Synopses & Reviews
On the morning of September 12, 2001, America had the love and support of the world. The French newspaper Le Monde
proclaimed "We Are All Americans." It was a unique moment, when the United States might have mobilized a worldwide movement of nations and peoples in a genuine effort to fight terrorism, and also to reduce the causes of terrorism. That did not happen. Instead the world became a more dangerous place not because of terrorist attacks but because the Bush administration went on a kind of foreign policy rampage.
Rogue State tells the story of how Bush and those around him squandered the goodwill of the world, insulted America's allies, lost the respect of developing nations, and unleashed a new era of danger and instability in international affairs in the course of an unelected president's single-minded drive to launch an unneeded war in Iraq. In elegant and compelling prose, Allman fits the Bush administration's Iraq obsession into the pattern of its wider campaign of alienation and destabilization.
From its scorn for worldwide efforts to ban torture and chemical weapons, its refusal to ratify the Kyoto accords, to its own North Korea-like repudiation of the nuclear test ban treaty, and its sabotaging of attempts to make international crimes against humanity punishable offenses, Allman portrays a U.S. presidency in an exasperated, and increasingly frightened world.
Rogue State is a rich, dark, and, at times, comic tale of a monumental misuse of power and epochal squandering of possibility in a time that cried out for American greatness, and instead was subjected to a spectacle of American petulance.
"Veteran journalist Allman scores the Bush administration's ideology and actions in this fierce critique of its actions these past four years. Allman (Unmanifest Destiny; Miami: City of the Future) begins by analyzing what he calls Bush's 'hijacking' of the 2000 presidential election. For Allman, the case is clear: Nixon-appointed Chief Justice William Rehnquist disregarded democracy and acted in blatantly partisan ways to bring about Bush's presidential victory. He goes on to sneer at what he sees as the perversity of Bush's choice of Dick Cheney as vice-president, 'a crafty henchman,' cataloguing Cheney's 'acquisition of unelected power and money' and his incompetence in his current post. Allman anatomizes the character of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld axis in terms that are simplistic but that some will find persuasive, and similarly delineates the ideological leanings of Cheney's cohorts Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. No one in the administration escapes Allman's scorn: he characterizes Condoleezza Rice as a mediocre dolt and even the more moderate Colin Powell as marginalized and untrustworthy. Allman goes on to accuse Bush of introducing divisive 'wedge issues' and of alienating the rest of the world in his pursuit of American global dominance. Like many on the left, Allman paints a picture of a Bush administration lacking in reason and foresight but full of arrogance. Other culprits in this global farce (or tragedy, Allman quips) are 'Bush's poodle,' Tony Blair, gas-guzzling SUV-driving Americans, the accident-prone Humvee and the American media. While at times it crosses the line into stridency, Allman's tome will appeal to the ever-increasing market for readable, if highly rhetorical, anti-Bush rants. (May 3)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Helpful propaganda, for those who need it. Otherwise, there's little new here, and nothing that hasn't been said better, and less shrilly." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
T. D. Allman is the author of Unmanifest Destiny and the best-selling Miami: City of the Future. As a staff writer for The New Yorker, and as the foreign correspondent for Vanity Fair, he witnessed many of the historic events described in this book. His writing also has appeared in Harper's, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and the National Geographic. He is a former Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. His New York apartment overlooks the site of the former World Trade Center.