THE BOOK ON BUSH by Eric Alterman


How George W. (Mis)leads America
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A latter-day doomsday catalogue of the sins, errors, and perhaps even crimes of the sitting president.

Molly Ivins, Al Franken, and Michael Moore are mere gadflies compared to Nation columnist Alterman (What Liberal Media?, 2003, etc.) and New York politico Green, who issue a sweeping, powerful indictment of Bush 43. Bush the Younger presented himself as an affable, unassuming fellow on the campaign trail, they write (perhaps forgetting his nastiness against McCain and other foes in the Republican primaries), apparently committed to bipartisanship and government from the happy middle. But once he took office, they continue, “a potential bait-and-switch occurred as George W. Bush proceeded to embark on the most radical presidency in modern times. In fact, his hard-right agenda strikes out in so many directions simultaneously that it’s nearly impossible for the average citizen to keep up.” Representing the most extreme wing of an already conservative party, Bush quickly showed his true colors by opening up the public domain to exploitation, looting the treasury on behalf of his wealthy cronies, and surrounding himself with dodgy advisors—Dick Cheney, for one, who said in 2003 that he had no financial interest in Halliburton Corp., now growing richer “rebuilding” Iraq, a true statement only if you ignore the $160,000 annual pension he receives from the company he once headed. Moreover, Alterman and Green add, Bush has chosen to fight one of the most far-ranging wars in modern history “on the cheap,” cutting taxes on the rich in wartime, refusing to take any action to reduce American reliance on foreign oil, and bungling battlefield strategy so completely that the core of al Qaeda appear to have gotten away. “Bush’s invasion of Iraq,” they write, “may one day be studied by future historians as among the most costly self-inflicted injuries ever to befall a democratic nation.” Want more? Don’t get them started on presidential lies, or half-truths, or misleading statements, or “faith-based” distortions.

Carefully researched and plenty passionate: a veritable bible for Bush-bashers.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-670-03273-5
Page count: 430pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2004


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