The 2016 U.S. presidential election was very close by historial standards. With a swing of 80,000 votes this would have been a book about the second most successful presidential campaign in history. Although it is irrational to read too much into these anecodotes, Shattered still makes for very interesting reading.

The story of the campaign is told somewhat like that of a software startup: raise funding, advertise to customers, and try to beat your opponents. In a way, the competition is even more direct because you a priori which contests matter: primaries, caucauses, the party convention, and Election Day.

One theme of the book is that a division on the Democratic side was the one “that separated old-time political hustling [embodied by Bill Clinton’s ‘I feel your pain’ style] from modern data-driven vote collecting” (p. 131). Time will tell whether Democrats can overcome this disagreement to achieve electoral success.