Blurbing Paula Broadwell

In fits and starts over Thanksgiving weekend I read pieces of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. As a nonfiction author who checked her Amazon page in the tense days after pub date, I looked at Broadwell’s soaring “best-sellers rank” when the story was in the headlines (110), but as it faded, I returned just now to Amazon to find the book with a decent — I’d love to have it — ranking of 3,952; decent but not best-selling.

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And then I read the blurbs, offered by the likes of Tom Brokaw and Doris Kearns Goodwin, I’m assuming in the days before publication. In retrospect they’re hilarious; overflowing with praise — not surprising; a blurb wouldn’t be a blurb without hyperbolic acclaim — and, unfortunately for the famous blurbers, double entendres.

Here’s a sample, condensed by me:

"Gen. Petraeus is one of the most important Americans of our time, in or out of uniform.” — Tom Brokaw

“With superb narrative skill, Broadwell simultaneously provides an intimate look at Petraeus the man … ” — Doris Kearns Goodwin

All In is … informed by remarkable access to the man both on and off the battlefield." — Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down

All In feels at times like we are sitting at his side in Afghanistan, reading his emails over his shoulder." — Thomas E. Ricks, author of The Generals, Fiasco and The Gamble


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