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Liberty Under Siege: American Politics 1976-1988 Paperback – January 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
His opening chapter, describing the quiet patriotism and pride that flowed through America during the bicentennial, is genuinely stirring, but the rest of the book describes "Oligarchy's" relentless attempt to tear down the old republic and replace it with a cold and ruthless empire whose citizens "dwell in darkness," forbidden to congregate in public forums, hypocritically lectured about the evils of alcohol and drugs, ignored and lied to by their leaders, who take their money and use it to wage foreign wars, oblivious to the hungry and sick in their own land.
There are no heroes in this book, not even Jimmy Carter, who comes across less as a "tribune of the people" than a sort of well-meaning schmuck who lacks the fire to stand up to the party system. If Carter had appealed to the people just once, he might have exposed Congress's mendaciousness and saved his presidency, but he seemed unable to believe that his own party would deliberately unite against him, even as the idiotic Ted Kennedy tried to stage a coup d'etat against him. That they did indeed betray Carter is proven by the fact that, after Reagan's election, the Democrats rallied behind the new president. What kind of "opposition" party is this?Read more ›
Part I of the book is a review of the Carter administration and its struggles with Congress. Karp's theory is that elites in the Democratic Party, e.g. Tip O'Neill and Scoop Jackson, deliberately destroyed Carter's presidency to keep control of the party from the people. I don't think Karp backs up this very controversial theory with enough evidence. Part II is a harsh indictment of the Reagan administration and of the Democratic party leaders. Karp accuses them of colluding against the American people. Again, he does not make a convincing case for this theory.
In fairness to Karp, he does make some valid and important points. He rightly blasts Congressional leaders of both parties for undermining campaign finance laws and allowing money to subvert the political process. He also rightly blasts Reagan for his poor record on civil liberties, especially his undermining of the Freedom of Information Act. If Karp had simply confined himself to dispassionate criticism of the political establishment, his book would have been much more effective. The conspiracy theories will unfortunately obscure his legitimate points.