NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Explosive... A blistering tell-all."Washington Post
"People should sit up, take notes and change things."Ace Smith, Los Angeles Times
"Brazile most certainly has a story to tell.... Vivid."The Guardian
From Donna Brazile, former DNC chair and legendary political operative, an explosive and revealing new look at the 2016 election: the first insider account of the Russian hacking of the DNC and the missteps by the Clinton campaign and Obama administration that enabled a Trump victory.
In the fallout of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committeeand as chaos threatened to consume the party's conventionDemocrats turned to a familiar figure to right the ship: Donna Brazile. Known to millions from her frequent TV appearances, she was no stranger to high stakes and dirty opponents, and the longtime Democratic strategist had a reputation in Washington as a one-stop shop for fixing sticky problems.
What Brazile found at the DNC was unlike anything she had experienced beforeand much worse than is commonly known. The party was beset by infighting, scandal, and hubris, while reeling from a brazen and wholly unprecedented attempt by a foreign power to influence the presidential election. Plus, its candidate, Hillary Clinton, faced an opponent who broke every rule in the political playbook.
Packed with never-before-reported revelations about what went down in 2016, Hacks is equal parts campaign thriller, memoir, and roadmap for the future. With Democrats now in the wilderness after this historic defeat, Hacks argues that staying silent about what went wrong helps no one. Only by laying bare the missteps, miscalculations, and crimes of 2016, Brazile contends, will Americans be able to salvage their democracy.
Donna Brazile is the former Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, and a contributor to ABC News. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as Al Gore's campaign manager. In 2014, Brazile was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on to the board of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She is founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.
Former Democratic National Committee chair Brazile (Cooking with Grease) refuses to concede that, during her time at CNN, she aided Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign by leaking a question in advance of a town hall with Bernie Sanders; this omission tarnishes her self-serving insider account of the campaign. Although elsewhere Brazile has publicly stated she made a mistake, here she resists that being an admission of guilt and resorts to equivocation (“I still didn’t recall sharing questions with Hillary’s campaign”). That lack of transparency will lead to skepticism about some of her dramatic revelations—especially her assertion that she nearly chose someone else to replace Clinton as the party’s candidate for president. Those surprised that the DNC chair holds such unilateral power will find their reaction validated when Brazile later states that she would have needed to consult with party leaders before making such a drastic decision. Her account of what happened after Clinton nearly fainted during a 9/11 memorial service amounts to a few hours of her internal debate, making clear that the entire episode has been overhyped. Odd sentences (“Women of Hillary’s era, like Eleanor Holmes Norton, are thinkers”) and inconsistencies only further diminish the value of what could have been a warts-and-all postmortem of one of the greatest political upsets in American history. (Nov.)
The inside story of the 2016 presidential campaign, told by a once-powerful political operative pushed to the fringes of her own party.Brazile (Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, 2004), the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, is angry, and she wants everybody to know it. Ultimately, this supposedly fiery book, a tell-all chronicle of the election that gave us President Donald Trump, is more a tale of simmering resentment than a full-on bridge-burner. There aren't that many bombshells to be had, and they're often couched in rationales that don't always add up. Brazile inherited her role from Debbie Wasserman Schultz in an organization bleeding cash and failing to recognize its own dysfunction. "As I saw it, these three titanic egos—Barack, Hillary and Debbie—had stripped the party to a shell for their own purposes," she writes. The author has plenty of targets, and she begins by slinging bile at Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and liaison Brandon Davis. Brazile's core argument is that the Clinton campaign exerted an unethical influence over campaign funds, pointing to an obscure fundraising agreement, but her case is thin. Less persuasive are her waffling explanations and a nonapology apology for those controversial debate questions. The author also displays disturbing naiveté, particularly regarding WikiLeaks and the much-publicized Russian hacking of the DNC—although the author does make a solid case for fighting back against this unprecedented interference. An undercurrent of paranoia, however valid, also undercuts the narrative as Brazile ponders the murder of Seth Rich and gets advice from an intelligence operative she only identifies as "The Spook." This is a portrait of a professional political operative marginalized and still suffering from wounds that have yet to heal. In a memoir replete with profanity, Brazile's post-election mindset might boil down to this: "You know, fuck 'em."A messy, self-serving rationalization of one of the biggest debacles in recent American political history.
"With bracing honesty, enchanting self-awareness, and a wonderful storyteller's voice, Donna Brazile recounts the fascinating inside story of the 2016 campaign and what it was like being hacked. It is a deeply emotional story, but she tells it with great humor and insight. Her book is filled with urgent history and vital lessons for living in this age of cyber warfare and political discontent. This book is a triumph."Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs, The Innovators, and Leonardo da Vinci
"The former DNC chair's memoir of election defeat has it all... Brazile most certainly has a story to tell.... An easy and vivid read,
everything one expects in a first-person campaign narrativeexcept for its detailed discussion of Russia's hacks, WikiLeaks, and threats to Brazile herself. On that score, the book is down-right alarming."The Guardian
"Explosive... Perhaps not since George Stephanopoulos wrote All Too Human, a 1999 memoir of his years working for former president Bill Clinton, has a political strategist penned such a blistering tell-all."Washington Post
"Donna Brazile is one of the truly brilliant minds in the Democratic
Party, and she's venting her frustration on the way she was treated and frankly she has every right to do so.... And frankly people should sit up, take notes and change things instead of carping about it."Ace Smith, Los Angeles Times
[Brazile] has every right to tell her story. And don't expect her to ask anyone for permission."Ruben Navarrette, syndicated columnist, the Washington Post Writers Group.
"[Brazile] does have a story to tell that the Democrats shouldn't dismiss, if they intend to win the White House in 2020.... The book is a fun read... The conjunction of Brazile's indiscreet book ... suggests that talking bluntly about the Party's mistakes might not be a hindrance. A dose of
[Brazile's] Dolores might even help."Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker
"Since [Brazile] had a front-row seat to everything that happened last year, her analysis and recollections of that volcanic election are valuable by definition. But what she has to tell us doesn't fit easily into the simple moral framework that now guides all our thinkings on politics.... That's where we are today: spies and lies; technocrats and math; fake populism and bad algorithms. How far we have gone from the noble causes for which people like Donna Brazile once signed up."Thomas Frank, The GuardianFrom the Publisher