Sarah Palin's speech tonight at the GOP Convention will be the first opportunity for most Americans to get to know her. Ever since Aug. 29, when the McCain campaign announced it had chosen Palin, the presumptive vice-presidential nominee has been too busy to meet with the press (exception: a People magazine exclusive interview and photo opportunity posted online minutes after the announcement).
But don't despair. In April, Epicenter Press, a small Seattle-based company, published for the Alaska market a 156-page biography of Palin titled Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down. Author Kaylene Johnson twice interviewed the governor while writing the book. In it, we learn that "Sarah shot her first rabbit at age ten" (Page 3) and that her brother, Chuck Heath Jr., says one of Palin's strengths is "being able to hold her tongue when she's been unfairly attacked" (Page 9). Some journalists have complained that the book "lacks depth," but it's the only volume out there and therefore, if only by default, essential reading for political junkies. Those who can't wait for their order to arrive (Epicenter is straining to catch up to demand) can read the first chapter, "Growing Up Sarah," below and on the following eight pages. Reprinted with permission from Epicenter Press.
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