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Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals Hardcover – September 14, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (September 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684813726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684813721
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Don't look for President Clinton's picture in The Book of Virtues; bestselling author and former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett considers Bill Clinton uniquely unvirtuous. In the wake of the White House intern sex scandal, Bennett accuses Clinton of crimes at least as serious as those committed by Richard Nixon during the Watergate imbroglio. Rising above anti-Clinton polemics, The Death of Outrage urges the American public--which initially displayed not much more than a collective shrug--to take issue with the president's private and public conduct. Clinton should be judged by more than the state of the economy, implores Bennett. The commander in chief sets the moral tone of the nation; a reckless personal life and repeated lying from the bully pulpit call for a heavy sanction. The American people should demand nothing less, says the onetime federal drug czar. In each chapter, Bennett lays out the rhetorical defenses made on Clinton's behalf (the case against him is "only about sex," harsh judgmentalism has no place in modern society, independent counsel Kenneth Starr is a partisan prosecutor, etc.) and picks them apart. He may not convince everybody, but this is an effective conservative brief against Bill Clinton. --John J. Miller

From Booklist

That the author of the Book of Virtues (1993) is appalled by the Clinton-Lewinsky affair is certainly no surprise. Nor is it surprising that Bennett's take on the affair was rushed into publication just after the president's short speech on the matter. After all, if the president was to resign, the book would be moot. Bennett's stated objective is to put the presidential sex scandal into a larger perspective; he hopes to shows that if Americans accept the arguments made in Clinton's defense, "we will have committed an unthinking act of moral and intellectual disarmament." To make sure that doesn't happen, Bennett sets out all Clinton's defenses and attempts to shoot them down. His topics include sex, character, politics, Ken Starr, law, and judgment. Anyone who has heard Bennett (or any of his fellow talking-heads) on the unending television shows that are tracking the scandal will find nothing new here. On the other hand, Bennett's organization is crisp, and his arguments, unlike those of so many on both sides of the issue, are cogent. That doesn't mean a bit of demagoguery here and a bit of disingenuousness there doesn't creep in. For instance, he baldly states that Clinton or Reno could simply fire Starr if they feel he has performed his job so poorly. Surely he's old enough to remember the Saturday Night Massacre and how well that worked out for Nixon. Whether this book will change anyone's mind is doubtful, but there can be no doubt about one thing: Bennett will continue to turn up on the talk shows. Ilene Cooper

More About the Author

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.


Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
If you are one who SUPPORTS the notion that character doesn't count then this is a book that will not make much of a difference in your belief system. However, if forthrightness, integrity, and honesty are important leadership traits to you then this is a must read. Mr. Bennett lays the facts before the reader in clear, easy to understand language and debunks Clinton supporters' point for point with Clinton's own words.
One reviewer stated his dislike for the personal tone that the book sometimes takes. But what has not been realized by the reviewer is that the contorted double helix of untruths the president and his men have fashioned has made a book of this matter necessary.
Ultimately only those individuals who would avoid reality will find great fault in this simple, yet eloquent, book that exposes the man know as William Jefferson Clinton for what he is.
Even more... it tells us about ourselves. And you will not like what you'll see.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
Bennett in his typical style thoughtfully summarizes and carefully probes the arguments in this heated controversy. He reminds us that there are inevitable consequences for breaking moral precepts. At times he pushes the argument too far, revealing his anger with Clinton the man. This is unneccesary, he does best when allowing the Presidents words and deeds to prove his argument. I appreciate his candor in finding the independent counsel statute flawed and find it ironic that Clinton renewed the law in 1994.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Koenig on December 23, 1998
Format: Audio Cassette
William Bennett presents in this short, easily readable book a clear, cogent argument for the removal of Bill Clinton as President. Anyone who is wavering in the middle, unsure as to whether Clinton's offenses rise to the level of impeachment needs to read this book. Bennett's arguments are logical, persuasive, and essentially irrefutable. This book should be required reading in college political science curricula.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Ledbetter on November 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bennett once again flips on the light of truth in the dark, sleezy, corrupt room of the vast left wing conspiracy. Whose headquarters are now unfortunately in the Oval Office of this great country. An Office now corrupted and bringing down the Democrates into the dirt with them. You see, to the Clintons there is no such thing as political opponents or mutual respect for idealogically different opinions or beliefs anymore. To them everyone who is not of their belief is the enemy. Even to the point of feeling the same about the American people they are suppose to represent. If you do not whole heartedly support the Clintonites you are the enemy. With a capitol E. That means one half of the American people are Bill and Hillary's Enemies. Not merely a political opponent. Bennett knows this very well. And the monstous saber toothed, poison spewing termites of the Bill and Hilllary Clinton Machine (similar to the war depicted in the movie ANTS) go into motion to uterly destroy that light. I.E. the Peewee Hermans of Politics (James Carville, Susan Estrich and Mario Como). Throughout this entire saga we have watched as the liberal left (Democrates and Special Interest Extremist) have opened the floodgates of their true nature. Which is to defend anyone who supports their simple minded agendas and enslaving political and/or social goals. Regardless of the kind of person they are. Forget the founders, the federalist papers and the reasons America came into being. Power is all important to them not America. Their programs are the making of 21st Century Slavery and the masses are holding their arms wide open to this enslavement. Dependency on Liberal handouts is and will be slavery for minorities and women.Read more ›
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Steven Fantina on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although William Bennett competently refutes the banal defenses repeatedly purported by Clinton's army of minions, this work is basically an exercise in futility. Clinton loyalists have no interest in plenary dialectics, nor are they concerned with basic facts. Spin trumps all when it comes to Slick Willie.
This revised version includes an afterward written following the noble impeachment and the rushed mock trial staged in the U.S. Senate. Rather than provide Monday Morning Quarterback reflection, this postmortem revisiting allows for additional analysis of what was a widely known preordained conclusion. Bennett rightly argues that the Democratic Party has some repair work to do to its image and integrity. He cites NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg's brazen gratitude to smutmeister Larry Flynn for his defense of the Adulterer-in-Chief and profligate praise from many other Democrats whose unconditional support of their leader disgraced their party's long history of rectitude and character.
Perhaps most telling is the synopsis of Democratic replies to Juanita Broderick's undisputed charge that Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton raped her two decades ago. The noisy defenders suddenly become eerily quiet, and even Clinton's most drooling sycophants-who so willingly smear the name of anyone opposing their leader-fail to speak out against Mrs. Broderick. Bennett quotes Dee Dee Myers and David Gergen-both of whom seem to tacitly-and very unhappily-acknowledge their belief in the authenticity of Mrs. Broderick's claim.
I do have one criticism of Mr. Bennet concerning a lack of disclosure. At one point he mentions that Clinton's lawyer (who remains unnamed) was forced to admit to a judge that he had unknowingly assisted his client in promulgating specious information. The author should have identified the attorney as his brother, Robert Bennett.
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