Richard Kim - going-rouge-smallIf “Going Rogue – An American Life” by Sarah Palin is the toxic fluff that promises to fill conservative Christmas stockings across the nation this book-buying season, then “Going Rouge – An American Nightmare” is  the antidote.

Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, Senior Editors at The Nation have cast the net wide and gathered a collection of existing essays and new material on Alaska’s most infamous ex-governor. The anthology is published by O/R Books, a nascent publishing venture that seeks to “embrace progressive change in politics, culture, and the way [they] do business.”

There is no way to encapsulate this book, nor summarize it in a neat paragraph or two.  It’s like a big delicious buffet spread with tempting fare from an impressive group of progressive literary chefs. Jim Hightower, Naomi Klein, Matt Taibbi, Max Blumenthal, Gloria Steinem, Frank Rich, and dozens more add their creations to the mix. Palin and her career are examined from the points of feminism, party politics, religious influence, Alaskan roots, and general mavericky roguishness.  Sprinkled throughout the serious and thoughtful reflections, are bits of humor including the involuntary poetry of Sarah Palin, “Selected Palinisms” and her Top 25 Tweets.   The best way to enjoy it is to just grab a plate and dive in.

A seamless blend of humor and horror, not unlike the woman herself, Going Rouge is a smart insightful collaboration. It came to the world on November 17, the same day that Palin’s own Going Rogue was released. Colin Robinson of OR Books said, “we realized that employing the strength of our opponents against themselves held the best, perhaps the only, chance of success. Call it the jujitsu approach to publishing. It involved positioning our book so that whenever “Going Rogue” was discussed, “Going Rouge” would be brought into the frame too. We had to become the skunk at Palin’s garden party.”   That meant not only the same release date, but a similar but wickedly satirical cover and title.  Already, typos and mistaken cover shots have appeared far and wide in the media (including switcheroos on FOX News), requiring corrections and explanations, all the while bringing more attention to the brilliant jujitsu skunk.

Originally available only online, Going Rouge is now available in some bookstores. It’s difficult to imagine that at least one or two won’t be snatched off the shelf accidentally by unwary Palinistas who aren’t paying attention, causing raised eyebrows on Christmas morning.

Today’s guests are:

Going Rouge Editor Richard Kim, a senior editor at The Nation where he writes about politics and culture.  His essays and editorials have appeared in Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Boston Herald, and other publications.  He has taught American Studies at Skidmore College and New York University.

OR Books’ co-founder Colin Robinson was until recently a senior editor at Scribner. Previously he was managing director of Verso Books and publisher of The New Press. Among the authors he has published are Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, Mike Davis, Norman Finkelstein, Eduardo Galeano, Eric Hobsbawm, Lewis Lapham, Mike Marqusee, Rigoberta Menchú, Matt Taibbi and Jann Wenner. He has written for a broad range of publications including The New York Times, The Sunday Times (London) and The Guardian (London) and has appeared on a wide range of broadcast media including NPR (“On the Media”), CNN, MSNBC, CBC and CSPAN.