Posts From Author: moneyball

How To Win Elections & Maybe Sometimes Influence People: Jonathan Alter on Obama v Romney

The story begins in media res. The Midterms, 2010: in something of a rout, the Republican Party captures sixty-three seats in the House of Representatives, the largest number to change hands since 1948. What honeymoon there might have been for America’s forty-fourth president is definitively over. The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, published in paperback by Simon & Schuster this week, picks up the national narrative from here and takes it through to the presidential election of 2012. Jonathan Alter, its author, has covered nine presidential elections and considers 2012 to be “a hinge of history”, “a titanic ideological struggle over the way Americans see themselves and their obligations to one another” in which the battles fought go back “to the dawn of the republic”. Hefty language requires ample support, and Alter’s the writer for the job: The Center Holds is a fantastically detailed account of the 2012 presidential election. Drawing on meticulous research and interviews with more than two hundred people close to the Obama and Romney campaigns, it comes to read almost like a handbook on how (not) to win an election. One by one, Alter ticks off all the major factors that contributed to the eventual outcome while simultaneously driving […]
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Brooklyn Bounce: Jay-Z, Barclays Center, and the Return of the Nets

Everything is different. Everything is tense. Even y’all can feel, like, the intensity… Brooklyn first year. You know what I’m sayin’? Excitement… so everything is at an all-time high. I mean, at an all-time high. That goes for the referees, the ball-boys, the fans, janitors, you know what I’m sayin’? — Reggie Evans, Brooklyn Nets 2012-4 Jake Appleman’s Brooklyn Bounce: The Highs and Lows of Nets Basketball’s Historic First Season in the Borough (Scribner, 2014) is an engrossing account of the Nets’ 2012-3 season, starting with the opening of the Barclays Center and ending with the hiring of Jason Kidd, a former Net himself, as head coach in June last year. The game itself is front and centre. If you’re a Nets fan — or an ardent follower of the NBA more generally — there’s plenty here to entertain you. Appleman picks the season apart, analysing individual plays with the kind of athletic prose the best sports writing demands. He has an infectious stats-lust, both a hallmark of the Moneyball, FiveThirtyEight era we’re living in and the shibboleth that announces the true, die-hard fan. And if play-by-play fails to arouse, fear not, for Appleman also has a fine roster of supporting […]
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