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Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics Hardcover – December 17, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (December 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465041213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465041213
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,124,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lind (The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics) delves deep into the heart of George W. Bush's Texas, and what he finds may give moderates pause and send liberals scurrying. According to Lind (a fifth-generation Texan), the politics of West Texas are steeped in racism, environmental exploitation, jingoistic militarism, crony capitalism, an anti-public education bias and a fundamentalist evangelicalism inconsistent with the separation of church and state. About President Bush's relation to these beliefs, Lind in part merely implies it by association, saying, "Cultural geography is of little use in analyzing the personalities of politicians-but it is indispensable in understanding their politics." However, Lind argues, with considerable verve, that the constellation of political beliefs embodying Bush-style politics is designed to exploit the nation's natural and human resources for the benefit of a powerful oligarchy. According to Lind, Bush's election translates to the "capture... of the vast power of the federal apparatus by Southern reactionaries...." and is "a threat to the peace and well-being not only of America but of the world." Stopping the threat, for Lind, does not necessarily mean reelecting Democrats, although unseating Bush would be a first step. Provocative as his examination may seem to some, Lind's hyperbolic tone is comparable to that of the most incendiary talk-show host. And his ultimate solution is strange and radical. Lind suggests that the federal government encourage a portion of the American population to relocate away from crowded, nonwhite, poor urban centers to the currently depopulated western plains to create a "decentralist utopia." Well, perhaps.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A starting point for future debate about the economic, political and social origins of the Bush presidency." -- - New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

As a book of anthropology, sociology, and politics, this is a most insightful book.
Ron Spencer
Lind's finely reasoned work explains how this type of macho anti-intellectualism which Bush espouses works against America and its relations with the world.
William Hare
Basically what Lind, and alot of other people don't get is that Bush represents a hybrid of Northern and Frontier Southern.
Billy Parker's cantakerous mule

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By K. Johnson VINE VOICE on April 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Author Michael Lind, a 5th generation Texan, provides a dual biography of a President and the state of Texas. This is what makes it so interesting. Many authors have recently published books regarding Bush 43's personality and policies, specifically, in response to September, 2001. In this book however, Lind analyses and examines George W. Bush's policies and links them to the influential continuum of the cultural and political forces of Texas: the Deep South, Southern Protestants, and the Neo-conservative foundations that were solidified by his father's, administration. In short, what he's doing today according to Lind is not solely or even significantly as a result of September '01. Obviously as for any policy-maker, Bush 43's current policy-making in general is derived from himself, and his convictions are the result of his primary influences, past and present. Therefore the question is, what is this spectrum that influences him the most?
Texas
Lind expands more on his home-state of Texas. The state of Texas is often seen misappropriately, as culturally Western, but in fact it's clearly Southern, and Deeply Southern. This has always been apparent to those who've lived in and/or studied the South and Texas.
There are two camps in Texas: One is the "Texas modernists," of which Bush 43 is not. Lind categorizes Bush 43 as one of the "Texas traditionalists." These are proponents of militarism and an economic base focusing on commodity exports and oil exploration. This southern economic model which George W. advocates, Lind claims, will continue to push for free-trade agreements which send U.S. jobs oversees, and entice out-of-state companies to move to southern states because of lower wages.
These are but a few examples and insights Lind provides.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By the dirty mac on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Michael Lind is a native Texan who loves his state, but pulls no punches about the destructive path its recent leaders (George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, etc.) are taking the nation. He is also one of the more original and unpredictable pundits around. Just when you think you have him pegged ideologically, he throws you a curve. Although a fierce critic of today's Republican right, he also opposes affirmative action and property taxes, and he is no apologist for today's Democratic Party either. The constants in his writing are populism and contempt for conventional wisdom. Check your preconceptions at the door before reading him.

The book's central focus is how Texas as a state and the South as a region have impacted, in both positive and negative ways, American political ecomomy. As Lind sees it, the two dominant political factions in Texas have been the "traditionalists" and the "modernists." He stresses that these labels do not necessarily coincide with "liberal" and "conservative." Today the traditionalists are represented by the Bush family and other Texas Republicans (although Lind also places Lloyd Bentsen in this camp). They are more or less the successors to the 19th century Confederates and the segregationist Democrats who ran the state in the first half of the 20th century. This group, he writes, "is content for Texas to have a low-wage, commodity exporting economy, even if the result is a society with enormous inequalities of wealth and opportunity."

The "modernists" have been more eclectic politically. They have included John Connally on the right, H. Ross Perot in the center and Barbara Jordan on the moderate left. Lind defines their vision as "a high-tech economy with a meritocratic society.
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171 of 217 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hodgman on December 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, to be honest, I did not vote for George W. Bush. Probably like many people I viewed him as well-meaning but under-informed, an underachiever in life who was handed the reins of power through pure luck and powerful connections. I was sure, with the help of his father and the elders in the Republican Party, he would surround himself with competent advisors and ultimately pursue a course of moderation and good sense in both domestic and foreign affairs. Therefore, when some of the early initiatives out of the White House seemed counter to earlier expectations (abrogation of important treaties, anti-environmental positions, unilateralist and militaristic approaches to complex world problems, a dangerous and unbalanced approach to the Middle Eastern crisis) my visceral discomfort with this man has evolved into alarm. This book by Michael Lind confirms my worst fears. It is a scholarly and objective survey of the culture from which our president arose. As Lind points out, we have had southerner presidents who were liberals and northerner presidents who were conservatives, but never since Andrew Jackson have we had a southern conservative holding the most powerful office in the land. Lind does a thorough job of analyzing the state of Texas from the demographic standpoint, pointing out that the majority of the population reside in East Texas which is intrinsically part of the deep south. These people largely originated in Scotland and Northern Ireland (Scots-Irish) and brought with them to this country a 17th and 18th century British outlook on class and empire, typified by the attitudes of a land-holding aristocracy. In an economic sense their ancestral model is Thomas Jefferson.Read more ›
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