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American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bushby Kevin 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
A biting analysis of the Bush family's rise to power from one of today's premier political observers.
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.
"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
A former Nixon White House strategist, Phillips details the making of the Bush family dynasty across four generations, documenting how it has exemplified many of the growing trends in American political life and how it has touched all the major "Establishment" bases. Phillips is the bestselling author of The Politics of the Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy.
A groundbreaking account of the American Revolutionand#151;from the bestselling author of American Dynasty
In this major new work, iconoclastic historian and political chronicler Kevin Phillips upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution by debunking the myth that 1776 was the struggleand#8217;s watershed year. Focusing on the great battles and events of 1775, Phillips surveys the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations of the crucial year that was the harbinger of revolution, tackling the eighteenth century with the same skill and perception he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic account brimming with original insights about the country we eventually became.
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.
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.
Table of Contents
Part I: Family, Dynasty, and Restoration
Chapter 1: The Not-Quite-Royal Family 15
Chapter 2: The Dynastization of America 51
Chapter 3: The First American Restoration 73
Part II: Crony Capitalism, Covert Operations, and Compassionate Conservatism
Chapter 4: Texanomics and Compassionate Conservatism 111
Chapter 5: The Enron-Halliburton Administration 149
Chapter 6: Armaments and Men: The Bush Dynasty and the National Security State 178
Part III: Religion, Oil, Armaments, and War
Chapter 7: The American Presidency and the Rise of the Religious Right 211
Chapter 8: Indiana Bush and the Axis of Evil 245
Chapter 9: The Wars of the Texas Succession 278
Afterword: Machiavelli and the American Dynastic Moment 320
appendix a: Armaments and the Walker-Bush Family, 1914-40 335
appendix b: Deception, Dissimulation, and Disinformation 343
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