The Politician by Andrew Young
An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down

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"The greatest political saga, the one that has it all, that gets to the real heart of American politics, is the John Edwards story... This isn't just politics, it's literature. It's the great American novel, the kind that isn't written anymore." --Michael Wolff on John Edwards's trajectory, on

The underside of modern American politics -- raw ambition, manipulation, and deception -- are revealed in detail by Andrew Young's riveting account of a presidential hopeful's meteoric rise and scandalous fall. Like a non-fiction version of All the King's Men, The Politician offers a truly disturbing, even shocking perspective on the risks taken and tactics employed by a man determined to rule the most powerful nation on earth.

Idealistic and ambitious, Andrew Young volunteered for the John Edwards campaign for Senate in 1998 and quickly became the candidate's right hand man. As the senator became a national star, Young's responsibilities grew. For a decade he was this politician's confidant and he was assured he was 'like family." In time, however, Young was drawn into a series of questionable assignments that culminated with Edwards asking him to help conceal the Senator's ongoing adultery. Days before the 2008 presidential primaries began, Young gained international notoriety when he told the world that he was the father of a child being carried by a woman named Rielle Hunter, who was actually the senator's mistress. While Young began a life on the run, hiding from the press with his family and alleged mistress, John Edwards continued to pursue the presidency and then the Vice Presidency in the future Obama administration.

Young had been the senator's closest aide and most trusted friend. He believed that John Edwards could be a great president, and was assured throughout the cover-up that his boss and friend would ultimately step forward to both tell the truth and protect his aide's career. Neither promise was kept. Not only a moving personal account of Andrew Young's political education, THE POLITICIAN offers a look at the trajectory which made John Edwards the ideal Democratic candidate for president, and the hubris which brought him down, leaving his career, his marriage and his dreams in ashes.


About Andrew Young

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After earning a bachelors degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree at the Wake Forest University School of Law, Andrew Young was a volunteer for John Edwards’ winning campaign for U.S. Senate. Hired in 1999, Young became Edwards’ longest serving and most trusted aide. He raised more than $10 million for the politician’s various causes and played a key role in Edwards’ efforts to become President of the United States. Now a private citizen, he lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Cheri and their three children.
Published February 9, 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books. 332 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Politician

The New York Times

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“I decided that he was either the best liar in the world or he was having some sort of psychological episode.” For the record, Mr. Young says he has records of “more than 30 calls with him, Rielle, and the Westin on the day of this incident.” Mr. Young first entered Mr. Edwards’s orbit by fall...

Jan 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Politician: An Insider's ...

The New York Times

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Soon Elizabeth told him, “You’re family.” Indeed, Young himself says he was “serving as butler, personal shopper and all-around handyman for the entire family.” What Young high-mindedly terms his “devotion” — “groveling” might be more like it — to Edwards was, of course, based on the comforting ...

Feb 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Politician: An Insider's ...

BC Books

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In a book that brims with drama around every 400-dollar haircut, know-all Young tells-all in his riveting recount of the Edwards-Hunter scandal-plagued 2008 presidential campaign.

Apr 10 2010 | Read Full Review of The Politician: An Insider's ...

BC Books

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These days The National Enquirer provides a sole, solid source in all things John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.They reported in March that Edwards could face indictment for his misuse of campaign funds during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Apr 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Politician: An Insider's ...

The Wall Street Journal

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For a man whose first—and only—winning election campaign was waged against an inarticulate septuagenarian hog farmer, John Edwards made quite a splash when he arrived in Washington in 1999 as the new junior senator from North Carolina.

Jan 31 2010 | Read Full Review of The Politician: An Insider's ...

London Review of Books

‘Covering up’ doesn’t really do justice to Young’s role, which by the end included going on the run with Edwards’s mistress Rielle Hunter and their love-child (with Young’s own wife and three children in tow), having allowed Edwards to tell the press that he – Young – was the father of Hunter’s b...

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