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Generalissimo El Busho: Essays & Cartoons on the Bush Years Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561633844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561633845
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,831,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Even when the country was rallying around President Bush, syndicated cartoonist and columnist Rall remained in a state of outrage—one he effectively maintains throughout this book, a set of essay-like meditations on a Pinochetesque figure he calls "Generalissimo El Busho." Each of 60 or so short salvos is typically accompanied by one to three cartoons (at most four to six panels). Bush's election ("The Seizure of Power") is followed by a post-9/11 cartoon on the president's attitudes toward civil liberties violations titled "Martin Niemoller Now"—referring to the priest who said, in part, "When they came for Jews, I did not speak up, because I wasn't a Jew." A prescient cartoon imagines the prison at Guantánamo as the reality show Gitmo House. A "Canyon of Heroes" cartoon cites a 9/11 victim: "My death helped create the political climate that allowed tax cuts for rich folks during a recession." Love him or hate him, Rall is never less than provocative. The material is current through March 2004, and much of it still stings. A specialist on Central Asia, Rall actually went to Afghanistan and wrote, "We won the war but we lost the peace. Will we do the same thing in Iraq? Count on it."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Rall has filed some of the best reporting from Afghanistan by an American journalist." -- The Nation

"Should (Rall) be pubished, arrested? Shot at dawn? Governmental action may be necessary." -- 1996/2000 Republican Presidential Candidate Alan Keyes

"Ted Rall is a national hero." -- Daily Texan

"Ted Rall is giving dissent a bad name." -- The Comics Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Ted Rall is a nationally syndicated political cartoonist, columnist, graphic novelist, editor, author and occasional war correspondent.

Twice the winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rall's important books include "Revenge of the Latchkey Kids," about the travails of Generation X, and "Silk Road to Ruin," a survey of ex-Soviet Central Asia. He traveled to Afghanistan during the fall 2001 U.S. invasion, where he drew and wrote "To Afghanistan and Back," the first book of any kind about the war. He was also one of the first journalists to declare the war effort doomed, writing in The Village Voice in December 2001 that the occupation had already been lost.

Rall's latest book is "The Book of Obama: How We Went From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt." His next book, "After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan," comes out in November 2013.

Inspired after meeting pop artist Keith Haring in a Manhattan subway station in 1986, Rall began posting his cartoons on New York City streets. He eventually picked up 12 small clients, including NY Weekly and a poetry review in Halifax, Nova Scotia, through self-syndication. In 1990, he returned to Columbia University to resume his studies, from which he graduated with a bachelor of arts with honors in history in 1991. (His honors thesis was about American plans to occupy France as an enemy power at the end of World War II.) Later that year, Rall's cartoons were signed for national syndication by San Francisco Chronicle Features, which is no longer in business. He moved to Universal Press Syndicate in 1996.

His cartoons now appear in more than 100 publications around the United States, including the Los Angeles Times, Tucson Weekly, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Pasadena Weekly and MAD Magazine.

Rall considers himself a neo-traditionalist who uses a unique drawing style to revive the aggressive approach of Thomas Nast, who viewed editorial cartoons as a vehicle for change. His focus is on issues important to ordinary working people--he keeps a sign asking "What do actual people care about?" above his drafting table--such as un- and underemployment, the environment and popular culture, but also comments on political and social trends.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
In our society of competing popularity contests, in which the prevalence of countervailing insults seems to be of more importance than democratic ideals in maintaining political social ties, Ted Rall draws the cartoons which demonstrate how much freedom of speech editors are willing to allow in an America that is so clearly divided that journalists ought to feel obligated to maintain some sympathy for readers who are more likely to agree with Rall than with unsubstantiated assertions from anonymous sources. With the current controversies about secret provisions inserted in late-night conference committee drafts of important end-of-session appropriations legislation, it is not surprising that most people are capable of believing that the United States has reached a level of secrecy which makes the scenes shown in Ted Rall's cartoon possible, if not probable. Most of us don't actually know where Jimmy Hoffa's body ended up, and it is a shame that this book does not have an index to allow curious readers to look up Hoffa and see if Rall has a new theory on that, but we are sure to have a few ideas about events between October 10, 2000 ("Never has that been clearer than during this sad, pathetic, duller than death election year." p. 17) and the Last Word on March 2, 2004 (p. 207) and the essays in GENERALISSIMO EL BUSH allow news junkies to see how much more or less than Rall we knew then or know now. When it comes to predictions, Rall made some good ones, and I am unaware of any that were so far off he had to leave them out of this book in 2004, when, like the Worst-Case Scenarios cartoon on page 21, "The Jerk stops here" sign looks like it is on the desk in the Oval Office.Read more ›
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By ANTONIO GUERRA BURGOS on August 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
A blend of caustic humor and well-written razor-sharp prose that's hard to put down. I spent many a sleepless night reading and re-reading this highly stimulating book and scanning and e-mailing the author's clever, pointed, and merciless cartoons to pro and anti-Bushies alike. Ted Rall was one of the few Americans who weren't fooled by the Bush administration's claim that Saddam Hussein was armed with horrible weapons, in cahoots with al-Qaeda, and an imminent threat which required immediate military intervention. This collection of articles from Rall's incisive weekly column during the Bush years, peppered with more than 120 of his pull-no-punches cartoons, is a spellbinding read.

The introduction by fellow political cartoonist, Tom Tomorrow, sardonically defends Rall against those who accuse him of hating America; "...he hates America so much, he thinks the guy who wins the election should be the guy who actually becomes president."

In the preface that follows, Ted Rall describes the incredible events that took place during and shortly after Election Day, November 7, 2000. On November 9th, more than a month before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Bush v. Gore, the Bush campaign sent James Baker to proclaim Bush the winner on PBS' The News With Jim Lehrer. "...as the recount continued, Baker returned to Lehrer's show to threaten a military coup d'état should Bush be denied the presidency. Bush's people sent young goons to beat up and intimidate Miami-Dade County election workers."
These events heralded Rall's creation of "Generalissimo El Busho".

"Bush was a bully. Like all bullies-like all tin-pot third world autocrats-he wasn't going to take no for an answer.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles K. Pickerill on September 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Generalissimo El Busho: Essays & Cartoons on the Bush Years by Ted Rall is a scathing, funny, and poignant collection on the George W. Bush Presidency. Starting out with the 2000 election and exploring topics like 9/11, the Iraq War etc., Rall presents some legitimate, tough, and in some cases eye opening criticism on W. and his administration. I was specifically entertained endlessly by his cartoons of "el presidente". They are crude drawings, but delibertly so. They are so funny and the criticism is so dead on I would recommend it to anyone who has legitimate questions about this administration. The facts are Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, there was no link between Iraq and Al-Queda, and we were mislead into a war that has distracted from what should be the real focus fighting Al-Queda and terrorism and finding the "evil-doer" Osama Bin-Laden. Rall presents the mistakes of W. in a fun and entertaining fashion. A must read!
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By SuperNose on August 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book i've read by Rall, after seeing his comics for years in the Village Voice. Here, he skewers members of the current administration and their bogus "war" on terror, with special attention paid to our "(P)resident-in-Chief", El Busho. if you need to hear someone tell it like it is, without all the wishy-washy popcorn crap from the major media news outlets, this is the book for you. But be forewarned: Rall's commando style may be hurtful to those with their heads stuck in the sand, contented with what they believe to be "facts".
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