Bipartisan Consensus: Going Rogue Offensively Bad


It is worth noting that a handful of conservative reviewers have also pooh-poohed Palin's publishing debut, though it is often the Reagan cudgel with which she is beaten (i.e., I am demonstrating my embarrassment at the whole Palin phenomenon, but I'm no RINO pantywaist!). Ken Tomlinson, the conservative former chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, reviews Going Rogue for the Washington Times:

When I finished Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" (HarperCollins, 2009), my first thought was, "Is there any way Ronald Reagan would have written something like this?" Not a chance….The reader is forced to consume countless pages of payback for what she does demonstrate to have been second-class-citizen treatment from the McCain campaign hierarchy. Some of the book's best reading is when she goes after Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace. No Alaskan animal ever experienced the sharper end of a Palin knife. Yet, again, can you imagine Reagan in those priceless late '70s radio addresses, bellyaching about the treatment he received at the hands of cunning Ford operatives at the Republican Party's national convention?

My radio talk heroes simply aren't leveling with us when they insist that the payback passages are taken out of context by the liberal media - and that the book is filled with substantive political content. I know they genuinely love Mrs. Palin, but I also know they surely could not have read, really read, this book

Writing at the website of conservative Catholic magazine First Things, John Mark Reynolds renders an exceptionally harsh (and, from the bits of it I have read, fully justified) judgement on Going Rogue, while also invoking Saint Reagan:

This was a bad and unhelpful book.

It was not bad because it was simple. Goldwater (or his ghost) used fewer pages in Conscience of a Conservative and said more. It was not bad because it was autobiographical. Though I don't like his politics, President Obama confessed more and said it better in Dreams from My Father. If you don't believe that this book is bad, then read (really do!) Ronald Reagan's autobiography Where's the Rest of Me? Ronald Reagan showed more substance in his delightful book written mostly about his time as an actor than Palin shows in her four hundred pages.

Reynolds liveblogged his slog through Going Rogue here, which includes a series of wonderfully brusque conclusions: "This book is really disappointing." "This is not a well written book so far." "The adjectives in this book are the worst part: steely, plucky, scrappy….Crappy."