This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!--in America's Gilded Capital

This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!--in America's Gilded Capital

by Mark Leibovich


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399170683
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 121,126
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mark Leibovich is The New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The New Imperialists, a collection of profiles on technology pioneers. Leibovich lives with his family in Washington.

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Excerpted from "This Town"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Mark Leibovich.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This Town is funny, it's interesting, and it is demoralizing ... I loved it as much as you can love something which hurts your heart."—John Oliver, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

“In addition to his reporting talents, Leibovich is a writer of excellent zest. At times his book is laugh-out-loud (as well as weep-out-loud). He is an exuberant writer, even as his reporting leaves one reaching for Xanax…[This Town] is vastly entertaining and deeply troubling.”—Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review

"It's been the summer of This Town. What lingers from This Town is what will linger in Washington well after its current dinosaurs are extinct: the political culture owned by big money."—Frank Rich, New York Magazine

"Many decades from now, a historian looking at where America lost its way could use This Town as a primary source."—Fareed Zakaria

“Here it is, Washington in all its splendid, sordid glory…[Leibovich] seems to wear those special glasses that allow you to x-ray the outside and see what’s really going on. Start to finish, this is a brilliant portrait – pointillist, you might say, or modern realist. So brilliant that once it lands on a front table at Politics & Prose Leibovich will never be able to have lunch in this town again. There are also important insights tucked in among the barbs…So here’s to all the big mouths, big shots, big machers, and big jerks. In case you’re wondering, Mark Leibovich is on to every one of you, and his portrayal of This Town is spot on.” —David Shribman, The New York Times

“In his new book This Town, Mark Leibovich commits an act of treason against the Washington establishment… Thoroughly entertaining… Leibovich is a keen observer and energetic writer.”—Reid Pillifant, New York Observer
This Town is a frothy Beltway insider tell-all …rollicking fun and sharply written. A big, sprawling fun beach read of a book—snappy and well-crafted.”—Susan Gardner, The Daily Kos
This Town is as entertaining for the broader picture it paints of a capital that corrupts even the most incorruptible as it is for the salacious gossip that dominated early reviews. Books like Leibovich’s are important resources for historians who, a century from now, will use This Town as a trove of background information for a pivotal period when our politics became poisonous.”—Reid Wilson, The National Journal
“Leibovich delivers the reportorial goods. He is in all the parties, and supplies a wildly entertaining anthrolopogical tour.”—Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
“Leibovich has written a very funny book about how horrible his industry can be… Uncommonly honest.”—David Weigel, Slate
“[Leibovich] is a master of the political profile… This Town is as insidery as Game Change”Carlos Lozada, Washington Post
“Intensely anticipated…. [Leibovich] has a real affection for many of his characters… [and] also throws a few unapologetically hard punches.” —Ben Smith, Buzzfeed

“Witty, entertaining….the book is enlightening on how journalism is practiced in Washington…This Town could also be source material for your book about what’s wrong with these horrible people and – more importantly, but also much more difficult – how to fix the culture that led to their ascendance….This Town is a funny book, but it should probably make you as angry and depressed as “Two American Families.” —Alex Pareene,
“For the sweaty, twitching, huddled masses of Washington gossip addicts, This Town is rife with such shiny nuggets, the literary equivalent of crack.”— Lloyd Grove, Newsweek/The Daily Beast
“Corrosively funny and subtly subversive…. siren song of money and pseudo-celebrity ….irresistible."—Walter Shapiro, The American Prospect
“Like a modern-day Balzac to US capital power players….hilarious….perceptive.” —Richard McGregor, Financial Times
“A rollicking, if disconcerting, read.”—Denver Post
“Provides a lancing, often hysterically funny portrait of the capital’s vanities and ambitions.” —The New Yorker
“A common trope among conservatives is the “cocktail party scene,” which Republican reformers encounter when they go to Washington and which lures them into selling out their beliefs. This Town provides plenty of evidence not only that those worries are grounded, but that it’s far worse than we imagined….[U]nusual and refreshing…. [A] successful and needed undertaking…. Leibovich enlivens his tedious subjects with a funny and vivid writing style…. he’s also an engaging storyteller. The last quarter of This Town, which dishes on Leibovich’s encounters with the major players from the 2012 election, is undeniably good reading… If you want to understand why you should wake up quivering with white-hot hatred for elite Washington, This Town is well worth your time.” —Matt Purple, The American Spectator
“[A] sharp-eyed, funny and elegantly written takedown of Washington’s crass, insidery, back-scratching (by journalists and politicians alike) culture…. [T]he Tony Soprano of journalists…but with a heart.” Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg News
“This book has to be the book of the summer, open on the fat or flat bellies of Washington's privileged political elite at Rehoboth, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Even if they are in it, or are looking for themselves in it with dread or delicious anticipation, a Washington version of narcissism, "This Town" is not to be missed.” —Dan Simpson, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Not since Truman Capote’s “Answered Prayers” knocked New York society on its heels with its thinly fictionalized revelations of real players who had thought the author was their friend has a book so riled a city’s upper echelons.”—Lois Romano, Politico


