"Going Rogue" Preview: Five Chapters Of Palin

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Sarah Palin's memoir won't be published until November 17, but Time's Mark Halperin has talked to some Palin associates who have seen copies or been briefed on its contents ahead of time. Based on those interviews, he gives a preview: only five (long) chapters; score-settling and naming of names with regards to McCain staffers she believes to have crossed her; bashing of the national news media (a staple for Palin since she entered the national spotlight); an account of how her upbringing shaped her as a maverick; the importance of faith in her life; and a "warm and personal tone, written in Palin's own voice."

Pretty much what we'd expect: it sounds like a narrative about her character, which is what her fans probably want--Palin is an intriguing figure, and, even more so than for President Obama in the early days of his presidential run, it's a cult of personality. And you had to know there would be daggers for McCain staffers. That fight's been brewing since before the election even ended, and, in all the profiles and/or hit pieces on Palin that have come out since last November, a central pillar is Palin's ferocious impulse to destroy those who attack her.

Five chapters is an interesting choice. Just from a literary standpoint, long chapters can require lots of narrative transition, weaving in and out of anecdotes--something public figures tend to avoid with shorter chapters that let them separate anecdotes without having to tie them together into a longer narrative. The form requires a strong, sustained narrative voice to carry it--which can be challenging. But we all know Palin's voice is a strong one, so perhaps it plays to her strength.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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