Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home

Mary Matalin and James Carville. Penguin/Blue Rider, $28.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-16724-9
Matalin and Carville (All's Fair) continue the saga of their politically-bipartisan marriage and career highlights from the beginning of the Clinton administration to current issues and events. Matalin reflects honestly on losing the 1993 election, feeling like a "poster child for failure and disgrace," wanting to feel happy for Carville while she "simultaneously hated every inch of his skinny Cajun being." This situation is reversed in 2000 when Matalin takes a job working for Dick Cheney, whom she calls "a man of impeccable integrity" while Carville suffers bitter disappointment. Matalin provides a first-hand account of being in the White House on 9/11, working in an underground bunker with the Vice President, and both offer alternate takes on the Iraq War that toe their respective party lines. Carville opens up about his ADHD and shares some helpful advice for anyone looking to charm Barbara Bush. On the topic of Matalin's menagerie of pets, he compares them to her politics: "I generally dislike them, so I tend to ignore them." The couple finds common ground in their love of New Orleans, where they relocated in 2008—Carville praises LSU football while Matalin notes the community spirit that rallied residents after Hurricane Katrina. The book works best when Matalin and Carville alternate riffs on the same topics, when they stray from that format; it is a bit of a jumble. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
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