Published today, The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008 by Bob Woodward (S&S, $32, 9781416558972/1416558977) has already ignited a war of words with the White House.
The book was excerpted in the Washington Post, and Woodward, associate editor at the Post, appeared on 60 Minutes last night and will be on a range of national shows today and tomorrow (see Media Heat, below).
National security advisor Stephen J. Hadley issued a statement last Friday disputing some key assertions in the The War Within about the Iraq War, including that President Bush was slow to acknowledge rising violence, was detached from a review of Iraq policy in 2006 and that the "surge" was just one of a handful of factors, including "groundbreaking" new covert techniques, that led to a decline in violence in Iraq.
Hadley wrote that the president "drove" the review process and talked about the violence publicly and called the surge the factor that allowed for such things as the new covert techniques to have an effect.
The White House has been quiet about Woodward's assertion that the CIA has engaged in extensive electronic surveillance of Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki, his staff and others in the Iraqi government.
Ingram's Lightning Source continues to churn out copies of the only available biography of Governor Sarah Palin, Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down by Kaylene Johnson (Epicenter Press, $15.95, 9780980082562/0980082560). Some 40,000 copies were printed over Labor Day weekend and shipped last week (Shelf Awareness, September 2, 2008). "The number should reach 100,000 by early [this] week," according to Graphic Arts Center Publishing's Doug Pfeiffer, as quoted by the Oregonian. Graphic Arts Center, distributed by Ingram Publisher Services, is the distributor of Epicenter.
Kaylene Johnson's book will soon have a little competition in the race for sales. On October 10, Christian publisher Zondervan will publish a new biography of the Republican Vice Presidential nominee called Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader by Joe Hilley. Hilley is a lawyer with a master of divinity degree who writes fulltime and has published five novels that have addressed "such topics as judicial and political corruption, trafficking in women, and the scourge of meth labs on rural America."
The book, Zondervan said, will explore "themes from [Palin's] career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her strongly held Christian faith, explaining how they influence her new style of leadership and align with our changing economy in the information age."
"Regardless of your political persuasion, it is clear that Sarah Palin has quickly electrified the 2008 election and sparked a nationwide dialogue and debate," Moe Girkins, president and CEO of Zondervan, said in a statement. "We are honored to publish this book that will provide readers with a comprehensive look into the life and rising political career of Sarah Palin."
Like her father, Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain is out on the hustings: in her case, she's promoting both her father and her new children's book, My Dad, John McCain illustrated by Dan Andreasen (Aladdin, $16.99, 9781416975281/1416975284). The book made its debut last Tuesday. Tomorrow McCain will be on the Today Show, the View and Nightline.
Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age by Larry M. Bartels ($29.95, 9780691136639/0691136637), a Princeton University Press book co-published with the Russell Sage Foundation in May, has picked up the endorsement of several prominent Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, who last week, as reported by MSNBC, said on the campaign trail in Ohio, "There's a book that's come out right now, by a prominent economist--irrefutable--looking at the evidence showing that when Democrats have been in charge of the economy, the economy has grown faster and it's also been fairer in the sense that everybody benefits. And when the Republicans have been in charge, the economy has grown slower and there's been greater inequality."
By a Princeton professor of public and international affairs who is also director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, the book was also promoted by James Carville on CNN ("Obama can connect with voters on the economy by using history as a guideline. He should start by reading Unequal Democracy.") and Alan S. Blinder in the New York Times (Bartels "brilliantly" presents fact that "might help voters see what could be at stake, economically speaking, in November").
Princeton University Press reports a jump in media inquiries.