A Woman's Review of Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
Mary Kate Cary
Sarah Palin (c) Donna Grethen
What a Wasted Opportunity: Contradictions, lack of a clear voice, and too much "Sarahcuda" bury the book's good parts
I want to like
Her new book, Going Rogue: An American Life,
begins with some real gems.
Growing up in a modest home in
Palin is intriguing. And she's charming when discussing the many
families of special needs kids she meets on the campaign trail, her son
Track's deployment to
Palin has a great gut for connecting with all kinds of Americans, and clearly she's very good on the campaign trail.
But many parts of the book
also have one contradiction after another. Sometimes they are chapters
apart, sometimes pages, and sometimes even within the same paragraph.
For example, her rationalization that quitting the governor's office is
not actually quitting but standing up to her unnamed enemies. The
circumstances surrounding Trig's birth raise many questions, and her
private letter to friends explaining his Down syndrome, which she signed
"Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father," left me, well, bewildered. And
Chapter Three begins with a quotation attributed to hall of fame
Sure enough, according to published reports,
the quote comes from the Cheyenne chief John Wooden Legs, not the former
I'm bewildered because I'm disappointed, as I suppose a lot of women
like me are. The whole book is a big letdown. That's because
By the time I reached the middle of
the book, rooting for her was getting more difficult. There was a
jarring difference between the parts that were clearly written by Palin
and those parts inserted by her ghostwriter,
Instead, Palin talks about standing up to "entrenched interests" and "the forces of corruption" and, most often, being disgusted with the faceless, nameless "headquarters" of the McCain campaign. Her naiveté is surprising, and her distrust of the Republican establishment makes me doubt she would ever be able to unify the party as its leader. As much as I wanted her to be, she's just not thoughtful, and she's not interested in compromise or common ground in politics. There are very few shades of gray with her.
She seems to get more
extreme with each page, and her vocabulary becomes more incendiary. More
than once, Palin quotes her father's reaction when she quits the
governor's job: "Sarah's not retreating, she's reloading!" There's lots
of encouragement for readers to "fight for the people," join in the tea
parties, get on
As she gets angrier, Palin seems to spin out of control, ending the book with a supporter's long E-mail that made the rounds on the Internet. The supporter admonishes "the haters" out there to watch out for "Sarahcuda": "No one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off." Why would she choose to put this in her book? That's hardly a great way to attract moderate women to her cause.
Finally, among the acknowledgments at the book's
end -- right before Palin thanks God and her family -- she nods to "some
media professionals whom I admire because you don't let anyone tell you
to sit down and shut up, please keep making the idiots' heads spin.
Thanks for not taking our Freedom of the Press for granted, you bold and
patriotic, fair and balanced media folks." She lists more than 30, by
their first names alone: Glenn, Jonah, Lou, Rush, and so on. It sure
sounds as if she's thanking
What a wasted opportunity this book was. And really, what a disappointment for women like me.
- Sarah Palin and the Future of Women in Politics
- Sarah Palin as a Leader for the Christian Right
- Palin's 'Going Rogue' Review
- Sarah Palin: Palinpalooza Meets the Media
- The Real Fat Cat Party
- Sarah Palin Looking Loony on Oprah Winfrey
- Sarah Palin: Politics, Patriotism and Sarah Palin
- Sarah Palin Interview with Sean Hannity Fox News Channel: Going Rogue
- The Sarah Palin Splash
- Political Book of the Year
- Woman's Place Is in the Republican Party
Talk about timing. With former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin readying the release of her own 432-page campaign tell-all, Going Rogue: An American Life, now would be the perfect time to pop out another Palin book, and that's exactly what Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti has done with The Persecution of Sarah Palin
Dear Sarah: Keep Up the Great Writing
Thank you for turning in the manuscript so quickly. I thought only Stephen King could crank out 400 pages in four months! Seriously, there's some terrific material here, and all of us are thrilled to be publishing your life story. Before we move ahead, the fact-checking department has asked me to pass along a few notes and comments that may require some revisions on your part.
A Woman's Review of Going Rogue by Sarah Palin | Mary Kate Cary
(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report