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  • John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their bestselling account of the 2008 presidential election, "Game Change." In "Double Down," they apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, rendering an equally compelling narrative about the circuslike Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, "Double Down "offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier. In 2008, he believed, voters had bet on a hope; in 2012, they passed positive judgment on what he'd actually done, allowing him to avert a loss that would have rendered his presidency a failed, one-term accident. For the Republicans, on the other hand, 2012 not only offered a crushing verdict but an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance--or even extinction. "Double Down" is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of an election of singular importance.