American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

3.8 26
by Kevin Phillips
     
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141015774
Publisher:
Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
Publication date:
09/28/2004

Meet the Author

Kevin Phillips, author of Wealth and Democracy, The Cousins' War, and Arrogant Capital , is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post and is a commentator for CBS and National Public Radio. He also edits his own newsletter, American Political Report. He lives in Connecticut.

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American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In many ways, this book proved to be the candle of my political awakening. It is a thorough read, covering national politics and how they played into the Bush Family's lust for power, especially the Clinton scandals. Although this book is quite dry and reads almost like a college dissertation, Phillips proves his thesis-the Bush Family hurts American democracy. His rage, however, is not just directed toward the Bushes- it is toward all the Washington establishment from Clinton, Gore, Bush, and Gingrich. The book also is a cautionary tale about our bloated military spending and its insidious connection with big business.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are seeking knowledge about this book before you buy, I suggest you either check it out of the library and read it for yourself or consult a rational friend who has read it. The reviews on this page are not going to help; already, the page is studded with rants from people who obviously haven't read the book. I am stunned at the ignorance of their comments. First of all, Kevin Phillips is not a 'liberal.' He is a conservative who campaigned for Richard Nixon and voted for Reagan twice. But this sort of thing is consistent with the practice, more and more apparent on this and other book pages, of smearing the character of the authors of books one thinks are 'bad' without having read these books or even bothered to find anything out about the author. Unlike the accusations in Mr. Phillips' book, which are copiously documented so that the reader can check on their veracity for him/herself, the blatherings of these morons are not accompanied by any specific evidence. Instead, they simply seek to defame the author. This sort of lazy bullying is an insult to the people who actually use these pages for their intended purpose. I can't tell you how many times I've consulted reader reviews only to see a a historical or biographical book labelled 'trash' without any evidence that the book contains inaccuracies. For the record, I found this book a fascinating tale, well documented, with appropriate generalizations made about forces in American politics that extend beyond the narrow subject of the Bushes. But please don't take my word for it, or the word of any reader review. Too many of these reviews are written by volunteer activists with no knowledge of the books on which they are commenting and nothing better to do with their time. No, check it out for yourself. Then decide for yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If all Americans had read this book prior to the election it would have changed history. This is one of the most complete books I have read on the EVIL Bu$h family. Their quest for power has no bounds. This book should keep any Bu$h family member from ever 'winning' another election. I will hand my copy down to my grandchildren so they will understand the failure of our democracy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 100 years, the book that will be refrenced for the dark side (and it is very dark)of the Bush family, this is it. Phillips, a shrewd political analyst and widely respected, points to how the Bush-Walker Dynasty was made. In corollaries to the British Stuarts, the Bushes have made the American Presidency as a familial pasttime. With a getting even type of conservatism, Wall Street banking and 'Texanomics' in their portfolio, the Bushes are the most dangerous threat to American Democracy we have ever seen. Also a very good summary of the financial and energy-rooted biases of the Bush Republicans. From a conservative Democrat to a disenchanted but genuine Republican, I salute you, Mr. Phillips!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phillips shows good research technique and writes clearly about the kind of inbreeding that has rotted Washington. He does, at times, let his own politics show transparently, which is the one fault of the book. If the reader can screen that out, however, he is left with a very disturbing picture of how familial and 'good ol' boy' ties in our government can be so destructive. Of particular interest is the transformation of George W., who learned from his father's mistakes--notably morphing himself from an East Coast Episcopalian (few votes) into the down-home Texas leader of the religious right (many votes). One has to marvel at the superb planning and timing involved--and its success. The value of the book is NOT that it debunks the Bushes. The value is in recognizing that the same shell games are being played throughout politics, on both sides. Yes, some will point out political families in the past. But the political incest taking place today is of a much more clever--and dangerous--kind because it is by such careful strategy and purely for the benefit of America's new aristocracy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the headline reads 'Garbage'. That best describes this attempt at discrediting perhaps the best President in the latter part of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st. Jealousy will get you nowhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been buying copies for friends and family in the hardcopy and will now purchase the paperback for others. This lists lots of the books over the years that have warned liberals and conservatives about the Bush bunch.