It's been five years since Molly Ivins's last book, which is probably too long a time in the opinion of her many fans. But the intervening years have given the bestselling author and syndicated columnist some of the best raw material a political writer could ask for. The Republicans staged a revolution, Clinton was reelected, welfare "deform" swept the country, and the militia movement came out of the bunker: in short, it's been a banner time for Molly's brand of shoot-from-the-hip commentary and uproarious anecdotes.
You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You brings together a first-class collection of smart, spirited, and fiercely funny writings. From the wild and woolly politics of her native Texas to the waffling in the Oval Office, Molly exposes the fatuous and hypocritical at all levels of public life. Whether she's writing about the 1996 presidential candidates ("Dole contributed perhaps the funniest line of the year with his immortal observation that tobacco is not addictive but that too much milk might be bad for us. The check from the dairy lobby must have been late that week"), conspiracy theorists ("Twenty-five years in the newspaper bidness have given me a fairly strong faith in the proposition that if you haven't read about it in The Daily Disappointment or seen it on the network news, it's probably not true"), or cultural trends ("I saw a restaurant in Seattle that specialized in latte and barbecue. Barbecue and latte. I came home immediately"), Molly takes on the issues of the day with her trademark good sense and inimitable wit.
"I can think of few causes more important than keeping free voices alive in a world of corporate media," Molly writes.She is one of those voices and a national treasure; as the Los Angeles Times put it, she is "H. L. Mencken without the cruelty, Will Rogers with an agenda." Whatever your political persuasion, you're bound to agree that Molly Ivins is one of the sharpest and most original commentators on the American scene today.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First writer YAH
You may have found this Ivins book by reading or looking for Shrub, Ivins' recent evisceration of George W. Bush's record as Texas governor. This book, a collection of mid-90s essays, will feel very familiar. Ivins skewers nearly all the characters from that era, but there is never a doubt whose side she is on. It starts, roughly, with Clinton's arrival on the national scene, and procedes up until the beginning of the Lewinsky scandal. Good thing, that. It lets Molly do what she does best, which is to tear apart politicians based on their records, not on their behaviors around interns. In that regard, she gives Clinton a few well deserved licks, but sticks up for him against some of the more zany attacks he sustained (Vince Foster accustions and the like). She saves her best heat, though, for mid-90s shooting star Newt. From Contract With America on, I was always suspicious of Newt but no news outlet ever quite hand-cuffed him to a genuinely bad deed during his run. Molly does. She puts Newt to sleep early and often with 'he did, he did!' record-based journalism, mostly his dispicable distortions of welfare and feminism in policy debates. Also included are several essays on - ta da! - Governor Dubya and the early days of campaign finance reform. great reading, even in retrospect.