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Only in America

by Matt Frei

Only in America Synopsis

Matt Frei, the BBC's former Washington correspondent, goes under the skin of the nation's capital to unravel the paradoxes of the world's last remaining superpower.The paperback has been fully updated to provide a unique view into the weird, wonderful and totally bizarre workings of America's political world and the 2008 Presidential election. Imagine a city so powerful that the weapons commanded from its ministries could obliterate the globe many times over and yet so vulnerable that it cannot prevent a seventeen-year-old boy from killing half a dozen of its inhabitants in a shooting spree that lasts for a whole month. A city so rich that it spends 150 million dollars a year on corporate lunches, dinners and fundraisers and yet so poor that its streets are frequently as potholed as those of any forgotten backwater in the developing world. A city that deploys more armed officers per square mile than any other in the world but has earned the title of being its country's murder capital. A city where 565 elected Congressmen and Senators are chased, charmed, cajoled and sometimes bribed by 35,000 registered lobbyists; where the most illustrious resident travels with a fleet of planes and a small army of body guards but where the mayor for twelve years was a convicted crack addict who believed that every law in his own country was racist, 'including the law of gravity'. A city that plays host to seventeen different spying agencies, employing 23,000 agents, none of whom were able to discover a plot that involved flying civilian airliners into buildings, even though the plotters had littered their path with clues. Hard to imagine? Welcome to Washington DC: the Rome of the 21st century. Matt Frei was the BBC's Washington correspondent from 2002, and now presents BBC World News America. Now fully updated to cover the longest, most expensive and most fascintating election campaign in US history, including the astonishing ascent of Barack Obama, the first election of the internet age, the rise and fall of John McCain and Sarah Palin and the new First Family. `Only in America' is a surprising and brilliant dissection of the most powerful nation on earth from its capital out.

Only in America Press Reviews

`The best correspondent of our generation.' Jon Snow `If you are searching for a book to describe the current mood in America, look no further.You would expect Matt Frei to demonstrate his skill as a brilliant reporter, but Only in America is also surprisingly funny. He moves from high politics to daily life with an engaging confidence, and he almost convinced me that it is possible to understand what they are up to.' John Sergeant `Frei navigates the capital's didactic architecture, power-brokers and influential think-tanks with the same Bill Bryson-esque sardonic humour that he applies to the White House press etiquette...While cynical of Bush's competence Frei clearly enjoys the razzmatazz that surrounds high office.' Financial Times `An excellent, quirky guide to Washington is also a memoir of America in the post 9/11 Dubya year. Frei has a felicitous turn of phrase and his observations are always insightful and sometimes extremely funny.' Sunday Express

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007248933
Publication date: 5th January 2009
Author: Matt Frei
Publisher: HarperPerennial an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 304 pages
Categories: Politics & government,

About Matt Frei

Matt Frei was the BBC's Washington correspondent from 2002 and now presents BBC World News America. Prior to that he was the BBC's Asia correspondent based in Singapore and in Hong Kong - taking up his post just before the handover to China. From 1992 to 1996 he was BBC Southern Europe correspondent in Rome, from where he covered events in Bosnia, North Africa and the Mafia. He has witnessed many dramatic events, including the fall of Berlin Wall and reported on the intifada and the Gulf War as the London foreign affairs correspondent.

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