Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches

Overview

The concluding volume of The New York Times bestselling trilogy

One of today's most outspoken and respected political commentators asks: How can our democracy function when the key institutions of government no longer operate as intended by the Constitution? Stepping back to assess three decades of nearly continuous Republican rule, John W. Dean surveys the damage done to the three branches of government and traces their decline through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, ...

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Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches

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Overview

The concluding volume of The New York Times bestselling trilogy

One of today's most outspoken and respected political commentators asks: How can our democracy function when the key institutions of government no longer operate as intended by the Constitution? Stepping back to assess three decades of nearly continuous Republican rule, John W. Dean surveys the damage done to the three branches of government and traces their decline through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I , and Bush II. Speaking to what the average moderate citizen can do to combat extremism, authoritarianism, incompetence, and the Republicans? deliberate focus on polarizing social issues, Broken Government is a must-have book for voters this election year.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For more than 1,000 momentous days, John W. Dean served in the White House as Richard Nixon's chief counsel. In retrospect, he now sees that presidency as the seedling of a toxic trend that continues to this day. In Broken Government, Dean argues that Nixon and his Republican successors have caused major structural damage to all three branches of the federal government. He describes how the party and its core conservative followers have intentionally and unintentionally generated dysfunction and chaos in these essential institutions. He also addresses the Big Question: What can readers do to rectify this eroding situation?
Publishers Weekly

Dean delivers the presumably final book in his "impromptu trilogy" on the dread direction Republicans have taken both their party and the government in the past 40 years. His scathing premise that the government is on the brink of destruction due to the active choices of Republicans and the ineptitude of Democrats rings true as he meticulously identifies the failings and tenuous limbs upon which the three branches of government now exist. Dean also keenly identifies how the media has failed to address issues of how government processes its powers. Dean's prose provides clear and concise explanations and a rhythm that Michael easily integrates into his cadence. While sounding uncannily similar to narrator Scott Brick, Michael's voice has a slightly sterner tone, which further emphasizes Dean's disgusted stance. Footnotes are placed conveniently at the end of sentences in a surprisingly unobtrusive manner. While the performance does contain the occasionally badly edited voice shift, it still ends up an impressive and eye-opening deconstruction of politics today. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, July 30). (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Boston Globe
Broken Government examines, with great precision and even greater urgency . . . ‘how Republican rule destroyed the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143114215
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/7/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,207,762
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Dean was White House legal counsel to President Nixon for a thousand days. Dean also served as chief minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee and as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Table of Contents


Preface xi Introduction: Process Matters 1 Chapter 1 First Branch: Broken but Under Repair 25 Chapter 2 Second Branch: Broken and in Need of Repair 71 Chapter 3 Third Branch: Toward the Breaking Point 119 Chapter 4 Repairing Government: Restoring the Proper Processes 175 Acknowledgments 203 Appendices 205 Notes 253 Index 317
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Democracy

    It seems a bit dated but in 2007 the executive branch was dominate part of our government and led by the republicans. In Broken Government: How Republicans Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches by John W. Dean, the author delves into this far reaching executive branch.
    This book is part of the trilogy that began when he was emerged in the throws of the imperial presidency of Richard Nixon. Dean threads the tenets from the failed presidency of Nixon into the throngs of the George W. Bush era.
    He concludes in Broken Government: How Republicans Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches by John W. Dean that the system is overtly broken and that the much needed world of compromise and bipartisan has crippled the system.
    Broken Government: How Republicans Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches by John W. Dean is an interesting read to those who want to get an insightful perspective from a reformed accomplice in Dean who was instrumental in the weakening of the Presidency.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    How Worse Is It?

