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Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bushby Lou Dubose
Synopses & Reviews
When it comes to reporting on politics, nobody does it smarter or funnier than bestselling author Molly Ivins. In Shrub, Ivins focuses her Texas-size smarts on the biggest politician in her home state: George Walker Bush, or "Shrub," as Ivins has nicknamed Bush the Younger.
A candidate of vague speeches and an ambiguous platform, Bush leads the pack of GOP 2000 presidential hopefuls; "Dubya" could very well be our next president. What voters need now is an original, smart, and accessible analysis of Bush--one that leaves the "youthful indiscretions" to the tabloids and gets to the heart of his policies and motivations. Ivins is the perfect woman for the job.
With her trademark wit and down-home wisdom, Molly Ivins shares three pieces of advice on judging a politician: "The first is to look at the record. The second is to look at the record. And third, look at the record." In this book, Ivins takes a good, hard look at the record of the man who could be the leader of the free world. Beginning with his post-college military career, Ivins tracks Dubya's winding, sometimes unlikely path from a failed congressional bid to a two-term governorship. Bush has made plenty of friends and supporters along the way, including Texas oil barons, evangelist Billy Graham, and co-investors in the Texas Rangers baseball team. "You would have to work at it to dislike the man," she writes. But for all of Bush's likeability, Ivins points to a disconcerting lack of political passion from this ascending presidential candidate. In her words, "If you think his daddy had trouble with 'the vision thing,' wait till you meet this one."
Witty, trenchant, and on target, Ivins gives a singularly perceptive and entertaining analysis of George W. Bush. To head to the voting booth without it would be downright un-American.
From Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush
"The past is prologue in politics. If a politician is left, right, weak, strong, given to the waffle or the flip-flop, or, as sometimes happens, an able soul who performs well under pressure, all that will be in the record."
Bush's welfare record: "Texas pols like to 'git tuff' on crime, welfare, commies, and other bad stuff. Bush proposed to git tuff on welfare recipients by ending the allowance for each additional child--which in Texas is $38 a month."
Bush and the Christian right: "Bush has learned to dance with the Christian right. It has been interesting and amusing to watch the process. Interesting because it's sometimes hard to tell who's leading and who's following; amusing because when a scion of Old Yankee money gets together with a televangelist with too much Elvis, the result is swell entertainment."
Bush's environmental record: Since Governor Bush's election, Texas air quality has been rated the worst in the nation, leading all fifty states in overall toxic releases, recognized carcinogens in the air, cancer risk, and ten other categories of pollutants.
Bush's military career: "Bush was promoted as the Texas Air National Guard's anti-drug poster boy, one of life's little ironies given the difficulty he has had answering cocaine questions all these years later. 'George Walker Bush is one member of the younger generation who doesn't get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed,' reads a Guard press release of 1970. 'Oh, he gets high, all right, but not from narcotics.'"
From the Hardcover edition.
"With obvious glee, [Ivins] and Dubose provide a hefty pile of Texas dirt on the Republican front-runner, detailing his questionable business dealings and his lackluster tenure in the governor's mansion." Elizabeth Austin, Chicago Tribune Books
"Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose have written the best damn book of the 2000 election season." John Nichols, The Progressive
"Colorful, popular and very Texan syndicated columnist Ivins (Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?) takes on Republican front-runner "Dubya" Bush in this short, informative, fun and obviously partisan political biography." Publishers Weekly
"George W. Bush, or "Dubya," gets skillfully skewered by political writer/humorist Ivins in this devastating, funny, and highly informative political biography of a leading Republican contender for President....Ivins makes Dubya look like the dim afterglow of his more accomplished father, though she does concede that Dubya is an excellent fund raiser and a good campaigner. This biting political biography is well written, witty, engaging, biased, and important. It cuts deep into the flesh of the man who might be the next president of the United States. As such, it is an important book for citizens and pundits alike." Library Journal
Examines the life of President George Bush's eldest son, and argues that his success is due largely to his political vagueness.
About the Author
Molly Ivins' column is syndicated to more than two hundred newspapers from Anchorage to Miami, including her home paper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, she is the former co-editor of The Texas Observer and the former Rocky Mountain bureau chief for The New York Times. She has a B.A. from Smith College and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. Her first book, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?, spent more than twelve months on the New York Times bestseller list.
Lou Dubose has been active in Texas journalism for seventeen years, as both a newspaper reporter and a freelancer, and has covered the Texas Legislature for the past thirteen years. He has a master's degree in Latin American studies. Since 1987, he has been the editor of The Texas Observer.
Table of Contents
Class act: the Texas National Guard and running for Congress — Life in the oil patch: Bush's oil-field career — Prestanombre: Bush and baseball — Campaign '94: Bush v. Ann Richards — Dubya, Billy Graham, and Mel Gabler: Bush and religious belief — Compassionate conservatism: Bush and the Christian Right — Capitol crimes: Bush and the Lege — Is the air cleaner? Bush and the environment — The bright spot: Bush and education — We're number one: Bush and criminal justice — Political free speech: Bush and campaign finance — Juntos Podemos: Bush and the Rio Grande Valley — In which our boy George toddles off to run for president, meets the ferocious national media, defeats a genuine war hero by the fairest of means, starts doing to Al Gore just what he did to Ann Richards: is this guy presidential timber, or what?.
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