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The Victory Lab: The Secret Science Of Winning Campaigns (2012)

by Sasha Issenberg(Favorite Author)
3.76 of 5 Votes: 2
030795479X (ISBN13: 9780307954794)
review 1: Good piece for people who've never laced up their sneakers and knocked on doors for a political candidate. For people who are familiar with campaigning technique, it offers a good survey but not a whole lot of red meat.But then again, Moneyball was meant for general audiences, not for talent scouts, so maybe I approached this book all wrong. Still a great history of advertising, and political advertising specifically.
review 2: Issenberg is an awful, terrible writer. I so desperately wanted to like this book and in theory really should have: discussion of how data can drive elections. A history of political polling from its humble beginnings to the machine of the Obama campaigns. And yet there was something just completely missing.The book traces political poll
... moreing from it's embryonic beginnings in the early 20th century to an increasingly detailed process that helps shape how campaigns message, speak to voters, scrabble for votes, etc. Each chapter pretty much looks at a different election and the people who get the data collecting going. Make no mistake, this isn't a book about the candidates, other than to show where we are in history. It's about the pollsters, professors, academics, campaigners, consultants, etc. and the techniques they use. It's mostly about the techniques but the people behind them get some spotlight.As other reviews say, if you're not a political junkie or don't have that much interest in politics, you might find the read tedious. The author really doesn't do a very good job weaving the narrative of the characters he's talking about to the larger story. Normally it's good to know a bit about the backgrounds of the consultants that he's writing about, but sometimes it's jolting to be reading about one person, see another get introduced and discussed, and then watch as the first disappears until later.It is also not a "how to" book for aspiring pollsters or those who are interested in how the data drives the story or the failure of Project ORCA in 2012. That is better suited to a statistics or political polling course. Overall, something about Issenberg's writing is very off. I read his other book 'The Sushi Economy' and rememeber being bored with his writing there too. A few other reviews here say the book could have made much shorter and I think they're right. Out of curiosity I went to his page on Slate.com to compare some of his news articles about the 2012 election. Weirdly enough, I found his articles horribly short and lacking on detail, as if they were blog pieces that were meant to be read in real time. I really can't recommend this unless one is a hard core politico who has serious interest in polling in politics (elections specifically, since this book almost entirely discusses polling in terms of Presidential campaigns). As a history of polling it might be worth a read, but I found it to be a slog to get through. Check it out of the library and see if you can get it as a bargain if you feel it'll be a good reference. less
Reviews (see all)
Quite interesting, nothing landmark or vanguard but certainly a worthwhile read
Not what I was expecting. Didn't finish, made it about 60% before giving up.
Very informative into the inner workings of campaigns.
Not my kind of book....
Data wins again
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