He writes in a nonpartisan, level-headed fashion, which makes a nice break from much of the hyperpartisan materials in the political world.  Many of the topics he examines are of general political interest, for example his hierarchy of political endorsements and the "Art of the October Surprise" chapters. 

Cillizza also showcases some individuals, such as Jen Crider, Nancy Pelosi's aide-de-camp, and Ron Paul.  He highlights some early favorites for the 2016 presidential campaign and writes about campaign fiance reform and SuperPACs. 

The chapters are interesting and short enough to be read in snippets on the train or doctor's waiting room.  His writing is informative but conversational.  He, like me, shares a fondness for parenthetical phrases and can get a little carried way with them.  The chapter on Ron Paul starts with a lengthy description of the tv show "Friday Night Lights," which has a lot of parenthetical phrases.   It all hangs together though.

This would be a great gift for a friend or relative who is interested in politics but whose politics differ from your own.  It is also a good introduction to politics for someone whose interested in the subject has just been sparked. 

[Full disclosure:  over the years I've exchanged a few emails with Cillizza; he's very professional but friendly and I've appreciated his willingness to communicate with a lowly local blogger.]

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