Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders

Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders

by Stanley B. Greenberg
     
 

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The fascinating "war room" memoir of a political pollster and how he helped forge the agendas of five high-profile heads of state

As a hired gun strategist, Greenberg—a seasoned pollster and political consultant—has seen it all. In his memoir, he recounts his work with President Bill Clinton, British

Overview

The fascinating "war room" memoir of a political pollster and how he helped forge the agendas of five high-profile heads of state

As a hired gun strategist, Greenberg—a seasoned pollster and political consultant—has seen it all. In his memoir, he recounts his work with President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, and South African president Nelson Mandela. Through his experiences aiding the leaders in pushing their visions for better and clearer domestic and international policies, Greenberg offers an insightful examination of leadership, democracy, and the bridge between candidate and constituency. This captivating tale of political battlegrounds provides an inside look at some of the greatest international leaders of our time from the man who stood directly beside them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Greenberg (The Two Americas), polling adviser to Gerhard Schröder and Al Gore, among others, recounts his experiences working for five world leaders during their campaigns and governance. He begins with a candid look at his first major campaign, Bill Clinton's 1992 victorious run for the presidency. Greenberg went on to work with many others, including Nelson Mandela in his presidential run, Tony Blair as he unveiled "New Labour" (modeled on Clinton's New Democrat strategy, which Greenberg helped to create) and Ehud Barak's attempts to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. While there is plenty of talk about focus groups and polling numbers, Greenberg doesn't get bogged down in jargon, and the strength of the book lies in his insider perspective on the leaders who helped shape this century. He astutely assesses their strengths and weaknesses to discover why some succeeded and others failed in bringing their governing vision to fruition. Perhaps his most important contribution is his perspective on the role of pollsters, which he sees as bringing public opinion into the realm of politics, as he writes, "The fundamental lesson is that people matter because elections matter." (Feb.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Political spin doctor lifts the curtain on the global pollster/consultant business. A political scientist and activist denied tenure at Yale, Greenberg (The Two Americas: Our Current Political Deadlock and How to Break It, 2004, etc.) entered the fray of Washington politics in the 1980s and gained international recognition as part of Bill Clinton's inner circle. Convinced that the Democrats needed to redesign their party around the needs of a forgotten middle class, he helped propel the Arkansas governor into the White House in 1992. At that moment, Greenberg became the strategist of choice for modernizing politicians around the world. This book recounts his associations with five big names in recent political history. Following two opening chapters on Clinton, Greenberg remembers his life in the political trenches with Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Ehud Barak and Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. He writes about his subjects with honesty rather than sycophancy, though Mandela is treated with considerable awe. In 1993, Greenberg assisted the African National Congress during South Africa's first democratic elections. Discerning that voters found large political gatherings impersonal, his team connected Mandela to supporters through more intimate forums. The author was then invited to help Tony Blair modernize the British Labour Party in 1995. Blair earned his people's trust, but struggled to retain it during the Iraq War. Barak hired Greenberg in 1997 to help him defeat Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party and become prime minister of Israel. Despite great obstacles, compounded by his own stubborn streak, Barak brought Israelis around to the idea of a historic peace agreement. Finally, the section onSanchez de Lozada's brief tenure as president of Bolivia tries to rebut an award-winning 2005 documentary that lambasted the actions of Greenberg and other American political consultants abroad. This attempt is only partially successful. Defending the pollsters' role as a mediator between the people and their politicians, Greenberg fails to convince. However, his candor and wide range of experience makes for an illuminating memoir. High-octane politics laid bare. Agent: Bob Barnett/Williams & Connolly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466834910
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/17/2009
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
512
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

STANLEY B. GREENBERG is chairman and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. In addition to those covered in his memoir, Greenberg has served as a polling advisor to national campaigns for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Al Gore, Chris Dodd, and Joe Lieberman. Greenberg is the author of The Two Americas, Middle Class Dreams, and The New Majority.

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