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstandingly useful study, not just of the Bush family, but of a brutal and rapacious ruling class. Its power bases are Wall Street, the Pentagon, the CIA, the Texas-based oil business and the British alliance. Its corporatist fascism is destroying America¿s democratic and republican traditions. CIA director Bush Senior thwarted Carter¿s efforts to get the US hostages out of Iran, helping to get Reagan elected. After becoming vice-president in 1981, Bush arranged the arming of the mujehadin and Saddam. Bush illegally sold arms to Iran and used the funds to back the Contra terrorists. In August 1990, Thatcher encouraged Bush¿s attack on Iraq: ¿George, I was about to be defeated in England when the Falkland conflict happened. I stayed in office for eight years after that.¿ Leading the religious Right, Bush junior portrays America as a new Rome beset by barbarians, and Iraq as Babylon. These fundamentalists use the Bible to justify pre-emptive war (Esther 8:11); Jeremiah 50:8-20 promises that Israel will gain `from the destruction of Babylon¿. The Bushes look after their own: the richest 1% has doubled their share of US income since 1980. The ratio of executive pay to factory workers¿ pay went from 42:1 to 419:1. The USA and Britain now have the least social mobility in the developed world. Texas capitalists oppose immigration control because they want cheap labour. ¿In addition to laws inimical to unions, the proven solution for keeping costs down has been Mexican laborers ¿ either illegal immigrants or temporary guest workers ¿ Their presence in the Texas labor market also applied downward pressure on other wages.¿ The Republican Party and the Labour Party have common policies: imperialism and warmongering, fraud and corruption, government support for religion (faith schools), a class hatred of trade unions, support for freedom of capital (which equals slavery for workers) and for offshore tax havens, a rhetoric of compassion and inclusiveness but a policy of secrecy, deceit and lies. Capitalism in absolute decline generates this kind of politics: the EU and Russia are going the same way too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the other reviews, I am curious if I read the same book. I found Mr. Phillips book to be convoluted at best. His ramblings were difficult to follow and if you have any common sense, you realize that his arguments are not logical. This is one of the worst books I have ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is an important read for anyone who wants to understand the decisions made by George W. Bush and his government. But my guess is that it will go unnoticed by most readers of history. While the story has a depth of research behind it, the analysis seems a bit thin in places. As I was reading this fascinating story, I felt short-changed on the analytical part of the story. That said, with its wealth of references at the end of the book, one could easily find more information on any particular part of Phillips's book, by visiting the library. For me, having followed recent American History with a skeptical eye, Phillips's book does what others do not: an historical perspective. There's no question in my mind that the Bush government has been operating under its own rules of engagement. Bush Dynasty proves it. What Phillips's book does is put every event since the year 2000, into the historical context people need in order to understand the decisions the Bush administration makes. I hope my American cousins read it and pay heed to its importance in this election year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book obviously contains a great deal of information about the Bushes, however, it suffers (as many political biographies frequently do) in several areas. The author too often subsitutes his own conclusions for fact. I was often left wondering about the true context of events and statements cited by the author (seems there are things that might have been left out because they weaken the author's argument). Any discerning reader should have a handful of salt available when reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are determined to live in 'Leave it to Beaver' land, then I suggest you NOT read this book. LET FREEDOM RING is a better choice, it will help you to feel all warm and fuzzy inside and then you can top off your day with some FOXNEWSCHANNEL 'fair and balanced' news. As for me, I like my information straight up with no chaser. The chapters on Enron and Halliburton alone make it worth reading. Put down your copy of the latest 'Left Behind' novel and start dealing with reality. To quote a famous scientist: 'The problems that we face will not be solved by those who created them'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kevin Phillips is a Republican political analyst whose previous writings have proven remarkably prescient. His 1969 book,The Emerging Republican Majority, accurately predicted the major electoral shift favoring conservative thought and Republic dominance.His more recent concerns, as reflected in The Politics of Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy, have centered on the nation's growing economic inequities. In the latter book, Phillips criticized recent Republican economic policies, which he finds irresponsible and a betrayal of the interests of the majority of working Americans. Republican 'free market theology,' as Phillips describes it, has achieved the status of gospel, universal in application and beyond criticism. American Dynasty reveals his concerns about the dynasticization of national politics, with all the negative consequences the term implies. The Bush family, Phillips contends, has long benefited from connections to energy and defense industries and the