Leftist Sarah Palin counterattack coming to bookstores
Last week I swore I would write no more about Sarah Palin, but the announcement that HCI has picked up Going Rouge, the lefty critical broadside, and will make it available in bookstores, is too newsworthy to ignore. In a booky kind of way.
Going Rouge, put together by two editors of the venerable lefty rag The Nation, was originally published as a direct-to-consumer title by upstart publisher OR. But with the enormous media attention given to Palin and her autobiography, Going Rogue, it was only a matter of time before some traditional company stepped in.
HCI — Health Communications Inc., of Deerfield Beach, Fla. — is not an obvious fit for a collection of essays by mostly familiar liberal and leftist commentators. A large publisher of health, self-help, inspirational and spiritual titles, HCI is best known for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of bestselling books.
“This title, although outside our usual publishing perimeters, presented an exciting and interesting challenge,” said Peter Vegso, HCI president and publisher. “We’ve also brought this book to market in record time thanks to our talented and hard-working staff and our in-house printing capabilities.”
Going Rogue has sold 1 million copies in its first two weeks and will debut at No. 1 on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list this Sunday. Obviously hoping to capitalize on Palin’s high media profile, HCI started shipping 50,000 copies of Going Rouge yesterday.
Edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, two senior editors at The Nation, the book features essays by such big-brained left-leaning commentators as Frank Rich, Eve Ensler, Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Gloria Steinem and Jim Hightower, among others.
Few of the essays are original, coming instead from such publications as The New York Times, the Anchorage Daily News and of course The Nation. It promises “the real Palin.” I haven’t seen it yet.
My resolve to avoid writing about Palin, in case you’re interested, arises not from my personal politics. No, it’s mainly that I’m sick of Palin’s ubiquity in the media. She’s getting plenty of coverage for herself and her book without me adding my piping little voice.
Besides, the Main Stream Media is doing a thorough job of vetting the book, mostly with skeptical respect. And the skepticism isn’t found only at publications criticized for a (largely nonexistent) liberal bias, like Time or ABC News or The Associated Press.
Though Melanie Kirkpatrick bends every which way to find nice things to say about Palin’s book in the Wall Street Journal, she can’t help faulting it for lack of policy substance. Rod Dreher, a conservative columnist for the Dallas Morning News, in a review on NPR, concludes the book contains nothing to counter Palin’s image as “too shallow and inexperienced for the presidency.”
Everyone, regardless of political stripe, assumes Going Rogue is the opening salvo in Palin’s bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Democrats can only hope this is true, at least based on my personal experience. Two lifelong Republicans of my acquaintance voted Democrat for the first time in last year’s presidential election. The reason? Palin.