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Review, by Luke Akehurst

Cover of The Political Campaigning Handbook by Lionel Zetter "I was won over before I even got past the acknowledgements page by Lionel's self-deprecating anecdote about being cheered by Labour supporters for having been chair of the Enfield Southgate Tories at the time of Michael Portillo's famous drubbing by Stephen Twigg. The book is sensibly structured, using the US terms 'air war' (i.e. strategy, planning, media) and 'ground war' (tactics, grassroots campaigning). Zetter treads a careful line between providing enough interesting material to make his book of interest to election veterans, without giving away any of the inner secrets of the Tory agents' training school. Overall, I would recommend that those PA practitioners who join the profession without grassroots political experience (there are a few) read it as a crash-course in what happens in elections. For those of you with election junkies in the family, this is cheap enough to make a great Christmas stocking filler. It's short enough for even the busiest consultant or campaigner to read in one or two sittings (maybe on the train to a by-election or a hustings meeting?). Personally, I'll be making this compulsory reading for any candidates that I am agent for. If they win, they can thank Mr Zetter, former chairman of the Enfield Southgate Tories, in their acceptance speeches."


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