Hailed as "astonishingly powerful" byThe New York Times,and "written perfectly" byThe Washington Post,Primary Colors, with over one million hardcover copies in print, was the most- talked-about political novel of the past century. The brilliant portrait of a charming, ambitious, amoral young Southerner on his way to the White House struck an instantly recognizable chord, and catapulted Anonymous--akaNew YorkerWashington correspondent Joe Klein--into the public eye as a novelist of the first rank. Now, inThe Running Mate, Klein takes the reader on an exuberant, wicked, and unerringly wise political journey with Senator Charlie Martin, a decorated veteran of the war in Vietnam. The experience of combat and his easy dominance of home-state politics have made Charlie fearless. He's a hot, if occasionally reckless, political property--dashing, honorable, and irreverent. And then Charlie's life begins to fall apart. He campaigns for the presidency and fails. The wacky father of a volunteer decks him--in front of the cameras; a well-kept secret from Charlie's Vietnam days is revealed; he reluctantly finds himself at the center of a friend's cliff-hanging confirmation process for Secretary of Defense....And Senator Martin begins to learn that politics in an era of spin, marketing, and vicious personal assaults can be as treacherous--and life-threatening--as combat was. Finally, Charlie Martin must confront the two greatest challenges of his life--a political opponent who has no scruples and a dazzling, unconventional woman who loves him but is appalled by his life's work. Charlie's dilemma is one that has come to haunt contemporary American politics: Is it possible to be a good politician and a good man? Can you live in the public glare and still construct a habitable life? No observer of contemporary politics has a clearer eye than Joe Klein, or can so effortlessly show the moral complexities that arise when public and private lives intertwine. Here, in his superb new novel, he takes a good man's attempt to come to terms with the harsh new realities of the modern political arena--and gives us a book that reverberates with truth about ourselves.
New York, N.Y. : Dial Press : 2000
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