With his more than forty years’ experience observing people and politicians in our nation's capital–ten of those years on Hardball, five nights a week–Chris Matthews has learned from the pros what it takes to be a success. Now Matthews shows us what we can learn from the world’s most accomplished people and, more important, how we can emulate their best habits to improve our own lives.
In The Hardball Handbook, Chris Matthews focuses on four areas–friendship, rivalry, reputation, and success–and shows how we can cull the best traits of others and use them ourselves. Matthews takes us on a raucous road trip through political history and points out the best–and worst–behaviors of some of its most notable characters. Written in the assertive, good-natured style that is Matthews’s trademark, each chapter has something to teach us. Here are a few truths from The Hardball Handbook:
• People would rather be listened to than listen.
• People don’t mind being used; what they mind is being discarded.
• People are more loyal to the people they’ve helped than the people they’ve helped are loyal to them.
• Not everyone’s going to like you.
• No matter what anybody says, nobody wants a level playing field.
Once you understand these and other universal truths–and how to make them work for you–you’ll be ready to win at life.
During his decades in Washington, MSNBC newsmagazine host Matthews has collected plenty of insight into the "fine art" of "getting people to do what you want them to." While fondly recounting his climb from Capitol Hill police officer to presidential speechwriter for Jimmy Carter to Washington bureau chief for the San Francisco Examiner and beyond, Matthews presents a ladder-climbing narrative meant to inform and inspire. Admonishing readers that no one wants to hear your ideas unless you force them to, Matthews shows readers how to get into the game (any game) and face the risks involved: "The more failure you can accept, the greater your chance of success." Examining political figures from Bill Clinton ("the best politician I've ever seen) to Zell Miller (who famously challenged Matthews to a duel on national television), Matthews reveals how "the ability to deal with people" is paramount. Divided (without explanation) into the sections indicated in his subtitle, Matthews provides anecdotes and analysis, as well as a useful (if not exactly surprising) "Bottom Line" at the end of each chapter ("To win the contest, you first have to be a contestant," "rivalry is as normal as friendship," etc.). Fans will find Matthews's honest approach and hard-nosed rhetoric intact, and those turned off by the Hardball host's loudmouth on-air style may find his print incarnation an insightful, erudite alternative.
I bought this book after watching him brilliantly debunk a conservative talk show host on Bill Maher. That was around 10 last night. It's now 7 am, and I just finished reading it cover to cover. It's that good. Thank you Chris. When the bug takes me to the place where I can publish a book, you'll be in it as one of my role models. Keep 'em coming!