intelligence community. Though he frames many of his conclusions as conjecture, he offers a disturbing portrait of a political dynasty that that has been willing to resort to the most cynical means of political manipulation to advance their own interests and those of an elite of wealth and influence, often to the detriment of average Americans. Perhaps the most alarming contention here is that George W. Bush has,for all practical purposes, inherited the leadership of the Christian Right and is, in fact, animated by a disturbing conviction that his rise to the presidency was the result of Divine Providence. Indeed, Phillips' greatest contribution to the debate here may be in his chapter detailing the surprising strength ( and therefore political influence) of American Christian fundamentalism. In G.W. Bush, he argues, the fundamentalists have found the political leader who shares their perspectives and, literally, speaks their language. More ominously, Christian fundamentalist beliefs intersect dangerously with American Middle East policy. One could certainly challenge some of Phillips' contentions, such as his argument that the outlook of the current president is the product of several historical traditions and perspectives peculiar to Texas, but altogether he presents a multitude of issues that deserve further consideration. Phillips offers the hope that the trend towards dynasticization (which he finds elsewhere beyond the Bush family) may be an aberration; if not, the future of American democracy is far less certain. Once again, Phillips has proven himself a master of political analysis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When a Republicsan strategist reveals what the liberals have been saying, intelligent people must pause and think. If Phillips has no motive other than to tell the truth, so be it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
George Bush and George W. Bush are my heroes, they form a perfect team, which can lead our country successfully in the years to come. God Bless America
Guest More than 1 year ago
The TRUTH remains the TRUTH and the TRUTH should never be ignored no what the source.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw Kevin Phillips on C-Span discussing this book. Phillips is a lawyer and former aide to the Nixon White House, and is hardly a liberal flame-thrower. I was impressed by his level-headedness in reviewing, with a tinge of disappointment and anger, the history of the Bush family and its many years of backroom dealings with the royal family of Saudia Arabia, the oil industry, and, incredibly, the Bin Laden family. (Don't forget, in the days immediately following 9-11, the ONLY commercial flights that were allowed to take off in the US were the planes carrying members of the Bin Laden family out of the country.) This is not a shrill, one-note, Bush-bashing book, and Phillips does not appear to have an agenda or axe to grind. Accordingly, he comes across as exceedingly fair and objective. His history goes back several generations, is detailed and fully supported, and reveals the Bush family's long-standing ability to insinuate itself with, and to do the bidding of, the monied class. As others, including Phillips himself, have mentioned, these are not new revelations - it is all public and available information. What seems to particularly gall Phillips is the mainstream media's laziness and lack of interest in pursuing any aspect of this tale. Neither Al Franken nor Ann Coulter, Phillips is to be commended for this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phillips connects the historical relationships of the Bushes to the policies we see in the headlines today. It is not the ranting of a Michael Moore or an Al Franken, but rather a methodical look at the Bushes and the influences of big money on the White House and foreign policy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'....create a dynasticized presidency that would have horrified America's founding fathers.' Excuse me, but am I the only Political Scientist who actually read the assigned readings? Anyone recall a family named Adams? Didn't Adams the elder help write a famous document....as a Founding Father, no less?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phillips' new book simply puts a finer point on his last, 'Wealth and Politics'. The linking of wealth and political power is nothing new, and CERTAINLY not unique to the Bush 'Dynasty'. Nice Try.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kevin Phillips, Michael Moore, Molly Ivens, and anyone else that can get a book published by a liberal press are all determined to tear this county apart for the sake of whatever party they are currently a member of. This book was written only as an effort to influence the 2004 election, not for any true historical purpose. A waste of time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This author is making money by praying on the fears of well meaning, but naive, American people. That means you! The Bush family is not an old-world monarchy re-incarnate looking to enslave the masses as the author would have you believe. If they are so powerful, how is it that the father lost his re-election bid to Clinton? How did the current President's oil company fail despite the good ol' boys network? This book is full of biased propaganda, not written by an 'independant' as claimed. I was disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, a well-researched, thoughtful, balanced look, written by a Republican, at the how the Bush family turned from moderate aristocrats to extremists controlled by religious zealots and corporate chieftans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All Americans owe it to their country and continued education to read about the 'family' in office. Rather than crying conspiracy, one should consider the source and read with an open mind.