With just a week to go until the midterm election, the nation is awash in attack ads, rallies, and campaign lawn signs. The point of it all, of course, is to secure a win (and ensure the other guy or gal loses). So how do campaigns know which messages and modes of communications will work best? And what can recent elections tell us about how the electorate will behave in 2018 and years to come? Scouted brings you a collection of books that take you inside the decision-making (and drama) that drive our elections. Read these, and you’ll be a bonafide expert in political posturing — and perhaps even ready to run a campaign of your own — in no time.
Does it ever feel like the campaign messages flooding into your inbox and mailbox are custom-made to target you? That’s because they are. Sasha Issenberg pulls the curtain back on the data-driven (and scarily accurate) tactics driving the modern campaign.
Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns by Sasha Issenberg, $13.99 Kindle edition on Amazon.
Looking to get into the nitty gritty of what it takes to lead a successful run for office? This guidebook from the editor of Campaigns & Elections is considered one of the most authoritative sources on the matter.
Running for Office: The Strategies, Techniques and Messages Modern Political Candidates Need to Win Elections by Ronald A. Faucheux, $18.75 on Amazon
Take your political education one step farther and learn to think like a campaign manager with this comprehensive how-to written by a three-time mayor and political operative from the Pacific Northwest.
The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections by Catherine Shaw, $31.69 Kindle edition on Amazon.
Even with all the best minds and loads of cash, campaigns can be weird and sometimes wild beasts. No one captured that better than Hunter S. Thompson in his classic gonzo telling of the 1972 presidential campaign.
Fear & Loathing On The Campaign Trail by Hunter S. Thompson, $14.45 on Amazon.
So how did Donald Trump win? Relive every moment of the truly tumultuous saga that was the president’s quixotic campaign victory with this memoir from someone who watched it unfold up close, day in and day out: MSNBC’s Katy Tur. When you’re done, cross the aisle check out Chasing Hillary from New York Times reporter Amy Chozick for an intimate portrait of life covering the Democratic nominee.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur, $11.55 on Amazon.
Everyone loves a good political tell-all. Even better? One that sheds some light on how the results came to be. This best-selling peek inside the 2008 presidential campaign delivers all the goods: drama gossip, griping aides trading blame. Of course, it’s far from the only option. The genre seems to grow with each cycle.
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, $11.67 on Amazon.
For the campaign (book) junkie who just can’t get enough, we offer a rapid fire reading list of five more picks to add to your cart:
- Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, $12.99 Kindle edition on Amazon.
- Collision 2012: The Future of Election Politics in a Divided America by Dan Balz, $13.99 on Amazon.
- Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile, $11.99 Kindle version on Amazon.
- The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House by McKay Coppins, $11.99 Kindle edition on Amazon.
- Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election, by Jeffrey Toobin, $14.95 on Amazon.
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