Review of Hardball by Chris Matthews Essay

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Review of Hardball by Chris Matthews

Before I started reading the book Hardball, by Chris Matthews, I had a preconceived idea of what the content of this book would be. From the title of the book I drew the conclusion that Matthews would write more about the darker side of politics and how it is 'really' played. I don't really know much about politics, and frankly, I don't care much for politics. However, when I hear the word hardball in the context of politics, I think of blood shed. I think of dirty tricks and blackmail and money changing hands in dark places. I even think of the mafia to some degree when I hear the word hardball. Perhaps my notion of hardball was a bit more than what Chris Matthews describes in his book. After
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The content of this book is best described on page 17 where Matthews describes speaking to a congressman in the Democratic cloakroom about writing the book. "Quietly, I confided to one of the members that I was writing a book about the rules of politics, including all the tricks I had overheard in the off-the-record hideaways like this. He look at me, a crease of pain crossing his forehead, and said with dead seriousness, 'Why do you want to go and give them away?" By describing the concern of this individual, Matthews conveys to the reader that he's actually going to give detailed accounts of how politicians operate in Washington. The congressman is concerned about what the public would think if they had detailed knowledge of how politicians operate, and that's actually the most compelling reason for reading this book.
Matthews relates a myriad of examples of how some of today's most successful politicians rose to the top. The successful politicians are those who learned how to play hardball. They learnt that there were other people besides themselves on the playing field and that when you throw ball in the game of politics, someone is going to be on the other side to catch it and throw it back, and you must be ready for it. This is perhaps most evident in the section of the book called ''Enemies,'' where Matthews describes "the rule of power: Keep your enemies in front of you,'' as President Reagan did by appointing James A. Baker his first White