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The West Wing: The Official Companion [Paperback]

Warner Bros.
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 8 2002 Pocket Books Media Tie-In
A dark-horse candidate comes from behind to win his party's nomination. As if to spite the pollsters and talking heads, the frank and brilliant former governor, Jed Bartlet, captures the White House to become President of the United States. Surrounding himself with the best and the brightest, the president chooses his staff from the team responsible for putting him in the White House. Leo McGarry, the president's oldest friend -- and the man who convinces Bartlet to run -- is named chief of staff. One of the most powerful men in his party, Leo presides over the West Wing of the White House with a firm hand and a fatherly tone. With uncanny prescience, Leo puts his faith in Toby Ziegler, the only original staff member to make it through the campaign. Despite six previous failures, Toby's work along with a new team of friends and strangers, helps get Bartlet nominated and elected. Now, as the communications director for the White House, Toby holds an important role in crafting the president's word. Using the power instilled in him as an old family friend, Leo McGarry brings Josh Lyman to the campaign with a simple request to come hear Jed Bartlet speak. In a VFW hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, the skeptical Josh does come and is amazed to finally find a candidate to believe in. Convinced that the man should be president, Lyman gets his friend Sam Seaborn to quit his job at a major law firm where he is about to become a partner and join Bartlet's campaign. Gladly serving at the pleasure of President Bartlet, Sam is now the White House deputy communications director and his friend Josh is the deputy chief of staff. Two men from different backgrounds from opposite ends of thecountry are united not just by friendship but by their devotion to the president. "Is Jed Bartlet a good man?" is all that C.J. Cregg wants to know before she agrees to work for him. Toby Ziegler's assurance is all she needs to hear. In an age where the news cycle can last mere seconds, C.J. is the press secretary to the most demanding pool of reporters in the world, the White House Press Corps. With a staff of more than 1,100 people, the West Wing overflows with offices and personnel. Although the upper echelon provides the very public face of the White House, a support staff of hundreds regularly carries out the duties of the executive branch of the government. Filling these desks are numerous aides and assistants, like Donna Moss, who started working for Josh Lyman during the nomination campaign and is now "deputy-deputy chief of staff." Among her many responsibilities is to make sure that her boss is on time for meetings and fully prepared -- which sometimes means making sure that he is dressed. While the White House is very much a public institution, there is one man in particular whose job requires him to be either an imposing figure or totally invisible, often at the same time. Charlie Young, personal aide to the president, truly determines who has access. Among the many tasks laid out before this brilliant young man, he is first and foremost the keeper of the schedule. These people, and a staff of hundreds more, lead America from the most privileged office in the world, from inside THE WEST WING Step inside the Bartlet Administration in this richly detailed, perfectly imagined official companion to television's most sophisticated dramatic series, "TheWest Wing. Created by Aaron Sorkin, "The West Wing won nine Emmy(R) Awards, the Humanitas Prize, the Peabody Award, and three Television Critics Association Awards in its first season alone -- and is acclaimed for its superb writing, marvelous portrayals by a stellar cast, and an intelligent, authentic depiction of White House life. Now, the show that has set television's new standard brings you this insider's guide -- which not only presents fascinating details into how groundbreaking television is made, but captures the colorful world of "The West Wing and the nation's capital under the Bartlet Administration. The prestigious Peabody Award cited "The West Wing as "a magnificent episodic series that depicts the tension and back-room drama of presidential politics with an unusual mixture of maturity and humanity." Now, experience the excitement and authenticity of "The West Wing as never before, with this unique, in-depth tribute.

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the bar of the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel, Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) is having a drink with his friend Billy (Marc Grapey), a reporter. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jam-packed with Trivia for the Serious Wingnut July 6 2003
By Janefpl
I thumbed through this book in a bookstore and by the time I got home, I realized I had to own it and I was online ordering my own copy. This book is more than just a rehash of the first two seasons. We are treated to a real behind-the-scenes tour of what goes into filming the show. Talk about your West Wing trivia!
The asides from the actors on the characters they play are filled with gems of inside information. For instance, what do Brad Whitford and Janel Moloney think the roles of Josh and Donna are all about; how does Martin Sheen get the cast to treat him like the President and why is this adulation so important; and why is Allison Janney everyone's favorite? We are treated to a tour of the West Wing to fully understand the layout of the staff's offices and the dynamics of the characters in relationship to each other. Then, the decorations in the offices are explained, and nothing is so minor to be included by chance.
Sorkin claims he doesn't have a political agenda. He asks his staff to write a pro-con memo on each episode, and he is most comfortable when two people disagree. If the points are good, he incorporates them into the show's dialogue. You have to be a West Wing fan, and a pretty serious one at that, to fully appreciate this Official Companion, which brings to light the fine points of all that went into creating the first two seasons of this amazingly written and performed show.
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By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
I know that there is a collection of scripts from the first two season of "The West Wing," including the the Emmy Award-winning episode "In Excelsis Deo," but that only offers up a half dozen scripts. This volume is "The Official Companion" to the television series created by Aaron Sorkin and covers the first two seasons of the series in a rather interesting way. Each episode is given, on average, six pages, in which the episode is described in narrative format with choices quotations and exchanges of dialogue included. I have to admit I like this approach, because it saves fans of the show from going through dozens of pages of scripts to find their favorites lines (e.g., Sam's "This is bad on so many levels" from the Pilot episode).

