The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down

The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down

by Andrew Young
3.2 244

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Overview

The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down by Andrew Young

"The greatest political saga, the one that has it all, that gets to the real heart of American politics, is the John Edwards story... This isn't just politics, it's literature. It's the great American novel, the kind that isn't written anymore." --Michael Wolff on John Edwards's trajectory, on VanityFair.com

The underside of modern American politics -- raw ambition, manipulation, and deception -- are revealed in detail by Andrew Young's riveting account of a presidential hopeful's meteoric rise and scandalous fall. Like a non-fiction version of All the King's Men, The Politician offers a truly disturbing, even shocking perspective on the risks taken and tactics employed by a man determined to rule the most powerful nation on earth.

Idealistic and ambitious, Andrew Young volunteered for the John Edwards campaign for Senate in 1998 and quickly became the candidate's right hand man. As the senator became a national star, Young's responsibilities grew. For a decade he was this politician's confidant and he was assured he was ‘like family." In time, however, Young was drawn into a series of questionable assignments that culminated with Edwards asking him to help conceal the Senator's ongoing adultery. Days before the 2008 presidential primaries began, Young gained international notoriety when he told the world that he was the father of a child being carried by a woman named Rielle Hunter, who was actually the senator's mistress. While Young began a life on the run, hiding from the press with his family and alleged mistress, John Edwards continued to pursue the presidency and then the Vice Presidency in the future Obama administration.

Young had been the senator's closest aide and most trusted friend. He believed that John Edwards could be a great president, and was assured throughout the cover-up that his boss and friend would ultimately step forward to both tell the truth and protect his aide's career. Neither promise was kept. Not only a moving personal account of Andrew Young's political education, THE POLITICIAN offers a look at the trajectory which made John Edwards the ideal Democratic candidate for president, and the hubris which brought him down, leaving his career, his marriage and his dreams in ashes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429954419
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/30/2010
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 542,902
File size: 433 KB

About the Author

After earning a bachelors degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree at the Wake Forest University School of Law, Andrew Young was a volunteer for John Edwards' winning campaign for U.S. Senate. Hired in 1999, Young became Edwards' longest serving and most trusted aide. He raised more than $10 million for the politician's various causes and played a key role in Edwards' efforts to become President of the United States. Now a private citizen, he lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Cheri and their three children.


Andrew Young is the author of The Politician, his insider account of John Edwards’ pursuit of the presidency. After earning a bachelor's degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree at the Wake Forest University School of Law, Young was a volunteer for John Edwards’ winning campaign for U.S. Senate. Hired in 1999, Young became Edwards’ longest serving and most trusted aide. He raised more than $10 million for the politician’s various causes and played a key role in Edwards’ efforts to become President of the United States. Now a private citizen, he lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Cheri and their three children.

