Almost three decades ago, iconic and incomparable American essayist Joan Didion’s now-classic report from the Dukakis campaign trail exposed, in no uncertain terms, the complete sham that is the modern American presidential run.
Writing with bite and some humor too, Didion betrays “the process”—the way in which power is exchanged and the status quo is maintained. All insiders—politicians, journalists, spin doctors—participate in a political narrative that is “designed as it is to maintain the illusion of consensus by obscuring rather than addressing actual issues.” The optics of presidential campaigns have grown ever more farcical and remote from the needs and issues most relevant to Americans’ lives, and Didion’s elegant, shrewd, and prescient commentary has never been more urgent than it is right now.
Joan Didion is the author of five novels and nine books of nonfiction. Her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, was published by Everyman’s Library in 2006. Born in Sacramento, California, Didion now lives in New… More about Joan Didion
“One of our most cherished and insightful explicators of American culture…brings her perspective to the ultimate insider world.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Splendid . . . Didion [is] on pure zen target . . . [with] her sonar ear, her radar eye, and her ice pick/laser beam/night—scope sniper prose.” –TheNew York Times Book Review
“A steel spine of political argument . . . a mordant wit, refined critical powers, and a bone-deep knowledge of the ways in which Americans like to amuse and fool themselves.” –The Washington PostBook World
“One of the most preeminent voices of journalism has stepped into the ring. . . . [A] gift.” –Susan Faludi, The New York Observer