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Lucky

Written by: Jonathan Allen,Amie Parnes
Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
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Publisher's Summary

The inside story of the historic 2020 presidential election and Joe Biden’s harrowing ride to victory, from the number-one New York Times best-selling authors of Shattered, the definitive account of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Almost no one thought Joe Biden could make it back to the White House - not Donald Trump, not the two dozen Democratic rivals who sought to take down a weak front-runner, not the mega-donors and key endorsers who feared he could not beat Bernie Sanders, not even Barack Obama. The story of Biden’s cathartic victory in the 2020 election is the story of a Democratic Party at odds with itself, torn between the single-minded goal of removing Donald Trump and the push for a bold progressive agenda that threatened to alienate as many voters as it drew. 

In Lucky, New York Times best-selling authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes use their unparalleled access to key players inside the Democratic and Republican campaigns to unfold how Biden’s nail-biting run for the presidency vexed his own party as much as it did Trump. Having premised his path on unlocking the Black vote in South Carolina, Biden nearly imploded before he got there after a relentless string of misfires left him freefalling in polls and nearly broke. 

Allen and Parnes brilliantly detail the remarkable string of chance events that saved him, from the botched Iowa caucus tally that concealed his terrible result, to the pandemic lockdown that kept him off the stump, where he was often at his worst. More powerfully, Lucky unfolds the pitched struggle within Biden’s general election campaign to downplay the very issues that many Democrats believed would drive voters to the polls, especially in the wake of Trump’s response to nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd. Even Biden’s victory did not salve his party’s wounds; instead, it revealed a surprising, complicated portrait of American voters and crushed Democrats’ belief in the inevitability of a blue wave.

A thrilling masterpiece of political reporting, Lucky is essential listening for understanding the most important election in American history and the future that will come of it. 

©2021 Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (P)2021 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“[B]lunt, insidery talk is the lifeblood of Lucky...a brisk and detailed account of the 2020 presidential race [with] memorable and telling insider moments.” (The Washington Post)

“We are blessed once again in the modern era with great writing duos and our viewers are looking at one of them. This is the book.... You think you know the story until you read this.” (Brian Williams, MSBNC) 

Lucky is nothing if not clear-eyed.... [The authors’] take on Biden is a prism and scorecard that gives added understanding to the seemingly never-ending war of 2020. It makes the silent parts of the conversation audible and reminds the reader the past is always with us.” (The Guardian)

What listeners say about Lucky

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Solid Read

Probably moves too quickly during the general election portion, but it is important pre-primary and primary season background for any political hacks wanting to understand the 2020 election.

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Fascinating

Engrossing, well researched investigation into the 2020 US Presidential campaign. Good narration, interesting perspective and analysis.

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  • Christopher K Phillips
  • 2021-03-20

Some interesting inside stories

It's a well researched book and I found it interesting all the way through. Being somewhat of a political nerd, a lot of the details I already knew but there were some interesting tidbits that were new to me.

Here's my problem with the book. I feel as though the writers didn't like writing about this. It seemed to pain them to talk about any of it. They also seem to dislike every single person they wrote about, from the lower level Biden staff all the way to the stars of the Democratic party and almost every candidate in the Democratic primary... All of them are either power hungry, selfish, egotistical, lazy, lacking in imagination, difficult to work with, demanding or disorganized etc... They're all bad and the Trump people are even worse. The only person they did not disparage was Pete Buttigieg. I'm not kidding, they hate everyone but even with that, they struggled to paint Joe as a bad person. Theres also a twinge of sexism in their portrayal of Kamala Harris in my opinion. They end the book with so much negativity it's almost comical. There's no big message at the end other than everyone sucks

19 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-04-07

Take with a grain is fault.


Normally I love books about the chaos and rush of political campaigns. But as Luck would have it, the clear anti-Trump bias puts this book in the category of “hit piece.” Makes it far less interesting than an author(s) who hides their voting record. I vote on PASS.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anne Brown
  • 2021-04-25

Deep dive inside...

Found myself feeling the suspense all over again. Extremely well done. Real appreciation for campaign leaders.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Richie Rich
  • 2021-03-27

Reads like a suspense thriller!

Even though at this point we know what the outcome is going to be, nonetheless you’ll be biting your nails as the election tallies slowly roll in state by state. The authors have captured well the personalities of the key players especially the presidential candidates themselves. I appreciated that even though Trump is so often his own caricature, the authors themselves never caricature the ex-president or Republicans. I hope Democrats keep in mind how close this election was and how lucky their candidate, so as not to lose the second round.

4 people found this helpful

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  • mr kieran j murphy
  • 2021-04-08

an interesting book

this is really interesting. spends more time looking start of campaign than general campaign but still good.

3 people found this helpful

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  • M. M. Hong
  • 2021-04-01

Great book if you are crazy about politics

So interesting. Enjoyed the look into the different campaigns and styles. End felt rushed but maybe I was left just wanting more. Is there a sequel coming?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Zuniga
  • 2021-03-15

Very engaging political history

Well written deep dive tht digests the last insane couple of years in a way that didn't feel pandery or hyper critical. Really fun insider nuggets for political wonks.

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  • JOSEPH E DITTO
  • 2021-07-06

Excellent insider peek

Awesome look at the inside of the campaign. Hilarious from start to finish. Warning: lots of profanity.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 2021-07-01

good information and well presented

a political and social experiment no one wanted to know was true...but it is

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2022-07-04

Entertaining and Invigorating

As someone who's read many books on campaigns, this one is one of the most exciting I've read. I reads more like a fast pace John Grisham thriller than it does political book. what I found most interesting is the incredible insight it gives into the relationships and interactions between prominent people that we normally only through speeches and TV appearances. but this book shows who they really are, their hopes, fears, and insecurities and how they handle the stress of one of the most stressful undertakings a human can endure