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Politician 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 243 reviews.
raleighwood-nc More than 1 year ago
I was absorbed in reading this page turner. We all know the outcome of the election and the baby daddy, but life is all in the details. We see John Edwards turn from an affable, likable "rock star" politician into a totally despicable character. He cheats on his wife in her own bed and makes plans with his mistress to become his first lady after his wife's death. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that we didn't elect him. What left me cold was the author's responsibility for some of the outcome. Mr. Young enabled the politician every step of the way. He admitted that this was for his personal gain. However, one must reflect on the type of person who would go to the lengths of the author to reach his goals of "fame by association." Amazingly, Mr. Young never reports of asking for Edwards to guarantee his future in writing (or any other tangible way). Certainly a man of Mr. Edward's wealth and acuity could easily guarantee a protection for his loyal aide and "friend." One can only conclude that Mr. Young knew full well that Mr. Edwards would never be held to his promises. So why would someone put his family through this hell?
Lawyers_Wife_Myself5 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great book....here we have John Edwards a powerful man with a wife that makes John Kerrys wife look like a saint who put this man in a bad position. Andrew admits he put his family through hell, he admits ALL his wrong doing in this entire situation which leads me to believet that everything he says is the truth. John Edwards got to big for his britches and thought he owned the world. Here you have a politician, with a dying wife, and young kids wqho is having an affair with "white trash" and she ended up pregnant....typical thing to happen in politicsw and he deserves everything he got. Well Done Andrew!!! I have never read books like this is the past because the author usually blames everyone but themselves in these problems but after watching your 20/20 interview I ran out and bought the book the next day. Dont let anyone who writes bad reviews about you, dont let John Edwards or anyone else tell you different. You humiliated your wife and wasted 10 years of your life and eventually was wronged more than John himself I think you have been through enough punishment. You better hug your wife and tell her thanks because if my husbands boss had asked him to ruin my reputation like that I would have said NO. I am married to a trial lawyer here in North Carolina and have been through some politics myself so hats off to your wife!
Krita More than 1 year ago
People -- this is a site where you should be reviewing the BOOK, not whether BandN has made it available for ebooks. Please stick to the intent of the review facility!
GeorgiaPreacherMan More than 1 year ago
I wondered how Andrew Young, former top aid to disgraced Senator and Vice Presidential - Presidential candidate John Edwards of North Carolina could take the fall in the ruse to deflect the media's relentless attraction on his affair and love child with Rielle Hunter. His candid revelation about not only John and Elizabeth Edwards' ruthlessness and deception is also a revelation about himself. Young's United Methodist preacher father fell from grace after being caught in an affair when the author was 18 years old. I believe this had a profound effect on him that caused him to lose his identity and merge his self-hood into Edwards' ego. Young's undifferentiated ego was evidenced in the way that the Edwards' used him as their personal lackey. The book is sad because in the end, the Edwards' dropped him like a lead balloon after promising that they would care for him and his family after the crisis that fascinated a nation and ruined Edwards' political aspirations forever. Politician by Andrew Young is not only an insiders tale of the rich and powerful who dupe voters into thinking that they are really concerned about the poor and marginal people of our society, but it is also the story of a man (Young) and totally lost himself and almost lost his family because he lost his own identity which merged with a flawed and narcisstic typical politician in John Edwards. A great read about Edwards and political power brokers and the underlying revelation about how the author lost his selfhood trying to find his Methodist preacher father who betrayed him and his family with his adultery. For all those "yes" people out there, you will see yourself in Andrew Young. A good read to help establish identity is Boundaries by John Townsend and Henry Cloud for people-pleasers like Andrew Young.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"the politican" is a very inside account writtion by the aid of john edwards who was with the presidential candidate day in and day out. he was there to show how mr edwards was saying one thing to the public and showing a different different side in his own life. he cheated on his wife while she had cancer and thean whean his mistress had his baby edwards try to blame it all on his aid. this is a very hard to put down and it needs to be remembered at election time cause politicans and candidates do not always talk the talk and walk the walk and this book shows that the voters should hold our lawmakers accountable. great gift idea for friend or family member
Beejene More than 1 year ago
