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Conservatives Without Conscienceby John Dean
Synopses & Reviews
John Dean takes a sobering look at how radical elements are destroying the Republican Party along with the very foundations of American democracy.
John Dean's last New York Times bestseller, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, offered the former White House insider's unique and telling perspective on George W. Bush's presidency. Once again, Dean employs his distinctive knowledge and understanding of Washington politics and process to examine the conservative movement's current inner circle of radical Republican leaders — from Capitol Hill to Pennsylvania Avenue to K Street and beyond. In Conservatives Without Conscience, Dean not only highlights specific right-wing-driven GOP policies but also probes the conservative mind-set, identifying recurring qualities such as the unbridled viciousness toward those daring to disagree with them, as well as the big business favoritism that costs taxpayers billions. Dean identifies specific examples of how court packing is seeking to form a judiciary that is activist by its very nature, how religious piety is producing politics run amok, and how concealed indifference to the founding principles of liberty and equality is pushing America further and further from its constitutional foundations.
By the end, Dean paints a vivid picture of what's happening at the top levels of the Republican Party, a noble political party corrupted by its current leaders who cloak their actions in moral superiority while packaging their programs as blatant propaganda. Dean, certainly no alarmist, finds disturbing signs that current right-wing authoritarian thinking, when conflated with the dominating personalities of the conservative leadership could take the United States toward its own version of fascism.
"In his seventh book, Dean, the former Nixon legal counsel whom the FBI has called the 'master manipulator' of the Watergate coverup, weighs in with a rebuke to Christian fundamentalists and other right-wing hard-liners. A self-described Goldwater conservative (indeed, Goldwater had planned to collaborate on this book before his death), he rails against the influence of social conservatives and neoconservatives within his party. Suffused with bitterness stemming from the controversies in which he has been embroiled, Dean's book paints a thin social science veneer over a litany of mostly ad hominem complaints. Purporting to show that social conservatives and neoconservatives are, on the whole, demonstrably authoritarian, bigoted, irrational and amoral, Conservatives Without Conscience offers helpful hints such as 'Conservatives without conscience do not have horns and tails,' and evinces a telling fascination with politicians' shady book deals. Though there is clearly much to condemn in the policies and tactics Dean deplores, assailing everyone from French political theorist Joseph de Maistre to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to the chairman of Yale University's conservative association as 'Double High' social- dominance-oriented authoritarians undermines his journalistic credibility. Dean's lurid accusations may be entertaining, but they add little to the reasoned debate that Washington so sorely lacks today. (July 11)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Dean appeals to conservatives to find their consciences and to all Americans to take serious heed of what is going on in the nation. Readers of all political perspectives will find this book riveting." Booklist
"Dean never delivers a full-bodied theory about why authoritarian personalities...now form a qualitatively different threat....
"Though the book has its weaknesses...its thesis is clearly and logically established with endnotes that provide thorough documentation for the author's arguments." Library Journal
Former Nixon White House legal counsel John Dean (author of "Worse Than Watergate") takes a sobering look at how radical elements--including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Bill Frist--are destroying the Republican Party, along with the very foundations of American democracy.
On the heels of his national bestseller Worse Than Watergate, John Dean takes a critical look at the current conservative movement
In Conservatives Without Conscience, John Dean places the conservative movement's inner circle of leaders in the Republican Party under scrutiny. Dean finds their policies and mind- set to be fundamentally authoritarian, and as such, a danger to democracy. By examining the legacies of such old-line conservatives as J. Edgar Hoover, Spiro Agnew, and Phyllis Schlafly and of such current figures as Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, and leaders of the Religious Right, Dean presents an alarming record of abuses of power. His trenchant analysis of how conservatism has lost its bearings serves as a chilling warning and a stirring inspiration to safeguard constitutional principles.
About the Author
John Dean was White House legal counsel to President Nixon for a thousand days. Dean also served as chief minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee and as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Table of Contents
Conservatives Without Conscience Preface
Chapter One: How Conservatives Think
Chapter Two: Conservatives Without Conscience
Chapter Three: Authoritarian Conservatism
Chapter Four: Troubling Politics and Policies of Our Authoritarian Government
What Our Readers Are Saying
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