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Book Review: Shattering the positive blurbs about Shattered

Book Review: Shattering the positive blurbs about Shattered

Book should really be entitled “Brazen”, for the authors’ obvious attempt to make a buck and redeem their campaign coverage.

There has much chatter about the recently released book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign“.

My colleague Mary Chastain penned a superb summary of all the campaign low points in her analysis, and fellow author Neo-Neocon did a exceptionally detailed dissection of the book’s main premise that poor messaging was the reason for Hillary’s election failure.

This post will focus on an actual review, addressing whether or not you should spend the $10-$20 dollars to purchase the book to add to your political library.

The short answer: Save your money and read Mary’s and Neo-Neocon’s posts instead.

The long answer: The book will be difficult to read, because you will be constantly rolling your eyes at the insults about President Donald Trump and and shaking your head at the Clinton-supporting non-sequiturs offered by authors, both of whom are premier members of the elite media.

I was initially hesitant to purchase Shattered because of the authors’ biographies. Jonathan Allen writes for Politico and Vox, neither site being able to offer much in the way of non-biased coverage when it comes to President Trump. Amie Parne’s credentials include contributing to The Hill, a pro-establishment outlet, and actually being involved in covering Hillary’s campaign.

However, I am totally addicted to news about the shock of Election Night 2016. I will occasionally watch the network coverage for the shear pleasure of seeing the leading pundits have to backtrack on over one-year of fake news and erroneous prognostications.

So, against my gut feeling, I bought the book…and it was every bit of the disappointment I feared it would be.

To begin with, the few times that the authors seem to put any passion in their writing is when they insult Trump. A sample of this needless and unprofessional contempt comes as they write about the aftermath of the debates.

Hillary had done what she was suppose to do to win, and Trump had blown chance after chance to impersonate a traditional commander-in-chief.”

Between his response to Syria, his handing of North Korea, and his work with Egypt and Jordan to fight terror in the region, Trump has shown himself to be more of a savvy Commander-in-Chief in under 100 days than Obama had in 8 years. The whole book is filled with demeaning one-liners like this.

On the other hand, some fairly odd lines regarding the Clinton’s are offered, such as Bill Clinton being “protective of his wife”. Additionally, the book is highly repetitive on how poor Clinton’s messaging was and the complete failure of the analytics being used to make key campaign decisions.

Furthermore, something struck me as “off” in the tone of the book. I sensed it was written as if to give readers the impression that both authors knew that Hillary Clinton was doomed from the start, and that they were simply detached chroniclers of the disaster. I suspected their analysis would have been different if she had actually won.

It turns out my instincts were correct: Newsbusters’ P.J. Gladnick compared Allen’s initial 2015 review in Vox of Clinton’s kick-off speech to the very critical assessment that has just been published. Initially, Allen robustly praised the address in June, 2015 for having what he now says it lacked: How Hillary Clinton nailed the vision thing.

Hillary Clinton gets hit a lot for not having a “vision.” For most of the campaign so far, the criticism has fairly centered on her refusal to take positions on some core Democratic issues. Now she’s taking flak for getting too deep in the weeds in the speech she gave at her campaign’s first big rally in New York. But the truth is, Clinton pretty much nailed the vision thing on Saturday.

…Clinton articulated her own vision by contrasting with Republicans, and she did it without the kind of clever rhetorical flourish that usually wins praise from political analysts.

As I read the book, I focused on the one part of the entire campaign I covered in detail for Legal Insurrection: Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly competitive primary run. While the writers did offer some interesting insights of Sanders’ unexpected success and grassroots phenomenon, they failed to detail some of a key reason Clinton won the initial caucus in Iowa: Coin flips.

Furthermore, both authors assumed that news of the Sanders’ supporters disruptions during the convention went unnoticed. They detail, with some amount of smugness, how the Democrats hid the chaos from the general public. However, the #DemExit and #NeverHillary protests were observed and described by Legal Insurrection’s elite team.

I think this is ample evidence that bloggers are still doing the reporting that elite journalists don’t want to do!

If you do order the book, then probably the best way to enjoy it is to first read the last two chapters focused on President Trump’s shocking election night victory and its aftermath. They are the most entertaining and least annoying portions of Shattered.

However, unless you are a total political geek, save your money and your time and pass on this brazen attempt to make a buck and gain profession redemption for the authors’ original campaign coverage.


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johnny dollar | April 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Thanks for this review of the book.
I was considering buying it; Now I will save my money!

Pass on the book. It’s getting terrible reviews from the smart people. Leslie, the line you quoted,

“Hillary had done what she was suppose to do to win, and Trump had blown chance after chance to impersonate a traditional commander-in-chief.”

is especially funny to me, because I saw DJT’s press conference after the Republican Convention, and decided that I hadn’t seen a person in control of a press conference like that since George H. W. Bush. I also saw the histrionic and bizarrely inaccurate response from the press. I knew we had a potential C-in-C from that day forward.

I think there is a book by some Redditors in the works, chronicling the Great Meme War of 2016. If they pull it off, it will be both enlightening and entertaining.

In brief, Reddit tells the denizens of the page that supported DJT (

that they have about 400K subscribers, but tells its advertisers that the page has at least 6M subscribers, with a commensurate number of page views per day.

