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Jacob HeilbrunnAnyone looking for yet another Republican apostate to denounce Bush should look elsewhere. But there's no need to worry: the stiletto once wielded so deftly by Baker in Washington has not gone dull. Baker, who has already discussed the end of the cold war in an earlier book called The Politics of Diplomacy, here offers a more personal account that implicitly contrasts the past with the present, and is the more telling for its restraint. He focuses on his years as a political operative and official in the Ford, Reagan and Bush 1 administrations to draw lessons about the importance of planning ahead in running political campaigns and governments. Though his memoir may at some points envelop the Reagan years in a nostalgic haze, it provides an extraordinarily illuminating account of the decades-old Republican feud between old-money power brokers and true believers. Ultimately, it shows how he successfully kept the right in check—and what happens when someone doesn't.
—The New York Times