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Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 3, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Top Customer Reviews
The only reason why I didn't give it five stars is that I found myself when I finished the book thinking, "That was intriguing... funny... but now what?" It was, in the end, an interesting spectacle, but did she write it for anything else other than to make clever jokes? After all, she made fun of Gore and Clinton, and Reagan, etc. etc. etc. too. Is there anything she doesn't turn a cynical eye toward? One of earliest sentences in the book says it all. "It's their reality. We just live and die in it." Is she really making an anti-Bush statement, or is she just making fun of a "current President?" The book is humorous, but it's unlikely to move liberals to social action. If it's really already Bush's reality, after all, what's the point?
In "Bush World", Dowd compiles her columns in the New York Times since Bush appeared on the national stage. Dowd writes with a cleverness that can be just a hazy memory to, well, a certain radio talk-show host who had conditioned his hard-core base to confuse scorn for wit. Dowd is not like that; this book is the real thing.
These colums are quite critical of the Bush administration's actions and practices. Some people might find this compilation too negative. However, another Mencken quotation comes to mind: "Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed."
You don't have to agree with what Dowd writes, in whole or in part, to value this book. I have listened to very conservative commentators whom I strongly disagreed with, and I appreciate them when they are clever or interesting. I expect my fellow citizens to the right-of-center likewise enjoy a differing viewpoint well put. Maureen Dowd is, at least, very clever and interesting. Nor did I agree with everything Dowd wrote in "Bush World". For example, several times Dowd characterizes Dick Cheney's world-view as "Hobbesian". So, what's wrong with Thomas Hobbes, who famously wrote, "[The state of nature consists of] . . . continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"?Read more ›
The result is that Dowd's work is easier to fly through, whereas Krugman's takes a little more effort but is ultimately more rewarding. In her constant attempts at light-hearted and jaded humor, Dowd sometimes comes off as rather flaky...but where she doesn't hit the bullseye, she usually comes pretty close in the vicinity and that is her main credit.
In "Bushworld," she zeroes in on what most Americans already know or increasingly suspect: that Bush Jr. is a hopelessly provincial, empty-headed and simplistic straw man who likes to pose as the Marlboro Man while being manipulated by Machiavellian advisors like Karl Rove and the whole pathologically deluded entourage who got us into this Iraq quagmire, now known as the "neocons" as well as the extreme religous right who in exchange for electoral support now get to write 90% of Bush's social policy positions.
It's a sad, mad, and dangerous situation which in some ways perfectly suits the often desperate attempts at humor and hip detachment to which Dowd, as a powerless spectator like most of us, resorts.
For readers who would prefer a snappier, crackle-and-pop style of writing about this hijacked, half-elected White House, Dowd's book is a fine messenger.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Talented as she has been over the years with her research and writing skills, Maureen hits the nail on the head with this book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ernest Bach
Hilarious, but then again, Maureen is ALWAYS hilarious.Published 8 months ago by Michele Deady-paano
I bought the audio CD. It didn't say who was narrating, but I expected, based on her other book gone audia, that it would be read by the author herself. Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by catherine_klemann
Knowing a friend is a big fan of author Dowd, I bought this book for that friend as a gift. She began reading immediately and promised to let me read it when she finishes. Read morePublished on October 2, 2012 by Maryann
Let me preface this review with the fact that I read this book eight years after its release. With most books that isn't really an issue but since the primary time frame that is... Read morePublished on September 14, 2012 by CelticWomanFanPiano
Dear Mrs. Bush,
I am afraid they set up a trap. I hope you will forgive my comments, as you did your son when he sat next to the Queen of England. Read more