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American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bushby Kevin P. Phillips
"Phillips...has written a dark, sprawling, provocative, sometimes almost paranoid book — which is not to say that its most troubling conjectures can't be true. He assembles a wide array of evidence to show how, over four generations, the Walker-Bush clan has been on the front line of the rise of the military-industrial-intelligence complex, the ever-growing national security state that its fourth-generation heir just happens to run today." Joan Walsh, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Nowhere does Phillips better illustrate the significance of W's move to fundamentalist Christianity than in recounting the different social philosophies of the two Bush Presidents....Does all of this add up to a sound case for a dynasty? Unfortunately not....Kevin Phillips tries to establish a kind of guilt by association and often comes perilously close to diatribe." Robert R. Sullivan, The Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
Synopses & Reviews
The Bushes are the family nobody really knows, says Kevin Phillips. This popular lack of acquaintance — nurtured by gauzy imagery of Maine summer cottages, gray-haired national grandmothers, July Fourth sparklers, and cowboy boots — has let national politics create a dynasticized presidency that would have horrified America's founding fathers. They, after all, had led a revolution against a succession of royal Georges.
In this devastating book, onetime Republican strategist Phillips reveals how four generations of Bushes have ascended the ladder of national power since World War One, becoming entrenched within the American establishment — Yale, Wall Street, the Senate, the CIA, the vice presidency, and the presidency — through a recurrent flair for old-boy networking, national security involvement, and political deception. By uncovering relationships and connecting facts with new clarity, Phillips comes to a stunning conclusion: The Bush family has systematically used its financial and social empire — its "aristocracy" — to gain the White House, thereby subverting the very core of American democracy. In their ambition, the Bushes ultimately reinvented themselves with brilliant timing, twisting and turning from silver spoon Yankees to born-again evangelical Texans. As America — and the world — holds its breath for the 2004 presidential election, American Dynasty explains how it happened and what it all means.
"It's solid, well-researched and thoughtful. Along with The Price of Loyalty...American Dynasty deserves to be taken seriously by every American who plans to vote in November, whether Republican or Democrat." Rocky Mountain News
"Phillips's own status as a former Republican...boosts the force of his argument substantially. Not all readers will share Phillips's alarmist response to the Bush 'dynasty,' but his book offers an important historical context in which to understand the rise of George W." Publishers Weekly
"There are many Bush-bashing books out there....[This one] is more wide ranging, more scholarly, and in many ways, more disturbing....[It] will generate much debate in the coming months." Ilene Cooper, Booklist
"Mr. Phillips is eloquent on the continuing fallout of American decisions, beginning in the 70's, to pour huge amounts of armaments into the tinderbox of the Persian Gulf and Middle East, into countries 'menaced by religious and resource conflicts.'" Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Phillips paints a portrait that can only be deeply disturbing to anyone concerned about how power is now gained and maintained in this country ? American Dynasty is an important, troubling book that should be read everywhere with care, nowhere more so than in this city." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"Phillips' book is complex but well-documented. Critical as it is of the Bushes, it's not a hatchet job. It's a call to thinking about all politics, and not just the 'American dynasty' of the Bushes." Kansas City Star
"This book is not pleasant bedtime reading, but a bill of particulars for a prosecutor seeking a criminal indictment....Phillips has plenty of information in his angry indictment..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Phillips' book should be of enormous interest for its expert elucidation of one prominent American family's history in the unfolding of 20th century politics." San Francisco Chronicle
"Phillips has compiled many fascinating facts but not always rigorously assessed them. Mixed in are too many speculative scraps." Los Angeles Times
"[I]nformed and lively....If some of Phillips' conclusions are stronger than others, it is not hard to see how he arrived at them." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
"American Dynasty is so sober and steeped in learning that readers will wonder how President Bush, or any man's family, could stand this depth of exposure....[It] is as depressing as it is brilliant and important." Chicago Sun-Times
Book News Annotation:
In this New York Times bestseller, a commentator who is a former Republication and White House strategist traces four generations of the Bush family in the context of the "dynastization" of America. Phillips explores the elite Bush-Walker family's longstanding ties to Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. Appended material probes further into their early armaments deals and the current President's patterns of deception. The book is dedicated to President Eisenhower.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A former Nixon White House strategist, Phillips details the making of the Bush family dynasty across four generations, documenting how it has perfectly exemplified many of the growing trends in American political life and how it has touched virtually all the major "Establishment" bases, from Andover to Yale, Wall Street, the CIA, the Senate, and the White House. Phillips is the bestselling author of The Politics of the Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy.
The contrarian historian and analyst upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution
In 1775, iconoclastic historian and bestselling author Kevin Phillips punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution. He suggests that the great events and confrontations of 1775andmdash;Congressandrsquo;s belligerent economic ultimatums to Britain, New Englandandrsquo;s rage militaire, the exodus of British troops and expulsion of royal governors up and down the seaboard, and the new provincial congresses and hundreds of localand#160; committees that quickly reconstituted local authority in Patriot handsandshy;andmdash;achieved aand#160; sweeping Patriot control of territory and local government that Britain was never able to overcome.and#160; These each added to the Revolutionandrsquo;s essential momentum so when the British finally attacked in great strength the following year, they could not regain the control they had lost in 1775.
Analyzing the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class, Phillips tackles the eighteenth century with the same skill and insights he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics.and#160; The result is a dramatic narrative brimming with original insights. 1775 revolutionizes our understanding of Americaandrsquo;s origins.
The Bushes are the family nobody really knows, says Kevin Phillips. This popular lack of acquaintanceandmdash;nurtured by gauzy imagery of Maine summer cottages, gray-haired national grandmothers, July Fourth sparklers, and cowboy bootsandmdash;has let national politics create a dynasticized presidency that would have horrified America's founding fathers. They, after all, had led a revolution against a succession of royal Georges.
In this devastating book, onetime Republican strategist Phillips reveals how four generations of Bushes have ascended the ladder of national power since World War One, becoming entrenched within the American establishmentandmdash;Yale, Wall Street, the Senate, the CIA, the vice presidency, and the presidencyandmdash;through a recurrent flair for old-boy networking, national security involvement, and political deception. By uncovering relationships and connecting facts with new clarity, Phillips comes to a stunning conclusion: The Bush family has systematically used its financial and social empireandmdash;its "aristocracy"andmdash;to gain the White House, thereby subverting the very core of American democracy. In their ambition, the Bushes ultimately reinvented themselves with brilliant timing, twisting and turning from silver spoon Yankees to born-again evangelical Texans. As Americaandmdash;and the worldandmdash;holds its breath for the 2004 presidential election, American Dynasty explains how it happened and what it all means.
About the Author
Kevin Phillips has been a political and economic commentator for more than three decades. A former White House strategist, he is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and NPR and writes for Harper's and Time. His books include the New York Times bestsellers The Politics of Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy.
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