The Last Debate: A Novel of Politics and Journalism

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sharp satire of the presidential debate that changes the course of electoral politics (and the news business) forever--by Jim Lehrer, who has been a moderator of past presidential debates. The targets of this satire--religious fundamentalists, political handlers, self-important journalists, feral network programming heads--could not be more timely.
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About the author

Jim Lehrer is the author of twenty-one novels, three nonfiction books, and four plays. His work in journalism began as a newspaper reporter in Texas. He then worked for more than forty years in public television and is currently the executive editor of PBS NewsHour. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his novelist wife Kate. They have three daughters.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Nov 7, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780307824455
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Humorous / General
Fiction / Political
Fiction / Satire
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Following the enormous success of his two bestselling previous novels, White Widow and Purple Dots, Jim Lehrer takes on a new and controversial subject in this ambitious story about an American soldier who, many years after the fact, is forced to relive his harrowing experience in the Second World War.

The Special Prisoner takes its title from the designation the Japanese government gave U.S. airmen held prisoner during World War II—an indication of the severity with which these foreign devils responsible for bombing Japanese cities were to be treated. John Quincy Watson was a skilled young pilot flying B-29s over Japan when he was shot down and taken prisoner in 1945. Fifty years later, now a prominent religious figure nearing retirement, Bishop Watson believes he has long since overcome the excruciating memories of his months as a POW. But a chance sighting of the now equally elderly Japanese officer who repeatedly tortured him instantly transports the Bishop back to that unendurable time, and he finds himself overwhelmed by an un-controllable desire for vengeance. The result for Watson is both a vivid return to the horrors of his past and the triggering of a new series of events that are also horrific—and tragic.

Engaging and emotionally poignant, The Special Prisoner delves into the complicated issue of war guilt and forgiveness, starkly portrayed in the characters of an officer from a country that refuses to admit any wrongdoing and a clergyman who is committed to a belief that to forgive is divine. This is new and controversial territory for Lehrer, and he treats it with passion and respect, while writing in the highly readable, engaging style that is his trademark. This fascinating story of what's fair in war—and what's fair afterward—is a dramatic new novel from the veteran Washington author and newscaster.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jim Lehrer's Tension City.
With an update by the author for the 2012 election.
 
A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain. In this paperback edition, he also offers his expert analysis of the 2012 Republican primary debates.
 
Asked to sum up his experience as a participant in high-level televised debates, President George H. W. Bush memorably likened them to an evening in “tension city.” In Jim Lehrer’s absorbing account, we find out that truer words were never spoken.
 
“A brisk and engaging memoir.”—The Washington Post
 
“Enthralling . . . remarkable . . . a wonderful political memoir.”—Bookreporter
 
“A really good read . . . [There is] no debating quality of Jim Lehrer’s book.”—Associated Press
 
“Jim Lehrer is a national monument, and this riveting book shows how he became America’s moderator.”—Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage
 
“A political junkie’s backstage pass.”—The Capital Times
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