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This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral - Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! - in America's Gilded Capital 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've lived in Washington for over 40 years & am more than a little amused that so many are caught up in the small (and often petty) world that's described in this book. It's a wonderful place to live, & many of us lead productive, fulfilling lives apart from the glitter & power struggles. Still, Mr, Leibovitz has woven a fascinating tale, a guilty summer reading pleasure. It's extremely well written & proves yet again that truth is stranger than fiction. I don't think anyone could make this s**t up! -- catwak
Jamie6 More than 1 year ago
This Town is a crazy good book. The writing is crisp and easy to follow. The characters are well developed. The plot is at times laugh-out-loud funny.
Lawrence_Von_Frederick More than 1 year ago
The miasma in Washington goes much deeper than just ideology and partisanship. In this insider type account, Leibovich details a system that enriches the players while helping to paralyze government. The enticements work for members of both parties and nearly all ideologies. Thus few resist the temptation to cash in on their Congressional service after they leave Congress. Sadly, it also displays how the Obama administration, contrary to its initial intentions and values, finally joined the game. In fairness to Obama it would be difficult to stay out of the game given the high finance of our politics and 24/7 campaigns, both for running for office and for policies pending and even established. Obama would have needed extraordinary political skills which he appears to lack; and even seems to not like to play "real politics." The book demonstrates that the national government is now an industry and one that has fascinating characters whose actions just don't help the country. A must read for anyone wanting to understand why Washington is so dysfunctional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark Leibovich has a really entertaining story here.  It has some of the juicy political drama that one who follows politics in America would expect to hear.  His writing style is very straight and easy to read, and he really does add some witty one-liners into the piece.  The stories each have their own unique features, characters, and settings.  He describes characters so smoothly, and I feel as though I have personally known some of those people for years after reading just one paragraph about them.  Mark also adds his two cents in every now and then in the form of a sentimental story or lesson learned.  These are truly the diamonds in the rough of this piece.  He learned a ton while covering this city, and it shows in this writing.  Initially I did really want to read this book, but I am very satisfied with my reversal on this book.  It is a worthy read from a good author.  It easily earns 4 stars in this rating, but lacks the perfection necessary for a 5th.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too Many Pages About Cheesy, Self-Absorbed People About halfway through this book, which started auspiciously, I became bored. Unless you live or work in "that" town, or you are a politicoholic, you will probably find that superlawyers and super hostesses aren't  really all that fascinating - or important. Move on. Nothing to see here except vanity and greed, including the author.  
B-loNY More than 1 year ago
This was a good book. Well written from a man who knows Washington.
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ScottBell More than 1 year ago
Fascinating look at DC.
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Walks in.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leibovich is clearly a good writer and seasoned reporter, but he was seasoned in the same pot as the people he critcizes, In one sense he has written a book that is new and interesting for its focus, but it is also a sad reflection on an auhor who seems to be every bit as insecure and enamored with his proximity to power as those he snarkily derrides, He comes off a bit like Exhibit A, Too bad because the aim of the book is good
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I enjoyed this book very much. Highly recommend it if you are interested in politics.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't find this to be a great book, but held my interest. It essentially confirmed what I suspected about the decline in respect felt for our elected representatives; overall they are disgusting. Many describe it as a humorous book, but I didn't laugh once.