"Abusive," "Paranoid," "Condescending crazy woman"-- those are the jaw-dropping words being used to describe Elizabeth Edwards in an explosive new book that's sending shock waves through the nation.
The book, Game Change, tears down the widely admired public image of John Edward's wife as a beloved woman bravely fighting incurable cancer, revealing that for years close campaign aides have been living with "the lie of Saint Elizabeth."
Veteran journalists Mark Halprin and John Heilemann are the book's co-authors
"The phrase would come back again and again, that there was no person in American life where the gap between their public image and the private reality was as great as it was with Elizabeth Edwards," say the authors.
The authors continue, saying, "Behind the scenes, we show in our book, there's a different Elizabeth Edwards. One who was very tough on her husband, very tough on the people around them. Very demanding."
Elizabeth is described in the book as "brutally dismissive" of her husband, calling him a "hick" in front of others and constantly let him know that she "regarded him as her intellectual inferior." The book also reveals that the Elizabeth had a meltdown when the National Enquirer broke the story about John Edward's affair with Rielle Hunter.
"She, in a state of total fury and disorientation, she rips off her blouse and yells at her husband, "Look at me," as if to say 'I'm a person too, I can't believe you're doing this to me.' "
The stories about Elizabeth Edwards come on the heels of another firestorm sparked by Game Change. Morning shows were buzzing about the book's revelation that Senate majority leader Harry Reid described Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign as a "light-skinned" African American "with no negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
Reid called the President to apologize for the remark.
The book's authors are also claiming that Bill Clinton was having an affair in 2006, "not a frivolous one-night stand but a sustained romantic relationship."
"People closest to Hillary Clinton determined, yes, there was a woman he'd been rumored to have linkage to. A personal relationship. They determined in their view that it was true. They took it to Hillary Clinton and for the rest of the campaign they were on guard. Would this come out and destroy her candidacy," said the authors.
For an excerpt from the book Game Change, click on the link at the top of this story.