Taking on the ‘hypocrisy of U.S. politics’

2008-01-23 00:00

It was interesting to read a book about the U.S. presidential candidate’s race, while these events were being mirrored here at Polokwane.

The Race gives an insider’s view of the skullduggery which unfolds as the competition between candidates in the Republican Party heats up.

Plagued by the guilt inflicted after a split-second decision results in the death of his flight partner while on a fighter pilot mission in Iraq, Corey Grace now wants to do what’s right by his country.

For a white Republican candidate, his politics are viewed as too liberal and his views on race, religion, gays and stem cell research are much frowned upon by the party and the conservative electorate, whom Grace shocks to the hilt when he decides to take a black movie star for a lover.

But the earnest Grace is determined to appease the ghosts that haunt him and he tries his best to be honourable, amidst the tumultuous power struggle within the party.

So, will the other cut-throat candidates uncover the truth about that fateful day in Iraq, and will they learn the secret about his younger brother which Grace has tried so hard to keep hidden? Will the less than savoury background of his beautiful girlfriend’s life be ferreted out by opposition candidates and laid bare to do the damage he fears it would?

Patterson, formerly a U.S. trial lawyer, takes on the hypocrisy of U.S. politics, but his hero, Corey Grace, comes across as a rather flat and predictable character.

For me, the book becomes bogged down in elements which are rather too technical and it lacks any serious humanistic interest.

But the insights I gained into the U.S. Republican Party made it not a complete waste of time and the exciting pace around the election process is sure to please many readers.

An interesting factor also dealt with in the book is the role of the media in the electoral process.

Richard North Patterson has written 14 other bestsellers including Conviction, Balance of Power and Exile.

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