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1 Burnside American Studies- Politics

Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government

by

Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government Cover

ISBN13: 9780385517508
ISBN10: 0385517505
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Washington’s most acerbic (and feared) columnist, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, skewers the peculiar and alien tribal culture of politics.

Deep within the forbidding land encircled by the Washington Beltway lives the tribe known as Homo politicus. Their ways are strange, even repulsive, to civilized human beings; their arcane rites often impenetrable; their language coded and obscure. Violating their complex taboos can lead to sudden, harsh, and irrevocable punishment. Normal Americans have long feared Homo politicus, with good reason. But fearless anthropologist Dana Milbank has spent many years immersed in the dark heart of Washington, D.C., and has produced this indispensable portrait of a bizarre culture whose tribal ways are as hilarious as they are outrageous.

Milbank’s anthropological lens is highly illuminating, whether examining the mating rituals of Homo politicus (which have little to do with traditional concepts of romantic love), demonstrating how status is displayed in the Beltway’s rigid caste system (such as displaying a wooden egg from the White House Easter Egg Roll) or detailing the precise ritual sequence of human sacrifice whenever a scandal erupts (the human sacrificed does not have to be the guiltiest party, just the lower ranked).

Milbank’s lacerating wit mows down the pompous, the stupid, and the corrupt among Democrats, Republicans, reporters, and bureaucrats by naming names. Every appalling anecdote in this book is, alas, true.

Review:

"Mix one part freshman anthropology with nine parts Washington insider politics and you'll get this caustic sendup of 'Potomac Man.' Veteran Washington Post political reporter Milbank rummages through a bagful of (sometimes forced) ethnographic clichs — consultants and pollsters are shamans, lobbyists are the Beltway version of Melanesian Big Men — but takes none of them seriously. These pseudoscholarly conceits are just pegs on which to hang his colorful accounts of recent Washington scandals, humiliations and felonies. Many of these, like the three-ring circus surrounding superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, are well known, but the author also spotlights the everyday antics of congressmen and the behind-the-scenes skullduggery that propels the ship of state. His contempt is resolutely bipartisan, targeting both Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy for his drug-induced vehicular mishaps and Dick Cheney for concocting 'folk tales' — duly debunked by Milbank — to sell the Iraq War. Sometimes the author's derision seems knee-jerk rather than considered; when he diagnoses Democrat Harry Reid with 'Potomac-variant Tourette's syndrome' because the senator uses phrases like 'intractable war in Iraq,' one wonders about the media's role in enforcing Washington's euphemistic double-talk. Still, Milbank knows where the fossils are buried and offers a canny, entertaining field guide to the manners and misdeeds of the political species." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The story is told of an anthropologist of yore, returning from fieldwork abroad, who is asked to report on the manners and customs of the natives. 'Manners? None. Customs? Atrocious!' The location of the tribe is no longer in question, now that Dana Milbank has published 'Homo Politicus.' In his latest book, The (Washington) Post's Washington Sketch columnist reaches into the ethnographer's tool kit... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The (Bush) Administration's least favorite journalist. And it's not hard to see why." The American Prospect

Review:

"The most anti-Bush reporter currently assigned to the White House by a major news organization." National Review

Review:

"Milbank hilariously compares the beliefs and rituals of primitive cultures with things that happen every day inside the Beltway... The political-tell-all-as-cultural study conceit wears surprisingly well; Milbank's comparisons are sharp and funny enough to keep it fresh." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Dana Milbank is a Washington Post staff writer and author of the "Washington Sketch" column. He won the White House Correspondent Association's Beckman award for "repeated excellence in White House coverage" and the National Press Club award for humor writing. He was named one of the nation's top political journalists by Columbia Journalism Review.

Milbank also serves as a political analyst for MSNBC. Before joining the Post, Milbank was a senior editor of the New Republic and a staff reporter of the Wall Street Journal. Milbank also has written for the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine and other publications. He is author of Smashmouth, a book about the 2000 presidential campaign. Milbank is a graduate of Yale University, where he received his B.A. cum laude in political science. Milbank lives in Washington with his wife and daughter.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

salinasmaya, February 12, 2008 (view all comments by salinasmaya)
This book is a searing, yet humorus, look at today's politicians. It is a fast-paced fantastic read, and I have been covering chapters in between the current primaries. Milbank's take is relevant and contemporary, and it is a "must-read" for this politico, er, political season. Plus, you will get a real kick when you get to the end, and you see his reason for not including an index.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
shaw, January 3, 2008 (view all comments by shaw)
Funny, scary, true.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385517508
Subtitle:
The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government
Author:
Milbank, Dana
Publisher:
Doubleday
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Political Process - General
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Political culture
Subject:
Politicians
Subject:
Washington (D.C.) Social life and customs.
Subject:
Political culture -- Washington (D.C.)
Subject:
Political
Subject:
General Political Science
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071226
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.19x6.40x1.10 in. 1.07 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government Used Hardcover
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385517508 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Mix one part freshman anthropology with nine parts Washington insider politics and you'll get this caustic sendup of 'Potomac Man.' Veteran Washington Post political reporter Milbank rummages through a bagful of (sometimes forced) ethnographic clichs — consultants and pollsters are shamans, lobbyists are the Beltway version of Melanesian Big Men — but takes none of them seriously. These pseudoscholarly conceits are just pegs on which to hang his colorful accounts of recent Washington scandals, humiliations and felonies. Many of these, like the three-ring circus surrounding superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, are well known, but the author also spotlights the everyday antics of congressmen and the behind-the-scenes skullduggery that propels the ship of state. His contempt is resolutely bipartisan, targeting both Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy for his drug-induced vehicular mishaps and Dick Cheney for concocting 'folk tales' — duly debunked by Milbank — to sell the Iraq War. Sometimes the author's derision seems knee-jerk rather than considered; when he diagnoses Democrat Harry Reid with 'Potomac-variant Tourette's syndrome' because the senator uses phrases like 'intractable war in Iraq,' one wonders about the media's role in enforcing Washington's euphemistic double-talk. Still, Milbank knows where the fossils are buried and offers a canny, entertaining field guide to the manners and misdeeds of the political species." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The (Bush) Administration's least favorite journalist. And it's not hard to see why."
"Review" by , "The most anti-Bush reporter currently assigned to the White House by a major news organization."
"Review" by , "Milbank hilariously compares the beliefs and rituals of primitive cultures with things that happen every day inside the Beltway... The political-tell-all-as-cultural study conceit wears surprisingly well; Milbank's comparisons are sharp and funny enough to keep it fresh."
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