COOKING WITH GREASE: Stirring the Pots in American Politics

Donna Brazile, Author
Donna Brazile, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5398-7
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7432-5399-4
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4391-2871-8
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Brazile's lifelong love affair with politics culminated in September 1999, when she became Al Gore's presidential campaign manager. She was also the first African-American woman to head a mainstream national presidential campaign. Both achievements are the subject of this lively, sometimes moving memoir. After joining the Dukakis campaign at age 21, through wise strategy choices and sheer ability, Brazile carved out a place at the table with the primarily male, white, middle-aged political elite. Her colorful observations about the high-profile politicians she met (black and white) are often entertaining, although she tries not to slam the door on potential future campaign positions. Bill Clinton "had the mind of six men..."; Rev. Jesse Jackson "was brilliant in terms of politics and he was a master of manipulation when it came to the media." Yet for all the insider look at the Gore campaign, the book's strength is Brazile herself, a self-described "abrasive Black woman." And while some may find self-serving her penchant for distancing herself from the Gore campaign's mistakes, readers will respond positively to the loving description of her Louisiana roots, her remarkable sense of purpose and her fierce loyalty to friends and family. Being a black woman informs all of Brazile's experiences, and readers get an invaluable glimpse of what it is like to be who she was, where she was, during one of America's most tumultuous political moments. Agent, Robert Barnett. (June 4)

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