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Bushwomen: How They Won the White House for Their Man Paperback – April 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; Paperback Ed edition (April 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844675300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675302
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 4.9 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,574,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The women of the Bush administration, according to author and Bay Area talk show host Laura Flanders, have received something of a free ride from the press and the public. While many cheer the fact that women have risen to prominent cabinet-level posts, most ordinary people know little about such luminaries as Condoleeza Rice, Elaine Chao, Christie Whitman, Gale Norton, and Karen Hughes. Flanders provides extensive background information on these and other women and holds the actual events of their lives up to comparison against how their stories have been told for political purposes. Flanders' biographies reveal women who may appear more genteel and unthreatening than, say, Donald Rumsfeld, but who are actually much less moderate and centrist than one would expect. Having women in power, she suggests, allows the GOP to appeal to a traditionally shaky female voting demographic and the "up by the bootstraps" reputation of the Bushwomen obscures the Bush administration's record of selling out the interests of environmental, health, labor, and security issues in favor of well-moneyed corporate interests. And while these women have had successful careers in fields traditionally dominated by men, Flanders tells us that they have often done so with the assistance of questionable corporate connections. Bushwomen also suggests that the Bushwomen's political careers constitute, in many cases, a betrayal of the various forces (feminism, affirmative action, the civil rights movement) that put them in power. While Flanders' writing style is brisk and often witty, the tone is never overly glib or sardonic and, regardless of political stripe, her research into her subjects is fascinating in that it digs deep into the lives of public figures who, until now, have managed to stay quite private. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The thesis of radio host Flanders's searing, incisive polemic is that prominent female conservatives in the current administration are the candy coating in which George "W. Is for Women" Bush enrobes a bitter, radical policy. Devoting a chapter to each, Flanders (Real Majority, Media Minority) takes to task women like National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao for betraying the causes-affirmative action, civil rights and feminism-that helped them rise to prominence, while allowing the Republican Party to use them as identity politics puppets for expanding its minority voting base. They, along with former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman and Secretary of the Interior Gale Ann Norton, have, Flanders contends, been given an easy ride by national media more interested in their fashion choices and family history than in the jobs, lands and freedoms they've eliminated during their tenure. Then there are what Flanders says are the Bushwomen's conflicts of interest and government valentines to corporate concerns, such as destroying previously protected grizzly bear habitat to please logging interests. Along the way, Flanders provides a powerful account of how the government's social agencies have been systematically disabled-or so she claims-over the past 20 years by the very people hired to head them. Fierce, funny and intelligent, Bushwomen fills in an important gap left by other anti-Bush books.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kay on February 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is different from other books on Bush. For one thing, it's solidly researched, for another, it is really fun to read. Flanders isn't catty, instead she sounds genuinely curious -- who on earth are these women in high office -- and are they anything like the image that's been created by the White House pr machine? Along the way, she finds some interesting documents -- I was suprised to learn that Condoleezza Rice's father spoke out against the Vietnam War -- and she illustrates just how much our political process suffers when stories about women emphasize the personal and play down the political. I read a lot of political books, but so far this is definitely my favorite this year. I bought it for my Republican mother and even she enjoyed a lot of it! I'll certainly be recommending it to my friends this year. Flanders predicts we'll be seeing more of the Bushwomen as the election heats up, and she makes a convincing case that we shouldn't rely on the media to tell us who they are!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Laura Flanders has uncovered the hype surrounding the top women in the Bush administration, and it's about time someone did. These women all came into power largely because of feminism and the civil rights movement, yet they have dedicated their lives to destroying those very movements. Born of privilege, they pose as "ordinary" citizens or "immigrants" who rose to the top through sheer hard work and willpower, and then preach that genuinely oppressed groups can do the same thing, despite rampant bigotry in the U.S.
There are six profiles and a couple of bonus chapters. The profiles are of Rice, Hughes, Chao, Ann Veneman, Gale Norton and Chrisine Todd Whitman. There is also a chapter on Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney, and an excellent introductory chapter that sets forth Flanders' spot-on theory: That if the media took women seriously, its members would long ago have exposed the vicious, unethical, unprincipled, extremist behaviors of the women in question. Instead, even the most prestigious and "liberal" media outlets talked about the women's clothes, jewelry and family lives, while devoting almost no space or time to their political agendas. The White House and the media have once again colluded--through their shared disdain of women--to pull the wool over the eyes of a public that doesn't want to see the truth.
You may think you already know a lot about the Bushwomen--I did--but you will be surprised by some ugly revelations. From Norton's lifelong quest to abolish the environmental movement, to Chao's similar ambition to quash fair labor standards, to Whitman's enormous financial conflicts of interest while she was a governor, to Hughes' one-woman poison campaign against Governor Ann Richards--Flanders' book shows the White House for what it is.
The book is thoroughly researched, and many of the notes are worthy reading. Flanders writes with humor. Once I started the book, I found it very hard to put down.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful By L Goodman-Malamuth VINE VOICE on March 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Laura Flanders takes no prisoners in her well-written, extensively documented profile of some of the women who attempt to "soften" the hard edges of George W. Bush's pResidency.
Did you groan when adviser Karen Hughes allegedly went back to Texas "to spend more time with [her] family"--one teenager son still at home? Did you wonder what else was going on? Flanders will tell you. She neatly defuzzes Ann Veneman's warm 'n fuzzy image as the daughter of a peach farmer; unpeeled, she has been a strong advocate for agribusiness over smaller farmers, and has had a hand in steamrolling labor and environmental reforms hard-fought since long before Cesar Chavez made us reconsider putting grapes in our shopping carts.
My only quibble is that I would have loved for "Bushwomen" to be twice as long and included more of the Grand Old Party-gals, but no matter. This is a fast and infuriating read. It shouldn't be the only book on your nightstand in this election year (if you only have time for one, pick up "The Book on Bush," by Eric Alterman and Mark Green). However, if "Bushwomen" is all you can fit in, you'll learn to your chagrin that in the Bush camp, sisterhood isn't powerful, it's truckling to the big white guys. Condoleeza Rice, Karen Hughes, Ann Veneman, Gale Norton, Christine Todd Whitman, and Lynne Cheney should be ashamed of themselves. But evidently, since they are not, we can be ashamed of them, and pack their petticoats back to wherever they came from.
Highly recommended.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By "loubell234" on February 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
How refreshing to read a political book with real voice. Flanders is great on the radio, and just as alive and amusing on the page. She's got strong views, backed up by solid research. A treat to read. After so many books on George, finally a bigger picture. BUSHWOMEN offers a good refresher course on the last twenty years of US history too, and how the Right rose to power. Highly recommended.
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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Katha Pollitt on March 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Laura Flanders is a terrific journalist who can always be counted on for solid research livened with insight and wit. Here she looks into the careers of some prominent women of the Bush Administration, with devastating results. We underrate these women at our peril. As Flanders suggests, "George W. Bush might never have snagged the White House if one woman had been laughed at less: Katherine Harris." The media made fun of her makeup and ditzy-dictatorial manner, and missed the fact that in Florida Harris was well-known as a powerful, shrewd, and ambitious politician.
Bushwomen is perfect reading for the upcoming election season-- a great book club selection, too.
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