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Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving the Liberals Insaneby John Podhoretz
Synopses & Reviews
In this rousing, persuasive, and hugely entertaining book, John Podhoretz says that George W. Bush has earned a place in the pantheon of great American chief executives---and shows in one amazing detail after another how Bush's success has driven some of his critics into a pathological frenzy.
Podhoretz is the first to acknowledge that the odds were stacked against Dubya, the inexperienced Texas governor who took up residence in the White House lacking an electoral majority, dogged by widely publicized verbal mishaps, and widely viewed by the American elite as a lightweight.
But to the delight of his friends and the teeth-gnashing frustration of liberals, George W. Bush has proven himself an immensely effective president. Throughout his three years in the White House, as Podhoretz explains, Dubya has outsmarted, out-maneuvered, out-articulated, and outshone adversaries and critics. Steeled by the tragedy of September 11, the new president took a nation more obsessed with reality television than with the reality of international terrorism and girded it for the long struggle that lay ahead. He has presided over two major military campaigns to stunning success, initiated tax cuts whose dimensions have awed critics and fans alike, and brought his party into the twenty-first century. He has been resourceful, disciplined, and independent-minded---so much so that he was able to reject his own father's governing style as president to find his own voice and his own place in history.
Bush hasn't hoarded his political capital, but has used it in bold and unexpected ways. Instead of bowing to conventional wisdom and carving out a centrist position, he has remained true to his ideological roots. Instead of deferring to established Beltway thinking, he has done what he thinks is best for America and the world. As Bush has grown more presidential, the criticisms of him have grown more intense---and, in Podhoretz's view, crazier and crazier. In a series of short chapters, Podhoretz takes a rhetorical scalpel to eight of the wildest caricatures of Bush and leaves them in hilarious shreds.
In a season of broadsides being fired from both sides of the aisle, here is a book that distinguishes itself by the force of its arguments and the ringing clarity of its thought. Impassioned, insightful, and convincing, Bush Country is an analysis of a presidency gone right and a celebration of a 0man who has already earned his place in history.
"Podhoretz offers up a thorough defense of the president as well as a scathing attack on his most vocal detractors....Considered [as a conservative polemical], the book is well done: provocative, witty, in-your-face and honest." Publishers Weekly
"[T]he spotlight on Podhoretz may linger because, when drawing breath between punches, he dwells on reasons Bush, from the technical viewpoint, has prevailed on most matters in which he has invested presidential prestige." Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
"Despite the flippant title, Bush Country is serious stuff, a line drawn in the sand with passion. It sets the tone, I suspect, for...an angry Republican backlash against left-wing mockery, presaging a presidential fight to the death." Ben Macintyre, The New York Times Book Review
"Warning: If you like your politics mealymouthed — stay away! John Podhoretz has written a tough, shrewd, don't-give-an-inch defense of George W. Bush that should give the president's critics heartburn, or maybe a heart attack." David Frum, author of The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush
"If you want to understand America, read Alexis de Tocqueville — then read John Podhoretz, who not only is one of the most perceptive journalists in today's America, but who's very funny, too. In Bush Country, Podhoretz brilliantly harpoons those pompous twits — the 'enlightened' ones, many of them journalists — 'who consider themselves the most intelligent people in America.' They may, but no one else will after reading this thoughtful and provocative book." Bernard Goldberg, author of Bias and Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite
Book News Annotation:
Podhoretz (Weekly Standard, New York Post, Fox News, Hoover Institute) praises G.W. Bush and his presidency.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Combining acerbic wit with insider political savvy, one of America's most entertaining journalists tells readers why George W. Bush is not only the Right Man at the Right Time, but has become the greatest Leader of the Age.
Combining acerbic wit with insider political savvy, one of Americas most entertaining journalists tells readers why George W. Bush is not only the Right Man at the Right Time, but has become the greatest Leader of the Age
George W. Bush arrived in the White House an untested governor with an unfortunate habit of tripping over his own tongue, presiding over an economy slipping into recession, and a nation more obsessed with reality television than with the reality of international terrorism. He was considered by many opinion-leaders a dupe, an illiterate, a cowboy, a preppie, a child of privilege who would never have made it to the White House without the help of his ex-president father. Now, with his first term coming to an end, it is clear to John Podhoretz that Bush has become—and will be remembered—as one of this nations strongest leaders. He has changed the countrys agenda from top to bottom. Steeled by the tragedy of September 11, he has responded with visionary power and towering authority. He has presided over victories in two wars and a triumphant repositioning of his party. His secret: The willingness to spend political capital rather than hoard it. Bush Country makes its case with style and verve. Here is an engrossing and entertaining portrait that proves that “misunderestimating” our forty-third president is folly indeed.
About the Author
John Podhoretz is a columnist for the New York Post, where he has been both the editorial page editor and television critic. He is also a political commentator for the Fox News Channel, a media fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a consultant on NBC's The West Wing. A cofounder of the Weekly Standard, Podhoretz has worked at U.S. News & World Report, Time, and The Washington Times, and served as a speechwriter for President Reagan. His first book, Hell of a Ride, was a scathing portrait of the first Bush presidency. He lives with his wife, Ayala, in New York City.
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