... many fascinating insights and tidbits ... Laurinson’s research and ability to get candid responses from his anonymous subjects is impressive. While academic in tone, the book is accessible and well written ... For readers wanting a glimpse into the closed club of political campaign consultants.
The author strikes a fairly even balance between Democrats and Republicans ... Laurison’s conclusions are interesting, but his own views occasionally distract from his reasoned analysis. Because he clearly loathes Trump and dislikes those who support him, he offers little examination of his 2016 campaign. If nothing else, Trump’s tactics—as dirty as they were—serve as intriguing examples of a successful insurgency campaign. Nevertheless, Laurison makes many important points about how politics reached its current state and where it might go from here ... With the midterm elections looming, this detailed study of how campaigns work shines valuable light into dark corners.
This illuminating insider’s view of American politics spotlights—and forcefully critiques—the largely unrecognized role played by campaign operatives ... Though somewhat repetitive, Laurison’s case for how current campaign practices undermine democracy is detailed and persuasive. Readers will learn much from this peek behind the political curtain.