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Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders Hardcover – September 11, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Senator Tom Coburn is a former business owner and practicing physician. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.  A true citizen legislator, he honored his self-imposed term limits pledge and left Congress in 2001. The author of Breach of Trust, a congressional exposé, he returned to public service in 2004 after a successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.

John Hart was Dr. Coburn's press secretary from 1997 until 2000. In 1994, he became the youngest person ever to win an Amy Writing Award. He lives in Washington DC with his wife, Kimberly, and is now serving as the Communications Director for U.S. Representative Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina.

From AudioFile

Physician and former Congressman Tom Coburn is a passionate man, with equally ardent views about Congress, the Constitution, and his faith. Characterized by some as a maverick, Coburn examines Washington from a perspective rarely heard. He believes, for example, that Congress should restrict its activities to the letter of the Constitution, and his self-limited three terms in Congress were based on his view that career legislators are bad for the country. Coburn's memoir is interesting, although many points he presents as novel are well known. BREACH OF TRUST is surprisingly entertaining, although Coburn's extreme views will certainly infuriate many readers. Richard Fredricks reads with a twangy voice that is generally effective. Unfortunately, at times he reads far too fast, requiring the listener to exert some effort just to keep pace. D.J.S. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785262202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785262206
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By CTS on October 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book for those interested in the workings of the Beltway. Dr. Coburn explains why term-limited politicians are better than 'careerists'. Using specific examples and personal conversations with Congressmen and Senators, he explains why reforms in Medicare and Social Security will never happen as long as we have career politicians in office. He says they are more interested in getting re-elected than bringing about real change. You'll never vote for a career politician again!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Lee Hernandez on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Coburn is armed to the teeth with facts, figures, and behind the scenes stories that the main stream press avoids or ignores. While it would be easy to become disillusioned with the entire political process after this candid view of Washington, he actually projects a tone that is surprisingly optimistic. The author is the complete opposite of a partisan hack. He goes after Democrats and Republicans alike. He is equally supportive of those few principled politicians in both parties. Dr. Coburn is truly a patriotic American and this book should be required reading for virtually EVERY high school civics class and college political science class. It would trigger a new American revolution. Don't miss this book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Givens on December 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Breach Of Trust, Tom Coburn recounts some of his experiences as a 3 term US congressman. His efforts to help limit the runaway spending in Washington put him at odds with his own party and with the Washington mindset - where winning elections is the priority of both parties, and responsible policy is the casualty. A major theme is that term limits would be a good method to end careerist politics and permit individual members to vote their conscience. He tells of specific instances where party leaders compromise the best interests of America to present an electable image in the respective home districts. His insights ring true. Dr. Coburn does not pretend to be perfect, and freely admits his own mistakes. His honesty, tenacity, and candor are examples we all should aspire to. I recommend this good book to all fiscal conservatives and anyone interested in the way that Washington works - and why it usually fails.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary book, an easy to read book, which is organized to provide 10 truths, 3 myths, 4 dangers, and 5 actions that citizens can take to restore the integrity of the Congress (both Senate and House).

The author's conclusions, based on his experience as a three-term Congressman, are consistent with both the recent polls that show that Americans damn both the Democrats and the Republicans as corrupt and ineffective at representing We the People, and with books such as Peter Peterson's "Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It."

As a moderate Republican, I found this book representative precisely of the vision I signed up to in the 1970's--smaller government, less waste, more discretion to the states.

Two quotes really stand out:

xix: "Although the events o September 11, 2001 have focused the public attention on the threat of international terrorism, the greatest threat to the continuity of our form of government is our government itself."

79: "What makes this [Party Line] mentality dangerous is that when the team is held together by careerism and mindless partisanship, individual members are punished for thinking for themselves [or their Districts]. When members can't think for themselves their constituents are deprived of honest representation."

The book itemizes the positive aspects of the "Contract with America" that the Republican class of 1994 hoped to achieve, and blasts Newt Gingrich for failing to honor the contract and failing as a leader.

Robert Novak is to be complemented for his superb foreword and his support of this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Darak Jr. on May 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most rewarding and enlightening books I ever read. It was a real sleeper as far as publicity goes, but everyone should read this book. Liberals who just scrunge up their faces when they hear Senator Coburns name, should think again and read this book. Senator Coburn is a very conservative republican, but he does not rail against liberals or democrats in this book. He must have rightly figured to do so would tag the book as a typical partisan effort. Instead he exposes what the Republican party establishment does and goes after Republican leaders. He only mentions Democrats when he has to in relaying information about any particular congressional bill. He surely didn't win any friends in congress when he exposed the inner workings of that body. Politicians quickly (if they didn't sart out that way) transform into playing the power game. Everything becomes about power and not what is best for the people. The bribes, strong arm tactics, threats, play along to get along, we'll do the right thing later, gotta secure power now kind of shenanigans. You definately do not have to agree with Tom Coburn politically to appreciate this book. It's great to get a birds eye view on why our government does not work. I can see what congress is doing and not doing now and understand why thanks to having read this book. The establishment doesn't want you to read this book, but do yourself a favor and read Breach of Trust. We need to shake things up in Washington and elect new people. In fact Mr. Coburn talks about the 20-25 in congress who stick to their principles and truley work to do the right thing. It's good to know who they are. Let's get a majority like them. To get a feel as to how to do that it helps to read this book. This is eye opening stuff. Thank you, Senator Coburn.
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