"Stand for Something", by John Kasich

Brian Gongol

One-paragraph review: John Kasich is an impressive individual with a pretty remarkable political resume (with stints in Congress and as governor of Ohio) and a lot of good to contribute to the way government works. Unfortunately, that isn't reflected especially well in this book, released in 2006. It hasn't aged particularly well (Kasich places several individuals on a pedestal who have had dramatic falls from grace in the years since), and it reads mostly as an apologia for "old-fashioned values" that aren't always as good as the "good old days" myth would have us believe. But the real shortcoming of the book is that it reads exactly like Kasich speaks -- in fact, too much so. Most of the time, it's a credit to a writer that their written words flow like their speech, but "Stand for Something" reads almost exactly as though it was dictated by Kasich in his full-strength "aww, shucks" mode. He's clearly a man capable of something more sophisticated than that.

Verdict: Certainly not the worst political memoir/position book ever written, but definitely not as strong as Kasich's actual record