The first review is in for my just-released nonfiction book about my campaign for Maryland delegate and a look at politics from the trenches, Don’t Knock, He’s Dead: a Longshot Candidate Gets Schooled in the Unseemly Underbelly of American Campaign Politics, and it’s a positive one.
As reviews — positive or negative — are the marketing currency for authors, I’ll take every one I can get.
The review comes courtesy of Jason Booms, a one-time political pollster and strategic communications counselor, and author of the Spartan Considerations political blog, which I followed during my campaign and referenced several times in the book.
I’m pleased Booms wrote that Don’t Knock, He’s Dead will “amuse some and infuriate others.” That’s what I was aiming for: an account that pokes fun at the foolishness and shenanigans inherent in campaigns while also illuminating the questionable ethics, incestuous bedfellows, sleazy dealings and insider scheming that characterizes much of the business and its practitioners.
Here is Spartan Considerations’ review:
So I ordered my copy of Adam Gordon Sachs’ book, “Don’t Knock, He’s Dead: a Longshot Candidate Gets Schooled in the Unseemly Underbelly of American Campaign Politics” off of Amazon a few days ago. As you may know, he ran for Delegate in Maryland’s 12th House District in 2014.
It is three parts campaign diary, one part policy tract, one part biography, and one part of musings on politics as it is practiced, nationally and in Maryland, in the modern era.
As a big fan of the political campaign journal genre, I quite enjoyed Sachs’ tome. There are so many candidates for state legislature, yet one rarely has the opportunity to hear their stories.
Clocking in at around 340 pages, it is a surprisingly quick read. The chapters are largely short and story-driven, this is a good beach book.
There are, unsurprisingly, a number of familiar names in his narrative, including this author. If you like reading about local personalities and issues, then I highly recommend “Don’t Knock, He’s Dead.”
There was one editorial decision I found curious; he chose to provide sobriquets for candidates. It isn’t challenging to decipher who is who, if you followed the race. Some nicknames are complimentary, others less so.
I suppose I should disclose that I voted for Sachs, along with two others, in the vote-for-no-more-than-three lively multi-candidate Democratic primary election. And I wrote about his campaign, as did other bloggers who are also mentioned in Sachs’ work.
Overall, this is the kind of book that makes me think Mr. Sachs is unlikely to seek elective office in the future. His observations and anecdotes will amuse some and infuriate others. It reads like an honest account of his perspective on health care, campaign finance, and politics…so, in my opinion, it’s worth picking up.