Book World: Reviews of 'Sarah From Alaska' and 'The Persecution of Sarah Palin'

By Nick Gillespie
Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar

By Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe

PublicAffairs. 301 pp. $26.95


How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star

By Matthew Continetti

Sentinel. 226 pp. $25.95

No recent political figure has ignited the fury of the chattering classes like former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Shortly after she injected signs of life into the zombified McCain campaign with a rousing speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention, the little-known figure was dissed by Salon's Cintra Wilson as a "power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty" whose conservative ideology made the liberal, feminist writer "feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism."

Martin Peretz, the editor in chief of the New Republic, sniffed that the candidate "was pretty like a cosmetics saleswoman at Macy's" and that it was "good to see that the Palin family didn't torture poor Bristol [unmarried, pregnant and 17 at the time], at least in the open."

The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, a self-identified conservative who calls his Daily Dish "the most popular one-man political blog site in the world," persistently claimed that Trig Palin, the governor's then-4-month-old baby with Down syndrome, was not Sarah's biological child and requested the full release of her obstetrical records, stopping just short of demanding he be sent the placenta for genetic testing. (If President Obama is hounded by a small group of reality-challenged "birthers," who doubt he was born in Hawaii, Palin is certainly the only politician to have given rise to what might be called "after-birthers," who doubt that she delivered her own children.)

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