That 6M number is as of the election. Since the election, Reddit administration has specifically stepped down its reporting to users of T_D’s statistics, and the tech-savvy subscribers have called them out, repeatedly.

I suspect that 6M enthusiastic voters is enough to swing a US election.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Valerie. | April 29, 2017 at 12:38 pm


    Did you catch this “classic” review of it?

    Amazon Review by B.M. of “Shattered.”

    “assumption that reading audience is stupid 2. A line in the introduction that encourages …

    April 28, 2017
    Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I promise you, she helped to write this bit of published excrement. Her filthy fingers are all over it.
    Evidence for this claim?

    1. assumption that reading audience is stupid

    2. A line in the introduction that encourages the reader to find sympathy for the losing candidate.

    3. Zero discussion of the known truth concerning the corrupt primaries and the meltdown H suffered on the night of her defeat.This text has her behaving very calmly and rationally, which was definitely not the case. i.e., this book is completely full of lies.

    4. Colossally boring writing. Poor writing (hallmarks of H’s own writing). I fell asleep every time I tried to read it. So, I read it about four pages at a time. Took me weeks to get through. It really is that boring.

    5. No mention of H’s documented health issues and how her poor health contributed to her inability to “perform”

    6. Text is transparently a propaganda piece. ie., a joke and a waste of time reading

    This is apologia. I suppose next will come the hagiography.
    I was robbed of $13.99 (how very Clintonesque. Robbery. Good thing I was not closer by to the real author or I’d be dead now).
    I want my money back.
    I want back my time spent reading this pathetic tripe.
    Amazon needs a negative star rating option.”

Paul In Sweden | April 28, 2017 at 9:13 pm

It is a long read because the authors are leftist true believers but I am finding Shattered both amusing and interesting.

    I agree. I found it unintentionally hilarious. Hillary comes across as both inept and inflexible, unable to think of any reason why she wants to be President, continually failing to come up with any vision for the country, and constantly blaming everyone around her for her failures. In trying to avoid explaining how her loss resulted from her own stupid and/or criminal failures and misconduct, the authors portray her as a vapid and helpless victim of treacherous and overpaid consultants who are only in it for themselves. She had three or four “teams” working on her campaign, and pitted them against each other. No one on her campaign trusted anyone else in it, and all of them were kept in the dark and then blamed by Hillary when her idiocy caught up with her. We really dodged a bullet there.

Eh, I wouldn’t waste my money on two leftists’ book. And if I want to re-live the schadenfreude of election night and the lefties’ sweet, sweet angst, I’ll just go to You Tube for the replays.

The chapter on the Russians was apparently hacked off the printing press computer.

An entire book to explain why Hillary Clinton lost the election?

Just need two words to explain Clinton’s loss: Hillary Clinton.

    That’s all they needed to say, ture enough. What they chose to say instead is what makes commentators like the authors so offensive: they believe that there must have been SOME way to manipulate and deceive the public into voting for the execrable matriarch of an international crime family.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to | April 29, 2017 at 11:51 am



    RE: “Just need two words to explain Clinton’s loss:
    Hillary Clinton.”

I’m sure I’ll see it at Goodwill in short order. Hillary’s pain will still be delicious then.

The bottom line on all these “post mittens” is the underlying premise of “Hillary would’ve, could’ve and should’ve won”. They just can’t get their heads around anything beyond that.

“post mittens”? “post mortems”! &$%#! “Auto-incorrect”!!!

Considering who the authors are and their backgrounds, I figure it is like Huma’s “Tell All” book that she is shopping around. You know she is not going to reveal anything of substance nor will she EVER tell the truth about hillary. She can’t even admit the truth about her perv husband. This is nothing but a tease for the Trump supporters because you know the clinton faithful will not be buying it.

Book was total crap. They used Mook as the fall guy. He was Mr. Evil. The authors wanted to stay on good terms with the Clinton team and Hillary herself. Nothing about Podesta until at the end he speaks at the Javits Center. He had nothing to do with strategy, it was all Mook who never ran a Presidential campaign? Nothing about Hillary given the questions on debates. Nothing about the medias support of Hillary. Nothing about Hillary’s collapse or coughing fits. Nothing about her health which may be the reason she didn’t campaign in the rust belt. Hillary just calmly according to the book just accepts the bad election news. No screaming, no cursing, just nodding her head saying OK.
I would not be surprised if Hillary had approval of what was in this book. The only democrat person damaged was Mook, who is done anyway. No way he gets a job running a major campaign after losing this one.

I will occasionally watch the network coverage for the shear pleasure of seeing the leading pundits have to backtrack

Well of course everyone needs a hobby, but the only one I like to review occasionally is Henry Davis’s epic post-election, ahh, commentary,

Thank yo for the review. It reminds me of all those articles I read (on other sites) that have to needlessly throw in some insult about Trump just to prove to their political minders that they’re still part of the team.

As usual with the Democrat Media, Allen and Parne are trying to do the “mea” without the “culpa”.

Thank you.

karl_lembke | May 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm

I downloaded a copy for free. Now it sounds like I overpaid?