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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us

Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
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    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262


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Patch Adam Perryman has commented on (4) products.

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
Washington: A Life

Patch Adam Perryman, January 1, 2011

Chernow's writing about the man - who has since been canonized as General, President and Founder - offers a refreshingly humane biographical of Washington, one that's astutely aware of societal expectation, driven by ego, uncertain of his nation's fate and cunningly devoted to see things through as a matter of duty. The researching is stellar and its clarity to read runs contrary to its voluminous size.
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True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy
True Compass: A Memoir

Patch Adam Perryman, January 1, 2010

True Compass isn't something that's read so much as it seems to speak to the reader with Senator Kennedy's voice providing the narration.

The first person biography, released within a week of his death, reveals many of the most recent and personal thoughts Mr. Kennedy had either offered in public or maintained in private over the 2008 election, the many events within his family's life and provides some of the most tender insights about his tragedies, setbacks and the successes throughout his political career and life.
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(5 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi
The Obama Nation

Patch Adam Perryman, September 8, 2008

Once again, Mr. Corsi offers a timely tome intent on shedding light on what he perceives as a dark figure in the current political landscape.

Filled with circular-logic, baneful syllogism and empty arguments that not even his 600+ footnotes can clarify, Obama Nation is filled with the same, tired vitriol that the author offered in his 2004 book but left for the punditry a much less pithy term to use: "Swift-Boating."

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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't by Cliff Schecter
The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't

Patch Adam Perryman, June 7, 2008

"I bought [The Straight Talk Express] once. I gave the man a campaign contribution... back in 2000, when I thought he held informed, principled positions high above the fray of partisan politics. That moderate McCain (McCain 1.0) quickly vanished in the late 1990s. Who knows what will follow?"
"This book is more than a cautionary tale. It's enough to make you vote for someone else."

Being Cliff Schecter's first book, it’s reassuring that he doesn’t focus on scrutinizing McCain’s public characteristics with malevolence. Instead, he plainly examines the senator’s frequent political maneuvers and how they have shaped and reshaped public opinion of him.

In 150 pages of clear, researched and witty language, McCain’s reinvention of himself is adeptly detailed. This book contains a gauged chronology, comprehensive voting record, direct interviews to explain why the Gentleman from Arizona’s character-shifting should be anything but polyamorous.

"As Jacob Weisberg said in Slate, there have been three McCains, so far... A conditional friend to conservatives, an appealing maverick to independents, and a noxious Bush apologist to Democrats.”

“Common opinions” of Arizona’s Senator, John Sydney McCain, III, have varied over the course of his over 25-year congressional career. However, when adding in his storied background involving Vietnam as naval aviator and Viet Cong POW, you get the makings of a complex man and an increase in the leniencies people afford him. Most of this is known to the savvy and blog-friendly folks with whom Cliff Schecter is very familiar as a contributor to the Huffington Post and MSNBC. He writes in a manner that reads as succinctly as any blog or biographical work should while not requiring a particular fancying of either as a precursor.

Any undecided voter could read this quickly and fully and come away thinking that (though biased against McCain’s campaign for President,) having respect for McCain’s past military service is not reason enough to vote for him in November. For this service in the Navy, as Schecter contends, has, “...everything to do with how [McCain] is perceived but little to do with what he has become.”

Each chapter of the book outlines particular aspects of Senator McCain’s shifting positions, demeanors and alignments among Washington groups and individuals. The summation of these marks him not as a maverick who thinks outside or inside of partisan politics, but as an opportunist and panderer who seeks only to gain every advantage that best improves his position and self-interest – even if (and sometimes specifically because) it contrasts with a previous position he’d held.

As a perfect example of McCain’s inconsistency, Schecter contrasts the signature issue of McCain’s steadfast support for the invasion of Iraq. Schecter quotes a then-Congressman (AZ: CD-1) McCain’s 1983 stance during a House debate as to whether or not Congress should authorize President Reagan to deploy troops in Beirut, Lebanon:
”The longer we stay... the harder it will be for us to leave. We will be trapped... what can we expect if we withdraw? The same as will happen if we stay.”

Congressman McCain then voted against the resolution to mobilize the Marines. Dreadfully, this did nothing to prevent 220 of them being killed only a month later. Schecter creates a basis for us to sharply contrast what a past “GOP Maverick politician” as McCain appeared to be in the 1980s, with a deeply flawed Senator McCain of today. One who writes with vitriol in The Weekly Standard of the need for a "Rouge State Rollback" or accepts money from major 527 contributors like Bob Perry of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

”Candidate McCain would have us believe that his experience and leadership will help in Iraq. But if it weren’t for McCain and his colleagues, we likely never would have gone in there.”

Schecter also hits the high points time and time again in this book. From McCain's Congressional voting record:

[Paraphrased] By March of 2008, McCain had missed 261 out of 486 votes, or 56%. Only one Senator had a worse record than this. Tim Johnson, and he had been incapacitated for months due to a brain hemorrhage.

In the end, The Real McCain is a versatile resource to call upon when confronted with those who are leaning toward McCain based on an outdated opinion of him, or for those who may have trepidation toward the Democratic Party nominee or even for voters who state they'll, "Vote for McCain before they vote for the Democrat."
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(19 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)

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