THE PATRIOT by Gary Hart

THE PATRIOT

An Exhortation to Liberate America from the Barbarians
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Hart, former senator and sometime candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, returns to lecture a paradigmatic (albeit nonexistent) seeker of high national office, in what he clearly believes is the manner of the 16th-century Florentine master Machiavelli, on what must be done to restore trust in America's government and renew a national sense of purpose. The arguable righteousness of the source apart, Hart's (The Good Fight, 1993, etc.) grandiloquent pronouncements, which range from the self-serving through the self-evident, amount to little more than a mawkish and pretentious rehash of the neoliberal agenda. In 26 short chapters driven by an abiding hatred of the media (notably its putative bent for making and breaking celebrities, which he blames for his own fall from grace), Hart offers superficial guidance on affairs of state. Early on, he cautions the aspiring chief executive to be wary of elite groups who care more for their own selfish interests than for the common good. He urges him to trust the people. Hart then touches without dwelling on the supranational agencies or institutions that could be created not only to spread the creed of democracy throughout the Global Village but also to deal with the manifold problems that have emerged in the wake of the Cold War's end. Considered as well (albeit with appreciably more piety than wit) are such issues as the limits of US influence on newly independent states, equipping the military for the battlefields of the future (on a greatly reduced budget), setting an inspiring example for the electorate, breaking the ``degrading mold'' of empty campaign promises, and encouraging the domestic populace to make quality, not quantity, its principal focus. Derivative, utopian precepts from an inch-deep political observer who bears precious little resemblance to the subtle intellectual heavyweight he recklessly chose as a model. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 4th, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-82751-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1996




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