Official Review: Checkmate - One Man's Fight Against Poli...

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DancingLady
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Official Review: Checkmate - One Man's Fight Against Poli...

Post by DancingLady » 04 May 2018, 07:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Checkmate - One Man's Fight Against Political Corruption" by Steven W. Kraus.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever wondered where phrases like "Drain the Swamp" and "Sewer Politics" come from? If so, then Steven W. Kraus's memoir, Checkmate, is for you. This 276-page book is a quick read and one of the most engaging works of non-fiction I have ever read. Kraus gives his readers an inside view of Ohio state politics and the corruption running rampant below the surface. After providing some brief biographical information about his upbringing and earlier life, the narrative focusses on Kraus's entrance into Ohio state politics and the legal trouble he faced and continues to face at the time of this book's publication.

Kraus began his political career with a desire to do the right thing and make a positive impact for the future of his country. When he was elected, his win upset the establishment. What followed was an intricate plot by a deeply interconnected power structure that included members of multiple branches of government. This story is true but it sounds like something out of a novel. The degree to which government officials can manipulate the system is truly mind-blowing.

Like any great work, the excellent style and flow of this book are some of the qualities that stood out to me. I found myself breezing through page after page, effortlessly maintaining my reading pace. I appreciate the author's honestly as he describes his experience and perspective. While the subject of this book revolves around the political system, the issues of corruption brought to light cross party lines and should be of concern to Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and minor party members alike. I was also impressed with how well Kraus kept political issues not directly relevant to this story out of the narrative. This tremendously increased the value of this book in my assessment because the reader does not need to hold the same political opinions as the author in order to understand and benefit from this book.

Through this book, I learned what the "swamp" is and what they are capable of doing to maintain their power. I did find the sections listing legal timeline details a bit dull to read, but those who are more knowledgeable about legal practice and court procedures may find this information valuable to understanding the case. Some readers may be annoyed by the references to Donald Trump, however, the statements referenced are relevant to the story and, at least in my opinion, did not come across as a general endorsement.

This book deserves nothing less than 4 out of 4 stars. In addition to being exceptionally well written, fascinating, and informative, the editing is nearly flawless. I found only one missing word an one tiny formatting error. I highly recommend this book to all voting citizens of the United States of America, especially those who are concerned about corruption in any level of government.

******
Checkmate - One Man's Fight Against Political Corruption
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Post by cpru68 » 07 May 2018, 05:35

I just finished a political themed non-fiction book, and this one sounds like a excellent follow up for me to engage in. I think whatever involves money and politics is always going to have a crookedness to it. However, exposure so we all know what’s going on might dismantle some of it. I hope. It sounds like the author did a great job on this one. When you say you breezed through each page, that says a lot! Most books of this nature can be so intricate that the reader isn’t able to take it in so easily. All of the above sounds tempting to this reader! Thanks for this review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 May 2018, 07:29

Politics is definitely not my cup of tea. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy this one, but I just don't think I could get through it. And I haven't heard of sewer politics, but isn't that ALL of it?? :)
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Post by Jkhorner » 07 May 2018, 08:16

I was also impressed with how well Kraus kept political issues not directly relevant to this story out of the narrative.
This truly is impressive! Politics is a scary field to the uninformed, but this sounds like an honest, fair, and informative read. Thank you for such a thorough review!

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Post by DancingLady » 07 May 2018, 10:48

cpru68 wrote:
07 May 2018, 05:35
I just finished a political themed non-fiction book, and this one sounds like a excellent follow up for me to engage in. I think whatever involves money and politics is always going to have a crookedness to it. However, exposure so we all know what’s going on might dismantle some of it. I hope. It sounds like the author did a great job on this one. When you say you breezed through each page, that says a lot! Most books of this nature can be so intricate that the reader isn’t able to take it in so easily. All of the above sounds tempting to this reader! Thanks for this review.
Now that I think about it, I think because the author is a professional speaker, (he was an auctioneer for years) his writing flows just like he is telling his story to an audience. It just has such a natural feel that when you read it your mind picks up His rhythm and goes with it.

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Post by DancingLady » 07 May 2018, 10:49

kandscreeley wrote:
07 May 2018, 07:29
Politics is definitely not my cup of tea. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy this one, but I just don't think I could get through it. And I haven't heard of sewer politics, but isn't that ALL of it?? :)
Well, I think it would be unfair to say it’s all of it, but at this point I think it is a good deal of it.

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Post by melissy370 » 08 May 2018, 19:18

As a matter of fact, I always did wonder where that phrase came from. Guess I have to read the book now. Thanks for the review.

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Post by DancingLady » 08 May 2018, 21:54

melissy370 wrote:
08 May 2018, 19:18
As a matter of fact, I always did wonder where that phrase came from. Guess I have to read the book now. Thanks for the review.
Definitely, and I’d love to see your review if you get a chance to do one.

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Post by haleygerstenberg » 15 May 2018, 11:12

I've been getting more curious lately about the workings of our political system, and if this one is engaging as you say then I'll have to give it a read. Thanks for your review.

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Post by Jamasenu » 15 May 2018, 20:54

Honesty from a politician is rare. If the author can make politics an exciting story to read, he's well on his way to being successful as an author. It's no joke how the powers that be will plot to incriminate people and will not lose any sleep over it. Hopefully, things work out for the author. I enjoyed reading your review,
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Post by teacherjh » 16 May 2018, 11:05

kandscreeley wrote:
07 May 2018, 07:29
Politics is definitely not my cup of tea. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy this one, but I just don't think I could get through it. And I haven't heard of sewer politics, but isn't that ALL of it?? :)
You took the words right out of my mouth. All I can say is "ditto".

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Post by NL Hartje » 20 May 2018, 15:43

I am generally not a political reader although I do revel in satirical political commentary. My cousin (bless his heart) has recently graduated with his poli-sci degree and taken a job working for a lobbyist in Michigan. I am going to recommend this book to him! :lol2:
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