As the American people inch closer to what is one of the country’s most anticipated regime changes, we look at how publishers cashed in on the political fervour and brought out some insightful, and some sensational titles this year:

‘Mike’s Election Guide 2008’ by Michael Moore.

Mike’s Election Guide 2008 by Michael Moore

Going by his films, it’s safe to say that John McCain won’t get Michael Moore’s vote. But the documentary film-maker isn’t officially taking sides yet. His new book, Mike’s Election Guide 2008, a 181-page no-holds-barred instruction manual on how to tackle the 2008 elections has Moore’s acerbic wit and flagellating humour. Look for hilarious answers to questions such as: “I’m a little light in the pocket right now. Can my vote be bought?"; “Who do Iowa and new Hampshire go first? I don’t know anyone from there"; “If Obama can’t bowl, how can he govern?", etc.

Grand Central Publishing, Rs295

The Presidential Material Comics by IDW

Barack Obama and John McCain became subjects of two illustrated comic book biographies in September. The books, published by IDW, trace the lives of both the candidates covering their triumphs and trials. Obama’s biography, for example, talks about his experimentation with “tobacco, alcohol, pot and cocaine"; and McCain’s illustrates his year as a student, his divorce and notorious temper.

‘The Audacity of Hope’ by Barack Obama.

IDW, $9.99 each (around Rs500)

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

This is the most successful book related to the 2008 US presidential elections in Indian bookstores. “Obama is by far the more popular candidate in India at least. His books are flying off the shelf. Audacity of Hope, in particular,has been one of the best-sellers for a couple of months now. None of the other books seems to have caught the Indian public’s fancy," says Madhu M., category head, Landmark bookstores.

Widely reviewed and sold, it serves as Obama’s life story as well as his manifesto. When it released in the US in the beginning of 2008, it familiarized Americans with Obama’s diverse background, his inclusive world view, his amazing work as a lawyer and his patience with even his opposing sides.

Vintage, Rs595

Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir (new edition) by John McCain

John McCain wrote this autobiography first in 1999—a long, laboured account of his family, their military achievements, and his own gruelling experiences as a prisoner of war in Vietnam—and this year, in July, in a new edition. The faith McCain

‘The Presidential Material Comics’ by IDW

Harper, Rs800

How to Rig an Election by Allen Raymond

Allen Raymond was a campaign adviser for the Republican Party before was sentenced to jail in 2002 for jamming phone lines in Connecticut in an attempt to sabotage an effort by the Democratic Party. His book is a tell-all about the ugly side of election campaigns all over the world. Written with humour, this insider’s account also reiterates the need for tough electoral reforms in the US.

Simon & Schuster, $12

The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi

So far, Jerome Corsi’s book has been the most notorious and controversial, even before its official launch. Corsi is known for his sensational political smear books — and is known not to spare anyone, be it the US government or celebrities or the media. He is famous for once having said that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian. With The Obama Nation, he tried hard to discredit Obama by manipulating facts of Obama’s life to paint a criminal-like portrait of the Democratic candidate. In the first week of October, Corsi was deported from the US before the book could be officially released.

Threshold, $28

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill

Veteran journalist Gwen Ifill, now the managing editor of Washington Week on PBS, examines the impact of Barack Obama and other young African American politicians on the country’s political landscape in her forthcoming book releasing in January 2009. She interviews politicians across the country from both sides of the political spectrum to explain why this a defining moment in American politics.

Releasing in the US in January 2009