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The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns    by Sasha Issenberg order for
Victory Lab
by Sasha Issenberg
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

For those not totally fed up with politicians, and with reading anything that has to do with how these individuals manage to get elected to public office, this is a book that might be of interest.

It seems that each new national election ushers in changes due to technology that turns topsy turvy the entire process of managing a winning campaign. The postmortem of the past campaign provides ample proof that the entire election process is still in flux. The next go-around, the mid-term elections, will not only apply what was learned in the past Obama-Romney election but, no doubt, will utilize a net set of techniques which will purport to predict how the voter will cast his or her ballot.

Sasha Issenberg's account of how a group of academic and maverick political operatives reengineered the high-stakes campaign industry is both interesting and, for some, perhaps a bit disturbing. With volumes of behavioral psychology research in their possession, these folks, who remain largely out of the public eye, believe they can tell you how you will vote even before you have made that determination.

The author tracks and explains what these fascinating techniques are and shows how they have been put to use. First published in 2012, this trade paperback edition also carries a new afterword that examines the results of the 2012 campaign.

If you have the stomach for delving into the modern political process, this is a book you'll certainly want to read. It's a pity we haven't found an algorithm yet that will force these individuals, once elected, to do their jobs in Washington. Hopefully someone is working on it!

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