Joe Klein Books In Order


  1. Primary Colors (1996)
  2. The Running Mate (2000)

Non fiction

  1. Woody Guthrie (1980)
  2. Payback (1984)
  3. The Natural (2002)
  4. Politics Lost (2006)
  5. Charlie Mike (2015)

Novels Book Covers

Non fiction Book Covers

Joe Klein Books Overview

Primary Colors

Jack Stanton is a young governor but has more ambitious ideas: he wants to be President of the USA. Henry Burton can help him achieve his dream but he knows Stanton will do almost anything to win. Henry is about to discover the dark secrets in Stanton’s past and will then have to decide for himself what is right and wrong. This is not a true story but it is based on recent American Presidents. Because of this, the author has kept his name a secret. It is now also a successful film starring John Travolta.

The Running Mate

Hailed as ‘astonishingly powerful’ by The New York Times, and ‘written perfectly’ by The Washington Post, Primary Colors, with over one million hardcover copies in print, was the most talked about political novel of the past century. The brilliant portrait of a charming, ambitious, amoral young Southerner on his way to the White House struck an instantly recognizable chord, and catapulted Anonymous aka New Yorker Washington correspondent Joe Klein into the public eye as a novelist of the first rank. Now, in The Running Mate, Klein takes the reader on an exuberant, wicked, and unerringly wise political journey with Senator Charlie Martin, a decorated veteran of the war in Vietnam. The experience of combat and his easy dominance of home state politics have made Charlie fearless. He’s a hot, if occasionally reckless, political property dashing, honorable, and irreverent. And then Charlie’s life begins to fall apart. He campaigns for the presidency and fails. The wacky father of a volunteer decks him in front of the cameras; a well kept secret from Charlie’s Vietnam days is revealed; he reluctantly finds himself at the center of a friend’s cliff hanging confirmation process for Secretary of Defense…
. And Senator Martin begins to learn that politics in an era of spin, marketing, and vicious personal assaults can be as treacherous and life threatening as combat was. Finally, Charlie Martin must confront the two greatest challenges of his life a political opponent who has no scruples and a dazzling, unconventional woman who loves him but is appalled by his life’s work. Charlie’s dilemma is one that has come to haunt contemporary American politics: Is it possible to be a good politician and a good man? Can you live in the public glare and still construct a habitable life?No observer of contemporary politics has a clearer eye than Joe Klein, or can so effortlessly show the moral complexities that arise when public and private lives intertwine. Here, in his superb new novel, he takes a good man’s attempt to come to terms with the harsh new realities of the modern political arena and gives us a book that reverberates with truth about ourselves.

Woody Guthrie

Joe Klein’s biography of Woody Guthrie legend like but absolutely real and unromanticized singer and song maker ‘This Land is Your Land,’ ‘Union Maid,’ ‘The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd,’ ‘Dusty Old Dust’, who, perhaps more than anyone of our time is a true American folk hero.

The Natural

Joe Klein, best selling author of Primary Colors and one of our most brilliant political analysts, now tackles the subject he knows best: Bill Clinton. Astute, even handed, and keenly intelligent, The Natural is the only book to read if you want to understand exactly what happened to the military, to the economy, to the American people, to the country during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and how the decisions made during his tenure affect all of us today. Much has been written about Clinton, but The Natural is the first work to cut through the gossip, scandals, media hype, and emotional turbulence that Clinton always engendered, to step back and rationally analyze the eight years of his tenure, a period during which America rose to unprecedented levels of prosperity. Joe Klein puts that record into perspective, showing us what worked and what didn t, exactly what was accomplished and why, and who was responsible for the successes and the failures. We see how the Clinton White House functioned on the inside, how it dealt with the maneuvers of Congress and the Gingrich revolution, and who held power and made the decisions during the endless crises that beset the administration. Klein s access to the White House over the years as a journalist gave him a prime spot from which to view every crucial event both political and personal and he sets them forth in an insightful, readable, and completely engrossing manner. The Natural is stern in its criticism and convincing with its praise. It will cause endless debate amongst friends and foes of the Clinton administration. It is a book that anyone interested in contemporary politics, in American history, or in the functioning of our democracy, should read. From the Hardcover edition.

Politics Lost

People on the right are furious. People on the left are livid. And the center isn t holding. There is only one thing on which almost everyone agrees: there is something very wrong in Washington. The country is being run by pollsters. Few politicians are able to win the voters trust. Blame abounds and personal responsibility is nowhere to be found. There is a cynicism in Washington that appalls those in every state, red or blue. The question is: Why? The more urgent question is: What can be done about it?Few people are more qualified to deal with both questions than Joe Klein. There are many loud and opinionated voices on the political scene, but no one sees or writes with the clarity that this respected observer brings to the table. He has spent a lifetime enmeshed in politics, studying its nuances, its quirks, and its decline. He is as angry and fed up as the rest of us, so he has decided to do something about it in these pages, he vents, reconstructs, deconstructs, and reveals how and why our leaders are less interested in leading than they are in the permanent campaign that political life has become. The book opens with a stirring anecdote from the night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Klein re creates the scene of Robert Kennedy s appearance in a black neighborhood in Indianapolis, where he gave a gut wrenching, poetic speech that showed respect for the audience, imparted dignity to all who listened, and quelled a potential riot. Appearing against the wishes of his security team, it was one of the last truly courageous and spontaneous acts by an American politician and it is no accident that Klein connects courage to spontaneity. From there, Klein begins his analysis campaign by campaign of how things went wrong. From the McGovern campaign polling techniques to Roger Ailes s combative strategy for Nixon; from Reagan s reinvention of the Republican Party to Lee Atwater s equally brilliant reinvention of behind the scenes strategizing; from Jimmy Carter to George H. W. Bush to Bill Clinton to George W. as well as inside looks at the losing sides we see how the Democrats become diffuse and frightened, how the system becomes unbalanced, and how politics becomes less and less about ideology and more and more about how to gain and keep power. By the end of one of the most dismal political runs in history Kerry s 2004 campaign for president we understand how such traits as courage, spontaneity, and leadership have disappeared from our political landscape. In a fascinating final chapter, the author refuses to give easy answers since the push for easy answers has long been part of the problem. But he does give thoughtful solutions that just may get us out of this mess especially if any of the 2008 candidates happen to be paying attention.

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