    This is the third in a series of books that John W. Dean has written about the failures of the Republican party to govern over the past 40 years. He has a platform from which to speak. A self-professed ¿card-carrying Republican¿ for most of his life, he has also seen at first-hand how government can go badly wrong, having been White House Counsel during the 'imperial' presidency of Richard Nixon. In the intervening years, Dean has become thoroughly disillusioned with the Republican Party, as reflected in his previous book titles: Conservatives Without Conscience and Worse Than Watergate. This is a powerful book, which should be read by every Democrat. In it, Dean¿s strong disagreement (to put a polite spin on it) with Republican rule is obvious, but in only a few places does he predict doomsday outcomes that surely will not happen anytime soon (e.g., the ability of the federal government to electronically monitor American citizens without a court order...hmm, it seems that that has already happened--apologies, Mr. Dean). Mostly, he brings an insider¿s knowledge of Washington and decades of participation in and study and observation of the workings of government to bear in a scathing indictment of the past and current Republican administrations (along with many other experts he cites and quotes, he labels the current one as probably ¿the worst Presidential administration in U.S. history.¿ Sorry, James Buchanan--records are made to be broken.) Dean makes it abundantly clear, with extensive commentary from political and economic experts and authors, that Republican administrations since Nixon have progressively and severely damaged all three branches of our federal government (which of course flows down to state and local jurisdictions). As he describes in detail, the Republicans have consistently tried to destroy the Congress to create an all-powerful, ¿unitary¿ executive branch (although, he admits, Congress is now recovering under Democratic leadership--for example, under the Republicans, the congress worked only two days a week (!), which is now back to five under Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate), to expand presidential authority (extension of powers beyond those expressed in the Constitution, in addition to lawbreaking, based on flawed ¿war powers¿ theory), and to politicize the federal judiciary by repeated appointments of fundamentalist conservative jurists. It's a long tale of woe. Perhaps the worst news is the failure, as Dean says, of Republicans to exercise the main function of Congress--oversight of the executive branch. He finds little evidence--and much contrary evidence--of such failure during Democratic-controlled Congresses over the past half century, whatever the party of the President. For example, he recalls for us such figures as Democratic Senator William Fulbright, who gave fits to Democratic presidents in the 1960s. He concludes that Democratic politicians are, in general, more inclined to serve the public interest than Republicans--who don¿t seem to know or remember what that means. Dean posits some answers, particularly that Americans do understand when 'process' is being abused (at least when it is reported in the media, which is not often enough). As citizens and voters, we do not have the time or the energy to understand the complexities of proposing and passing legislation, nor do most of us have an understanding of the proper roles of the three branches of government (we probably should--the basic definitions are in the U.S. Constitution, which can be purchased online for $10.00, including shipping, and read in a hour). Instead, like Al Gore, Dean relies on the electorate to distinguish between the candidates who are abandoning reason and who are out to serve themselves and their party (i.e., through the Republican agenda) and those who have a semblance of concern for the common welfare--which Dean has become convinced are the Democrats today. His core conclusion

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    Impossible to stop reading

    This book comes at an important time as we move into this coming presidential election. Mr. Dean has done some very serious research that reaches across a very wide array of what scholars, pundits, politicians and bureaucrats that have only added to his own expert level knowledge of what takes place in Washington. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is that Dean not only shows us were things are in the political arena these days, but he also shows how we got to this point, and he also shows the possible direction of politics depending on who gets control in 2008. I would not call his book biased. I would call it grounded in reality. I see myself as Republican, slightly to the right of the middle, and what Dean dramatically shows in this book was what I have long suspected, but did not know the details of, behind the NEOCON movement. And that it is more than just the NEOCONS. I have already recommended this book to everyone I know who votes, and have pushed it on those who don¿t vote, as a reason to vote. Beyond Dean¿s commendable research that went into this book, he is a very, very good writer. The prose is pristine and his points are all clear. The story is compelling and Dean makes it riveting with his skill as a writer. And the one thing that is really clear, John Dean is a really intelligent man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2007

    READ THIS BOOK!

    John Dean has composed an exceptionally well nuanced and provacative work that exposes the significant flaws that exist within the contemporary conservative movement as well as the inability of the moderates to do a darn thing about it. This book should be read by every citizen in the United States and it is a landmark publication.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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