This is a well written book and I say thank you to Andrew Young for coming clean. He dedicated his life and career to John and Elizabeth Edwards and they used him as they did every one else. People have to stop shooting the messenger. Both John and Elizabeth Edwards deceived the American people. John Edwards is the scum of the earth - imagine he could have been in the White House!! We deserve to know the truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To give this book one star just because it's not available to read on other devices is just nonsense. The review section is to RATE the book, not to rant about other matters. GEEZ *sigh*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't punish the author with a negative review because of your impatience with a completely different product.
ShakespeareInLove More than 1 year ago
Wow!! John was my sincere favorite for the President run, but glad all this came out because what a disappointment of a human being he is, including everyone that was involved with him. Although Andrew portrays protecting him, its clear to see that it was all about money & power @ what costs? Reille is just another "Mistress" who seeks fame & fortune and secured her future with an offspring....when will men ever learn....although Cheri is said to be innocent, how could she let family morals and values overrule her true sense of a human being, above all a nurse....The true victim in all of this is Mrs. Edwards, she was betrayed by all the people she trusted the most, even if she was portrayed as evil and powerful, it seems Andrew blames everyone but himself.....Long story short....This book was a great behind the scenes look of political power and greed...well look how all this deceit and greed came crashing down. Andrew should have had enough sense to set his own boundaries as to what is right and wrong...but I know it took courage for him to write this book and glad he did, he did a great job.
Booknut62 More than 1 year ago
As a political junkie, I became interested in this book after hearing about it on television. I thought it might prove to be interesting reading, even if in an escapist way. This was one of those books that I was tempted to quit reading more than once, but the obsessive side of me made me finish it. There are very few people you can have sympathy for in this book. You certainly have little sympathy for John Edwards. His tale is all to familiar. Man risks everything for lust. In the end he loses everything, and it was entirely his own fault. No tragedy there. Then there's his wife Elizabeth Edwards. What little sympathy you might have had for her because she is the obvious victim of a philandering husband, is quickly consumed and burned away by her own refusal to see the truth about her husband, and is consumed with vindictiveness to the edge of insanity. It is impossible to feel any kind of sympathy for Andrew Young either. His unwavering faith in the man John Edwards was insane. How could anyone so belittle themselves in the service of a man who is so self-centered and self-important? And then there is Rielle Hunter. It is impossible to feel any kind of sympathy for her either. Her opportunistic manipulation to get what she wanted is more than apparent. Honestly, about the only individuals I had sympathy for was Andrew Young's wife and children. His incessant devotion upended their lives. He dragged his family all over the country is his blind service of John Edwards. He was no more self-centered than John Edwards. If there is an redeeming quality of this book was that now I am finished.
CheekyPeaches More than 1 year ago
Okay, I admit it... I was an early follower of Edwards' but something about him, and I'm not quite sure what it was, made the hair on the back stand up. And now I know why! Politics has become so cultish here in the U.S. and this book is an eagle eye into the inner circle of a leader and his followers, willing to do whatever needed to be done, no matter what the cost. One would think Young should have snapped out of it early on, just like we assume WE would do, but his explanations makes it easier to understand how the machine takes over. Young makes no excuses for his actions, he did what he did to get ahead, and with his story we can confirm what we suspected all along... politics is an ugly and dirty game.
MKEwildhorse More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading this book and find it difficult to put down. As a passionate volunteer for the Kerry/Edwards campaign and loyal follower of Edwards to the end of his run for presidency, I can identify with Mr Young. This book is surprisingly well written. I appreciate the raw lesson of the behind the scenes view of politics and the election process. Mr Young tells his side of the story, illustrating how narcissism and addiction to power took down a man who had the opportunity to be a voice for the "two Americas" and truly enact change in our country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I am so mad at myself for buying Elizabeth Edwards book "Resilience". I haven't read it yet, and I wont. I believe Andrew's account of what John and Elizabeth Edwards did to him and his family 100%.
teejabee More than 1 year ago
I'd love to read this book, but it's not available on B&N's great new reading tool: NOOK. What good is a NOOK if you can't get newly released publications? B&N response to me was, "Publishers need to approve it for NOOK." I say to B&N, "Use your clout!" If publishers do not make new books avaiilable in all formats at the same time, B&N shouldn't offer it hardcopy in their stores either. Consumers, keep this in mind if you are considering purchasing a NOOK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For me this book speaks to the political arena that is present today. Its concerning but not unexpected to see that this type of thing can happen to individuals involved in backing a politician. Of course it is only one side of a story that we all know has many sides to it, somewhere in the middle there is truth. I found the book interesting, sad, but real and it paints a picture of the political world that we all fear is reality these days. Andrew Young's story is one that seems to display a commitment and loyalty to a individual that went on too long, the sacrifices he and has family made appear to be well beyond what most people would endure, however clearly he was significantly invested in the "plan" and walking away had its negative slant as well.