These 44 episode summaries are enhanced in various ways throughout this volume. There are comments from Sorkin, the cast, and even a few real former West Wing staffers highlighted in the margins, usually talking specifically about the scene they appear next to on the page. You will also find references to alternate scenes that students of the show will find fascinating. There are even footnotes: Barlet might spare his senior staff list listing all fourteen of the punctuation marks in standard English grammar, but here they get named (along with the point that Toby only knew the last seven in the list). In between episodes at various points in the volume you will find profiles of the eight principle actors and insights into the show's creation and a photo tour of the West Wing. Consequently, "The West Wing" provides both a walk down memory lane and insights into the stories, characters, and actors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book to equal Television Jan. 4 2002
By Norma
They say that one should read the book first, then see the movie. Well, this time its the book that's living up to the show. This book is absolutely phenomenal. There are indepth recaps for each episode of Season 1 and 2. Highlights on each of the regular actors and some behind the scenes info, including a "tour" of the White House. Although I've seen each of these episodes more than once I enjoyed reading the recaps, I even found some scenes even more humurous and/or touching by reading them rather than watching them. The quotes from the Actors, Consultants, Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, John Wells and Lewellyn Wells are fantastic - they give a great insight into the behind the scense of the show and how they feel about working with each other. The pictures are phenomenal too - there are many of them, some of onscreen footage others off screen, and not just the NBC/WB promo pictures either. I can't recommend this book enough. Its a definitely must have for all who enjoy the show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! Jan. 3 2002
By A Customer
I can not recommend enough that fans get a copy of this book! After reading 'Inside the West Wing', I was a little skeptical about getting this book. I didn't want to get another book that said the same thing.
BUT OH, MY. This is such a great book! :) Absolutely filled to the brim with beautiful color pictures, interviews( original, not rehashed clips from previous interviews) with cast and crew, cast/character bios (great!), alternate/cut scenes, episode summaries (not half page summaries either. three or more pages that walk you through the episode and are fill up with quotes. Also, you can tell the person who wrote these summaries actually WATCHED the episodes!), a tour of the White House with GREAT pictures, and little facts not even the most die-hard fan knows!
There is so much in here! An alternate scene with POTUS and Donna that'll make you smile; a great quote from Emily Proctor that will make the Sam/Ainsley shippers out there cheer; banter between Richard and Allison that'll make you laugh out loud; John Spencer's take on his relationship with Margaret, and a million and one other things that'll you'll just have to see for yourself!
Get this book. I consider it a must have for any Wingnut!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The first two years of West Wing
This book is a wonderful look back on the first two years of a most interesting and enjoyable series. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2011 by David Fraser
3.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, historically evocative setting.
This book, as the official companion to the TV series, has a remarkable, historically evocative setting. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2008 by M. J. Fenn
5.0 out of 5 stars I am so hoping for a sequel to this book!
I have seen the "West Wing" books that feature scripts from selected episodes. But this book includes every episode from the first two seasons, told in story form. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by mrshvd3
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for an excellant program
This inside look at my favorite program gives a background to the characters, the storylines, and other information. A must have for all "Wingnuts" as we're called. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2003 by michael d. chlanda
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
This book is fantastic! It is beautifully set out and it has really clear pictures of the cast and the sets. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2002 by Cat
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing once over lightly.
As a WW fan I waited expectantly for what I had thought was a more in depth retelling of my favourite episodes. Read more
Published on July 16 2002 by "masonx"
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have
If you are in front of your tv every Wed. at 9 then either you have no life or are obsessed with the West Wing. Anyone who claims to be a West Wing fan must have this book. Read more
Published on June 5 2002 by "moomoo483"
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Wing Nuts!
Gives a fine overview of the first two seasons of one of the best television programs ever, along with cast bios, photos, and comments. Read more
Published on April 16 2002 by Lee Kefauver
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Bartlett Be Bartlett
This is the ultimate fan guide to the first two seasons of The West Wing! Glossy pages, detailed episode guide, character and actor biographies and a spotlight on meaningful... Read more
Published on March 17 2002 by Jenn
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any West Wing fan
What an amazing book! Compared to the other West Wing book I have, which was poorly done, this incredible anthology has great information on every episode plus commentations, for... Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2002 by Jenna
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