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Anyone Can Grow Up: How George Bush and I Made It to the White House Paperback – December 31, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (December 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416567984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416567981
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,009,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The ghosts of politicians past and present rattle their chains in this collection of spirited columns from the past decade by Carlson, Time magazine's first female columnist. Reading these pieces is a bit like flipping through the late-night monologues of yesteryear. Remember Dubya's smirk, Clinton's wagging finger and Al Gore's "no controlling authority"? You'll find them afresh here, along with more substantive subjects like the death of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and the transformation of Donald Rumsfeld circa September 12, 2001, from "stealth Cabinet member" to ubiquitous media presence. You'll also find Carlson examining topics largely ignored by her male colleagues: the value of a corporate wife, in financial, divorce court terms ("the richer the household, the less, proportionally, she gets") and why Nicole Simpson was never considered a "fallen hero" like her football husband. Carlson does all this with verve, insight and a gift for wry phrasing. The only problem is that columns, by their nature, focus on the questions of the day and the minutiae of the moment. This kind of reporting loses its luster years later, when readers know how it all ends and no longer care about the details. (One too many columns begin with conditionals like "If George Bush wins in November..." or blunder into unintended irony, as with Carlson's 1996 comment that "Martha Stewart's face is everywhere but on a Wanted poster.") Nonetheless, this collection is a fine expression of a strong career, and an astute snapshot of the politic headliners of the last decade.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Time's first female columnist and "A-list Washington dinner hostess," Carlson offers a rather odd book, half personal memoir and half old columns. New essays begin each chapter with what is presumably her most current thinking on a topic, e.g., the Bush presidency. Why then would readers want to follow that with the stale musings of several years earlier? The most interesting part of the book, curiously, is not her shoulder rubbing with the rich and powerful but the story of her upbringing. Carlson's family was shaped by the needs of her mentally challenged brother, and her descriptions of the push and pull of family dynamics will strike an empathetic chord with most readers. On the other hand, for a reporter so obviously "in" (she watches videos with Kay Graham! Chris Matthews sings at her daughter's wedding!), her political insights are positively banal: Clinton was smart but couldn't rein in his appetites; Gore wasn't elected because nobody liked him (well, the press didn't); the press did like George Bush (apparently, he had better food on his campaign plane). Since Carlson is so well connected, she is certain to make the rounds of the usual talk shows, which may prompt demand for this tepid book. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian Vigue on June 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book can be summed up in one word: weak. If you've ever been out to lunch or at a party with someone who wouldn't stop talking about themselves and condescendingly giving you their opinion on every single topic that comes up, then you've already, in essence, read this book. I think the fact that, as of this writing, there are exactly 7,572 other books ranked higher than this one despite her media friends constantly hyping her book tells you all you need to know about how interesting this book is. I'm upset that I spent $$ dollars on it. There's nothing new here you haven't heard her say on Imus or Hardball of any one of a number of places she seems to always be. Believe me, I love politics, but this was a BIG disappointment.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Take a bunch of old TIME magazine columns, string them together with anecdotes (meant to be heart-tugging) about Carlson's brain-damaged brother and working-class Irish-Catholic parents, and slather them with goo intended to soften her sharp elbows deployed during her singleminded ascent to the tippy-top of Georgetown s**thouse aristocracy.
Whadda we got? The unfortunately buyer gets a book that in truth merits no stars at all.
Carlson's brownnosing of the Washington Post's Katherine Graham is sickening enough without a half-dozen mentions of how Carlson's daughter was married at "Kay's" Georgetown mansion. Did you catch that? If you didn't, Carlson will remind you.
Oh, and George W. Bush made silly faces and served fancy food on his campaign's press plane. Maybe that's how both he and Margaret, as the book's subtitle reads, "made it to the White House." By being dim and opportunistic? Must be.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sgt. Rock on September 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
How this woman ever got to be a reporter is beyond my understanding. I take it that she is good at being able to spot things that interest the casual reader of Time magazine. Her analysis of the Bush Gore election is that Bush should win because he served better food than Gore. In the end, this book is dreadful yet interesting because it speaks volumes about what passes for thoughtful `political commentary' theses days.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Is Margaret Carlson as much of an airhead as she seems to portray herself in this book? I've seen her on the Sunday gab shaws, and she always seemed just mildly clueless. I started skimming this book in a store and was so blown away by its utter shallowness and stupidity that I had to buy a copy for myself.
First of all, the "book" is a bunch of her columns strung together with lazy narrative. Many of the columns are out-of-date and inaccurate.
Similarly, in her ENDLESS complaints about the Clintons (they talk to much) and Gore (he's just too smart), she fails to recognize that she's the one who looks foolish. Below is a verbatim quote from the book (with some elipsis to shorten up her windy prose..and probably a typo or two, since I'm trying to write this review up fast)!
"Joe Klein, then at Newsweek, and I got a joint interview with the First Lady. She used up our time with chatter about the Taj Mahal and the ambassador's gardens...About midnight, an aide showed us the door, literally. Our time was up. Valiantly, Klein reeled her back in with a question about health-care reform. As we descended into the swamps of single-payer insurance...I leaned against the open door-and fell asleep."
Oof! The first lady gives a several hour interview. Margaret complains when she isn't substantive. Then when she is...she falls asleep!
I can only assume this is a highlight of Carlson's brilliant reporting career -- why else include it in the book? Odd that she's so proud of falling asleep during the policy portion of an interview.
There's more of this, but I'm coming up against the 1000 word max. Only read this book (don't give Margaret money -- buy a used copy or check it out from your library) if you really want to be able to laugh at this pathetic excuse for a reporter each time you see her on TV..
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Lake on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I thought this might be interesting or have some insight but it is really just a tired rehash of her time magazine columns along with a few chapters of original material. Making things worse is her 'Jayson Blairing' of the facts. She misquotes people so horribly that it totally distorts the meaning and it is done in such an obviously bias way that there is no question about her motives. If you really want to know about the president you are better off with Molly Ivins than this.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Welby on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This woman's job is to write editorials on the day's major issues. Unfortunately she is clueless about those things, happening in our nation and world, which are important.
We have a name for people who will publish biased, banal, garbage to make a buck. We call them mediawhores.
By the way, the way Bush made it to the White house was by stealing an election. And look what a mess he has made with his squaters presidency.
Anyone who claims to be left or center left poltically, as Carlson does, should be able to say that quite clearly.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Her columns were interesting the first time, but they don't wear well with age.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book you feel embarrassed for Margaret Carlson. She brags about being a member of the Sally Queen Special Class in Washington. She shows contempt for ordinary people and their concerns. She hated Al Gore because he talked about issues on the campaign plane, issues that effect the lives of millions. She liked Bush because he served lobster ravioli on the campaign plane and made funny faces instead of boring her with discussion of issues. She recycles her columns from Time magazine. No original insights in her columns. Just conventional wisdom. No wonder Time magazine cancelled her column.
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