ravendog More than 1 year ago
Mr. Young tried his best to be truthful with his confession. This book is one big self serving confession of Andrew Young. Intentionally or not, Mr. Young did reveal a truly ugly fact about a political aids. The fact is that the livelihood of a political aids is completely depended on whether their master stays in his/her office. The deeds of these aids would conduct to keep their master elected is scarier than the devil himself. Another scary thing is how these politicians and their minions are so easily addicted and intoxicated with the sense of power. These sense of power blind some of the most smart and sincere person. Next thing you know, they become very corrupted. I also found it very funny how Andrew Young tried so hard to flatter Bunny Melon (he probably was hoping to hit her with more donation money in the future). But I read somewhere else that Bunny Melon is absolutely disgusted with Andrew Young.
MadScientistWI More than 1 year ago
The most interesting aspect of this book is not the stale revelations about another politician drunk on false dreams of his own fabulousness. Although Andrew Young certainly did not intend it, this book is the sad saga of a young man who glimpses a glittering, streamlined train on its way to the top of the highest mountain and grabs on for the ride of his life. The young man sheds his morality like scales behind him as the speeding train runs round and up and round and up. Until the train derails. Then, the young man BLAMES THE TRAIN! Well, one must admit, no one would have bought the young man's story, had he not ridden this particular train - who would pay to read about a nobody: Andrew Young? But John Edwards! The fallen beauty with the cancer-stricken fishwife - oh, yes! This book is the clearest tale of a young man seduced by his own greed for money and proximity to power. It is the story of Bud Fox, not Gordon Gekko, but this young Bud has so little understanding of himself that he does not even realize it. He can only shift his feet and make excuses. Except for his (probable) hefty advance from his publisher, Andrew is left with the broken shell of his own character.
Dot50 More than 1 year ago
A very interesting read. When I saw Andrew Young on talk shows, I thought he was very self serving but after reading the book I can see why he wrote the book and about all the details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt this was well written and that the author did not go into any sordid details. Although timely, we all know that John Edwards no longer has a political career.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Andrew Young for letting the American public know the real John and Elizabeth Edwards. They are users and abusers. And to think that I wanted him as my president. I'll never think of the word POLITICAN in the same way after reading this book.
Danielle0421 More than 1 year ago
I felt kind of dirty just reading this book, yet it was fascinating to read how power and adoration quickly transformed John Edwards into a monster. I'm so glad he was exposed for the sham he was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Edwards and Rielle are both classless narcissists who deserve one another. Their behavior is unbelievable.
Motivated More than 1 year ago
I read "The Politician" in two days thinking it would possibly be a tabloid type tell-all. Boy was I wrong. You get a very candid and well organized book full of behind the scenes information of the Edwards campaign and it will open your eyes and scare the heck out of you. What is amazing is that John Edwards came so close to being in the White House while you learn of all the lies, manipulation and deception that is going on around him. I hope that Elizabeth Edwards will get some type of therapy after all she has been through. The death of their son Wade, her husband starts a family with another woman, her cancer diagnosis, treatment and possible terminal illness, and her emails/voice mails and inappropriate emotional responses splayed out across the media for all to see. I feel alot of compassion for Elizabeth but don't excuse her behavior. Enough of the rambling. Buy the book. You won't be sorry. It is really a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book, came away with negative feelings for both John Edwards and Andrew Young after the book's completion. I read both of Elizabeth Edward's books and feel very strongly that she has suffered greatly in her life. Not only did Mrs. Edwards loose a child, but she is currently fighting cancer as well as discovering the fact that her husband John cheated on her. John Edwards should spend the rest of his life contemplating the what ifs for his unfaithfulness. Yes, Andrew Young was a devoted friend and employee of John Edward's but you can't help thinking at some point in his tenure with Edwards, when was he going to do the right thing and walk away. Instead, he choose to stay, always looking for a way to better his own future. At what point should Mr. Young have checked his own moral compass. Lastly, what was the outcome of contributions that went to the Edwards campaign that were misappropriated...that's another matter the reader is left to ponder.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up in the area and around the people that are portrayed in this book. It is quite accurate and I am not surprised at all.