An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down
By Andrew Young
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312640651, 320pp.)
Publication Date: January 30, 2010
List Price: $24.99*
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“The greatest political saga, the one that has it all, that gets to the real heart of American politics, is the John Edwards story... This isn’t just politics, it’s literature. It’s the great American novel, the kind that isn’t written anymore.” --Michael Wolff on John Edwards's trajectory, on VanityFair.com
The underside of modern American politics -- raw ambition, manipulation, and deception -- are revealed in detail by Andrew Young’s riveting account of a presidential hopeful’s meteoric rise and scandalous fall. Like a non-fiction version of All the King’s Men, The Politician offers a truly disturbing, even shocking perspective on the risks taken and tactics employed by a man determined to rule the most powerful nation on earth.
Idealistic and ambitious, Andrew Young volunteered for the John Edwards campaign for Senate in 1998 and quickly became the candidate’s right hand man. As the senator became a national star, Young’s responsibilities grew. For a decade he was this politician’s confidant and he was assured he was ‘like family.” In time, however, Young was drawn into a series of questionable assignments that culminated with Edwards asking him to help conceal the Senator’s ongoing adultery. Days before the 2008 presidential primaries began, Young gained international notoriety when he told the world that he was the father of a child being carried by a woman named Rielle Hunter, who was actually the senator’s mistress. While Young began a life on the run, hiding from the press with his family and alleged mistress, John Edwards continued to pursue the presidency and then the Vice Presidency in the future Obama administration.
Young had been the senator’s closest aide and most trusted friend. He believed that John Edwards could be a great president, and was assured throughout the cover-up that his boss and friend would ultimately step forward to both tell the truth and protect his aide’s career. Neither promise was kept. Not only a moving personal account of Andrew Young’s political education, THE POLITICIAN offers a look at the trajectory which made John Edwards the ideal Democratic candidate for president, and the hubris which brought him down, leaving his career, his marriage and his dreams in ashes.
After earning a bachelors degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree at the Wake Forest University School of Law, Andrew Young was a volunteer for John Edwards’ winning campaign for U.S. Senate. Hired in 1999, Young became Edwards’ longest serving and most trusted aide. He raised more than $10 million for the politician’s various causes and played a key role in Edwards’ efforts to become President of the United States. Now a private citizen, he lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Cheri and their three children.
"A book worth reading for its larger drama. With a title that ultimately works like a shiv in the ribs, Mr. Young’s book examines what a politician really is: the value of his words... the extent of his feelings of entitlement, the outrageousness of his ego...and the gap between his public convictions and private behavior" - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Mesmerizing...This is not a political memoir. It’s a morality tale with the chill of Hitchcock.” ---Tina Brown, The Daily Beast
“Replete with colorful anecdotes and vignettes, this forceful memoir offers a familiar, if a bit slippery, tale of lost youthful innocence.” --The New York Times Book Review
“How often does the quest for the White House become an unhealthy obsession, not just for a candidate and his spouse, but for the people around them?” --The Boston Globe