Readers can be forgiven for feeling a bit confused. Sarah Palin's memoir "Going Rogue: An American Life" is being published on Nov. 17, right? Yes. So what are all these other Sarah Palin books garnering so much attention?
If you have a moment, pull up a chair and I will explain.
Being released today is "Sarah from Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar" by Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe. The authors are reporters (Conroy is a digital journalist for CBS News and Walshe was a reporter and producer at Fox News) who were "embedded" on the Palin vice-presidential campaign trail. They cover Palin up through her resignation from Alaska's governorship and claim that their book portrays her as neither "a heroic everywoman or ridiculous dolt."
On Nov. 12 comes "The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star" by Matthew Continetti. Continetti is an associate editor at The Weekly Standard magazine. The book's subtitle probably tells you all you need to know about the book's political orientation but in case you're interested, Karl Rove calls it "a tough, revealing look at how the bias or habits of liberals in the media led them to assault a political figure who shared neither their values nor background." Rove also suggests that, "Whether you like Sarah Palin or not, this well-researched and meticulous volume strips the bark off influential players in journalism."
On the 17th, just as Palin's own book hits bookstores, readers will also be able to pick up "Going Rouge: An American Nightmare," a collection of essays pulled together by two senior editors at Nation magazine. Here, again, the subtitle probably tells you all you need to know about the book's angle on Palin, but if you need another clue, consider the fact that its publisher, OR Books, has a self-described “distinctive progressive edge.”
To make this all more confusing, however, is the fact that another "Going Rouge" is being published on the same day. That "Going Rouge" is a satirical coloring book by Julie Sigwart and Micheal Stinson who identify themselves as "longtime liberal activists."
Longer range, journalist Joe McGinniss ("The Selling of the President," "Fatal Vision") is currently researching his own unauthorized Palin biography.
Whether the amount of attention being focused on Palin is a good thing for the American political process is, of course, a matter for debate. What seems unarguable, however, is that it's going to be very good for a handful of publishers.