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Going Rogue: An American Life

Sarah Palin speaks out.

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Very early in Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah Palin’s memoir, the reader learns that she has had “a drive to help, an interest in government and current events since I was a little kid” and that in grade school she was fond of the Pledge of Allegiance. Ronald Reagan, one of her heroes, makes his first of numerous cameos on Page 3. Palin reveals that she was something of a bookworm growing up, and she even names several publications that she read regularly. 

Further along in Chapter 1, Palin recounts an incident, a quasi-epiphany, when the heavy hand of government first revealed itself to her, as she and her brother were pulled over by an Alaska State Trooper for driving a snowmobile on a public road: “A couple of kids on a snowmachine up against a big dude with a gun and a badge. I couldn’t help wondering about his priorities, if he really didn’t have more important things to do, like catching a bad guy, or maybe helping a poor old lady haul in her firewood for the night. Looking back, maybe that was my first brush with the skewed priorities of government.”

Perhaps as telling as what Palin asserts in her memoir – and she asserts many things, quite frequently throughout, often with few if any supporting details – is what is not mentioned until the second page of the “Acknowledgments”: “Thanks as well to Lynn Vincent for her indispensable help in getting the words on paper.” Vincent has been described officially as Palin’s “collaborator” and unofficially as a coauthor, but she doesn’t rate more than this vague description that could apply to a stenographer. It’s an odd decision by the author, who bills herself as “an everyday American” who is not driven toward “power or fame or wealth.” She is all about other people, family, friends, public service, what’s good for Alaska and America.

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