She's a real-life American success story. A small-town girl who wasn't content to keep things small. In 1996, Sarah Palin was a city councilwoman who had set her sights on becoming mayor, despite unwelcome advice that as the mother of three young children, she might not have a whole lot of success in a political career. She proved any naysayer wrong in a hurry. Ten years later, by 2006, she was the youngest governor Alaska had ever had...and the first woman. Now, still only in her mid-forties and the mother of five, she is one of the best-known women in American politics. People magazine assistant editor Lorenzo Benet met with Sarah Palin and her family just weeks before the announcement that she would be the Republican vice-presidential nominee. He spoke in depth with Governor Palin; with her husband, Todd, the ""First Dude,"" as he likes to call himself; with her children; and with other members of her extended family. Now, in a fascinating book, Benet uses skills honed as a longtime professional writer and the author of several biographies to present the intimate portrait of Sarah Palin that America has been looking for. Beginning with Palin's birth in Sandpoint, Idaho, and her family's move to Skagway and then Wasilla, Alaska, Trailblazer details the difficulties of growing up in Alaska, Sarah Palin's early successes as a basketball star and a beauty pageant contestant, and the story of her elopement with Todd Palin, whom she met at Wasilla High. It describes her career as a broadcast journalist and young mother, and gives details on her move to the political arena that has culminated in making her a household name. From staff firings in Wasilla to her controversies with the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission, from her support of Todd Palin's snow machine races to her own love for moose and caribou hunting and salmon fishing, and culminating with the almost manic excitement of the 2008 election, Lorenzo Benet has built up a detailed picture of a fascinating and extraordinarily complex woman -- an introduction to a Sarah Palin that the world is only just coming to know.