Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blind Trust: a book review

Grade: C

Blind Trust is a Washington DC insider's glimpse into life on Capitol Hill and is proof that the best look at the intricacies of DC politics comes from the perspective of a seasoned insider. This is Senator Barbara Boxer's second book.

Boxer writes about a fictional Senator Ellen Fischer Lind, who is, coincidentally, also a senior liberal Senator from California. Lind finds her world rocked by scandal and accusations of impropriety that threaten to damage her credibility and end her political career. As her political enemies and the right wing media team up to destroy her, the reader gets a unique look at the dirty inner workings and dealings of political smear campaigns.

Boxer also elaborates on the inside deals necessary in politics that often force a politician to choose between doing what is right with doing something they do not believe in to save their political careers and hopefully do more positive on down the road in the future if they remain in office.

This is not a book praising one political party over another or depicting one party in the right while the other is in the wrong. Instead, it praises truth over lies and gossip and good intentions over personal ambition. The book reminds readers that what is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular.

Boxer's first hand knowledge of politics is brilliantly conveyed in this book. The only reason I did not give it a higher grade than a C is because the end wraps everything up a little too quickly and too neatly. It is as though Boxer set out writing the book with a purpose and then got too busy with a piece of legislation part way through to take the time to give the book the ending or devote the time to the conclusion that it deserved.

I think Boxer would be a great author if she wrote non-fiction books about politics rather than a half-finished story masquerading under the loose pretense of fiction. She is a gifted politician and she knows how to talk politics. She is not a gifted story teller. She offers wonderful insight which is quite eye-opening about the way American citizens can have the wool pulled over their eyes and be lead to believe what those in power want them to believe. She should have stuck to discussing that though, which she lays out in great detail and with much thought, instead of attempting to weave it into a rather poorly crafted story.

Favorite Quotes:
"The higher you go, the more of a target you are."

"But remember three things: First, there are good people out there; they just don't make so much of a racket. Second, if you don't make waves, then the bad guys don't get washed overboard. And third, nobody bothers to bad-mouth you unless they're afraid of you. So think of it as kind of a compliment."

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