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A US presidential election is, quite simply, the greatest show on Earth. In the battle to occupy the most important seat in the world, in which power can be bought and sold, forces on either side hoodwink the public and claim their political victims. Witness the age of the Palin Effect. An extraordinary exposé of the political depravities and media proliferated inequalities of the entire electoral process, The Palin Effect sheds light on an ugly phase of American politics hell bent on slander and spurious belittling. Revealing an increasingly greedy war based on class, sex and money, former Fox News and BBC journalist Shana Pearlman looks at what motivates the protagonists in the electoral circus – the media, the people, the money, the candidates themselves – and wonders how free this star-spangled land really is.