New Book Seeks to Debunk Myths About Palin

Despite her image as a polarizing figure and her penchant to provoke fervent support or intense hatred, the real Sarah Palin is a "complicated person" who isn't as dumb as her opponents say or as transcendent as her supporters believe, according to a new book.

"Sarah From Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar" was authored by CBS News reporter Scott Conroy and former Fox News producer Shushannah Walshe, who covered Palin on the vice presidential campaign trail last year.

The book was released Tuesday -- almost one year after Barack Obama and Joe Biden defeated John McCain and Palin, and weeks before the former Alaska governor releases her autobiography, "Going Rogue: An American Life."

"It's the good, the bad and the ugly," Walshe told "Everything is there."

Though Palin failed to make history as the first female vice president, the election turned her into a favorite among conservatives, an object of tabloid gossip and a national celebrity -- one who refuses to leave the spotlight despite resigning as governor earlier this year.

In the book released Tuesday, Conroy and Walshe cover Palin's rise to stardom and how it poisoned her alliance with state Democrats when she returned to Alaska, effectively leading to her resignation.

The book also reveals behind-the-scene stories of the presidential campaign, including the war between camps of McCain and Palin -- culminating with Palin's failed attempt to deliver the concession speech on Election Day -- and new details about her much-reported shopping spree for clothes.

To tell their story, Conroy and Walshe drew on their experiences as campaign reporters and conducted interviews with key sources, including Palin's parents, Republican aides and strategists and former McCain campaign staff.

The authors said they faced intimidation tactics from Palin aimed as driving them out of the state as they worked on the book.

Walshe said she and Conroy decided to author the book on Election Day when they learned how strained the relations between the McCain and Palin camps were.

Another factor, Walshe said, was a desire to write a "fair book" that portrays her as a "three-dimensional figure."

Palin isn't an "idiot" as some of her opponents labeled her and she's not a saint as some of her supporters believe, Walshe said. "She's a complicated person like we all are. This book illuminates that."