Spanking the donkey : dispatches from the dumb season /
Matt Taibbi.
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, 2005.
xvi, 331 p.
More Details
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, 2005.
catalogue key
A Look Inside
About the Author
BIH Author Biography
Matt Taibbi is a columnist for the New York Press and a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. He worked for ten years as a journalist in Russia, where he edited the satirical magazine The eXile. He has also played baseball for the Red Army and professional basketball in Moncolia. He lives in New York City.
Flap Copy
Matt Taibbi Has a Problem. A big one. Working as a correspondent for the New York Press, The Nation, and Rolling Stone, he has close-up access to the Democratic primary for the 2004 presidential election: a seat on John Kerry's campaign plane, a face-to-face encounter with the pancake makeup of John Edwards, enough Howard Dean press conferences to memorize the good doctor's stump speech by heart, and, by way of contrast, a two-month undercover stint working for the Republicans in Orlando, Florida. But the closer he gets to the candidates, the more pompous and vapid they Appear. How can anyone write meaningfully about these puffed-up martinets, let alone vote for them? Taibbi fulfills his responsibilities as a serious campaign reporter with frequent bouts of Blind panic, sad attempts to cope with drugs, and the donning of a Gorilla suit; in addition, as he follows the dog-and-pony show around the country, he forgoes lavish journalists' watering holes in favor of hostels and halfway houses. Such Devices allow our protagonist to register, with sharpness and mounting anxiety, the gaping canyon that divides swaths of sane working Americans from the political phonies who purport to represent them. Spanking the Donkey is a campaign diary like no other. In turns pointed and laugh-out-loud funny, it indicts the surreal irrelevance of today's mainstream politics with barbed wit and caustic intelligence. As a patron at Flo's Bar in Manchester, New Hampshire, eloquently puts it: "They all suck.... Who's running?"
This item was reviewed in:
PW Annex Reviews, April 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Unpaid Annotation
A campaign diary like no other, lampooning the 2004 presidential election and the surreal irrelevance of mainstream politics.
Unpaid Annotation
In this campaign diary, celebrated reporter Taibbi turns a withering eye on what he views as the kissing contest of puffed-up martinets and egomaniacal fantasists more generally known as the 2004 Democratic primaries.
Unpaid Annotation
Spanking the Donkey is a campaign diary like no other. Celebrated reporter Matt Taibbi turns a withering eye on the kissing contest of puffed-up martinets and egomaniacal fantasists more generally known as the 2004 Democratic primaries. Taibbi's contempt for the whole charade, and for most of those involved (including a generous helping of his fellow journalists), makes for a searing and highly entertaining account. His refusal to take the proceedings seriously leads him to volunteer for Wesley Clark's New Hampshire campaign in the guise of an adult film director, while his take on a John Edwards press conference in New York City is filtered through the haze of hallucinogenic drugs. Taking up residence in slums and halfway houses as he follows the circus around the country, Taibbi juxtaposes an idiotic dog-and-pony show in which clashes of plainly identical candidates are presented as real controversies, with the quite separate concerns of the ordinary Americans whose lodgings he shares. The gap between the antiseptic exercise in faint patriotic optimism that is mainstream politics and the harsh realities of life for the millions of Americans that the electoral parade simply passes by has never been more sharply, or hilariously, sketched.
Bowker Data Service Summary
A critical survey of the Democratic race for the presidency recounts Taibbi's pursuit of the campaign in a range of guises and from the vantage points of underprivileged communities and halfway houses, in an exploration that exposes a gap between political issues and the actual concerns of everyday Americans.
Table of Contents
Iraqt-up! : at the D.C. rallies, a few hundred thousand go missingp. 3
Spring/summer 2003p. 17
Dean-a-Palooza : a front-runner takes to the skiesp. 41
Campaign diariesp. 67
Fall/winter 2003-2004p. 121
Feed the beastp. 149
Spring/summer 2004p. 179
Bush like me : through the looking-glass into the other Americap. 209
Wimblehack!p. 251
The next step : why the blue states are bluep. 321
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem