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Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America Paperback – June 1, 2004

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Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America + Shrub : The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush + Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375713115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375713118
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

She tried to warn us: With the publication of Shrub in early 2000, syndicated columnist Molly Ivins detailed George W. Bush’s privileged rise and disastrous reign as governor of Texas in the mid- to late ‘90s. In Bushwhacked, she looks at his first term as president. The picture she paints is unremittingly bleak—unless, of course, you’re a big campaign donor well served by Bush’s prescription for all economic ills (deregulation, tax cuts for those who need them least, and lax enforcement of worker and environmental safety standards). As the only president in U.S. history to slash taxes and go to war simultaneously, Bush wins consistently low marks from Ivins for pursuing "crony capitalism" to its inevitably depressing extremes. While many of the topics covered here have been covered extensively (Enron, the war in Iraq), Ivins does a good job of building on what’s already been written (proving Bush’s close ties to former Enron chief Ken Lay, and laying out the fundamentalist, apocalyptic view of Iraq and the Middle East that drives Bush’s foreign policy). Ivins is particularly good in taking arcane federal regulations and showing how the Bush administration’s lax oversight has hurt ordinary Americans, making their jobs, homes, water, and food less safe. Ivins is no distanced observer. She’s clearly incensed by Bush’s policies, but her reporting is so detailed and writing so witty that even those who come to the book undecided about Bush will likely be outraged by the time they finish it. ----Keith Moerer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Ivins's mordant wit, political passion and uninhibited energy are unique among political writers and translate into entertaining reading for anti-Bushites. Together with co-author Dubose, Ivins (Shrub) offers a ferocious attack on "Dubya," arguing that he has taken the country in a direction he conveniently failed to mention during the 2000 campaign. That direction, according to Ivins, endangers workers, the poor and disadvantaged, the middle class and, for good measure, the Bill of Rights. Her message is that Bush's education, economic, tax and environmental policies, his energy policy, his response to the Enron scandal all have one thing in common: "setting the fox to guard the chicken coop." The "fox" in this case is business interests; the chickens are the EPA, the SEC, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission and other agencies whose purpose is to protect citizens from capitalism's excesses. Simply put, Bush, according to Ivins, has abandoned the interests of American citizens for the interests of corporate America. Two things distinguish this from the rest of the burgeoning anti-Bush literature: Ivins's substantive arguments and her language and humor, which are refreshingly inventive. Members of the Texas Supreme Court, dominated by then-Governor Bush appointees, are "nine justices beloved for their canine fidelity to corporations." Bush's Middle East policy, which Ivins says is driven by the evangelical right's eschatology, "has produced alliances as peculiar as the Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley union." Nonetheless, readers shouldn't be misled: Ivins and Dubose do not believe Bush is funny; they are outraged by what they identify as his excesses. They want readers to be outraged, too-and many will be.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I miss Molly Ivins!
Cheryl P.
It's good that there were people like you who walked the earth.
Edwin C. Pauzer
I found this chapter to be one of the scariest in the book.
Robert Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

156 of 167 people found the following review helpful By WichacpiHoskila VINE VOICE on October 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book ASTOUNDS me. It's not a "spin book," trying to argue against positions or "prove them wrong," it's simply a look at actual records of decisions and political connections (and their consequences) in the Bush administration. I find myself often gasping and proclaiming out loud to my wife, "Man, I NEVER heard this stuff anywhere else!" And it's not based on fragile strands of interconnecting conpsiracies; it's rather blunt and obvious--but just not commonly revealed in any media.
For example, this book documents in detail how Bush had done exactly the same thing with his Harken stock that Martha Stewart might be serving time for, but the SEC investigator on his case was also Bush's own personal lawyer too--and he simply allowed Bush to file his disclosure forms RETROACTIVELY. End result? Bush sells his stock moments before it tanks, costing OTHER people millions, getting rich, and then slipping through the law using the very same methods he'd later scold in his "corporate crime" speech about Enron. Oh, and remember how Cheney's company stashed billions in assets in tax shelters on the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes here? Now THAT'S patriotism!
Or how about this one? Bush made emissions controls in Texas VOLUNTARY for corporate polluters. How did polluters ever manage to win such benevolence? In fact, industry campaign contributers literally wrote every word of the law regulating themselves! Of more than 5,000 polluters in Texas, not one actually voluntarily reduced their emissions. Texas reversed Bush's law within the first year of his absence. Unfortunately, nobody has yet reinstated the food safety/listeria regulations for meat products that Bush cancelled during his first few months.
Or this one?
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133 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Maloney on October 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Molly Ivins is a very funny woman. She has clearly made many enemies with her outspokenness. And with Bushwhacked, Ivins outdoes herself with her comedic approach. There are some laugh out loud lines that are just entirely brilliant in Bushwhacked.

At the very same time, Iver's humor is focused on a very real situation: the current administration of our country. To that extent, Bushwhacked is a serious examination of some very compelling political and constitutional issues.

While Bushwhacked can easily be attacked as left wing pabulum by the conservative readers who believe they are benefiting by the approach of the current administration, the issues it deals with are all too real and all too well corroborated in the media and in observations made by average people throughout our nation.

I know that humor is supposed to cushion the hard and often cruel truth. And for a while, the humor in Bushwhacked works very well. Yet, at the end of this book, I just came away sad and somewhat anxious about the state of our nation.

Vitally important issues, cleverly presented. Yet, as a reader, my concluding emotions on the issues addressed in the book were ones of genuine discomfort and a sense of powerlessness that I all too often hear echoed in the voices of many American as they discuss their views of how the country stands politically at this juncture in history.

A recommended read. Some serious issues for all Americans to consider with an open and nonpartisan mind!

Daniel J. Maloney
Saint Paul, Minnesota USA
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433 of 481 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Of the growing spate of liberal books to appear in the past few months, BUSHWHACKED by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose is my favorite of the bunch. It also holds the odd distinction of being one of the most thoroughly depressing books I have ever read. No matter how low one's opinion of George W. Bush, it will be lowered through reading this book.
Many of the recent books on Bush and the Right have focused on the habit and strategy of intentionally misrepresenting positions held by those on the right. They are, in effect, apologias for liberalism and honesty in politics. This book is instead a direct examination of George W. Bush's policies and plans, and what they see scares them and me. As they write near the end of the book, "The six most fatal words in the language are rapidly becoming `The Bush administration has a plan . . . " (p. 295).
Ivins and Dubose don't discuss the Bush policies in abstract, but in terms of how they affect real live human beings. They argue "this country no longer works for the benefit of most of the people in it" (p. 293) and they are determined to explain precisely why. What is most informative about the book is not just the discussion of the more familiar failures of the Bush administration, but overlooked or under considered facets of their policies. For instance, in Texas they have already undergone school reform of the kind promoted by Bush in the No Child Left Behind act. In fact, as they demonstrate, it is a perfect recipe for leaving vast numbers of children behind, as high schools out of self-protection refuse to promote underachieving students past ninth grade, in many instances keeping them there until they turn eighteen and are no expected to stay in school. Or consider the vast number of students in Texas who now graduate by taking the G.E.
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