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Patriots Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 484 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"David Frum is someone who fearlessly speaks his mind, regardless of where the chips may fall, so it’s no surprise he’s able to convey so much truth in his fiction." - Arianna Huffington

"What the novel captures best is the frenzy of our time. When money, politics and ideology converge on one city in the first age of truly instant communication, it becomes possible to stir up rage and fear on a grand scale in less than 15 minutes. Whole, short chapters of this book are simply quotations from the blogs, tweets and headlines of crucial days when the madness is at its height. Plenty of people have a vested interest in the madness... As one says: ''There are really only two choices. We win and they lose – or else, they win and we lose.’’ Walter’s proposition is that there is, in fact, a third possibility: ''We all lose.’’" -Charles Moore, The Telegraph

“…it is excellent political satire—and, for those in the know, bears more than a passing resemblance to reality.” -The Economist

Product Details

  • File Size: 1047 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Publication Date: April 30, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007NLP46E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,817 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek/Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of eight books, including most recently the e-book WHY ROMNEY LOST and his first novel, PATRIOTS. In 2001-2002, he served as speechwriter and special assistant to President George W. Bush; in 2007-2008, as senior adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign. You can read him at and on Twitter @davidfrum

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Frum, best known for his work as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and coining the phrase "Axis of Evil", has written his first novel, a humorous, slyly satirical and apparently somewhat autobiographical book about how Washington does, and in most cases doesn't, work. While the book's main character is clearly not actually based on Frum, I would bet that several things that the protagonist witnesses in the book are true stories Frum experienced or heard about. While the Kindle version of the book has several editing and formatting issues, the book itself is actually very well written and shows that Frum has the ability to be a slightly more serious version of Christopher Buckley, whos Thank You for Smoking: A Novel I was reminded of several times as I ripped through Patriots.

If you follow politics, it's a great, fast read, and even if you don't, Frum cleverly tells the story from the 1st person view of Walter Sholtzky, a layabout heir to a mustard fortune who has failed at everything he's even done and has no knowledge of politics or much of anything else. Walter is a decent person, for a trust fund baby, though he is far from perfect. He is made to take a job in the office of Senator Hazen of Rhode Island, an old Consitutionalist (Frum's stand in for Republicans) and friend of his family. As Walter learns how Washington works, so do we.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like to read David Frum's blog and I had read the first 10 chapters at the Huffington Post already. So I bought this book the first day it was out and finished it in 2 nights. It's written in an engaging and easy to read style. I found some sloppy typos in the book and the constant reminders of the protagonist's great sex life with the perfect not-looking-for-a-rich-guy-but-dating-a-rich-guy girlfriend became somewhat annoying after a while.

Going through the book, I often wondered whether Frum wrote the book with different names first and then went through and did a Search/Replace on "Fox News" with "Patriot News" and "Republican Party" with "Constitutionalist Party" and so on. Some of the characters and lifted almost verbatim from the real world (like Glen Beck). It was interesting to read about the type of power play, behind the scenes machinations that drive life in politics in Washington.

My main gripe with the book (SPOILER ALERT) is that the ending was somewhat abrupt and unsatisfying. After working the whole book for a deficit reduction deal with higher taxes in order to balance the budget and pay down debt, the Republican, oops, sorry, Constitutionalist president instead caves into his own party's demands and slashes taxes instead. Then what? Life goes on? That's it? What about the crushing debt and budget and all that? Forgotten? It went away on its own? Aliens came down from space and paid it down?

Inquiring minds want to know.
6 Comments 12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this review, I'm going to briefly compare and contrast two Davids who have each "crossed paths", one by moving to the right; the other, to the left. I'll then discuss Patriots in more detail.

Frum's Patriots is an over-the-top satire of Frum's views of the contemporary US Republican (and Conservative) movement. Just as talented playwright David Mamet has lurched to the right in recent years, Frum, a former speech-writer for George W. Bush, has lurched to the left.

The Mamet/Frum comparison is, I think, not entirely inapt. Both have chosen to examine what they each have viewed as the unravelling of American Culture. Mamet is unquestionably a better writer, though I tend to think Frum has a little more gravitas as a popular intellectual. Indeed, Frum's awkwardly titled (2000) book, How We Got Here: The 70's: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life -- For Better or Worse, is a clever and thoughtful look at the damaging [in Frum's view at the time] effects of the 1970's on America.

Mamet's first work of political non-fiction, The Secret Knowledge (2011) comes off as far more anecdotal, and somewhat angrier than Frum's best work (How We Got Here). This isn't to disparage Mamet's The Secret Knowledge (2011), but if I had to pick one book about the unravelling of American Culture from an intelligent conservative perspective, I'd probably pick Frum's 2000 work.

On fiction? No contest. Mamet, whether as a liberal or conservative, beats Frum hands down. Is that a fair comparison, though? Perhaps not. Some context though, for anyone who wishes to judge what my own biases and thoughts might be.

So: Patriots. An engaging book? Surprisingly, yes.
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16 Comments 38 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
David Frum has written an engaging political pot boiler about the bitter machinations of modern day political America.
He would have received 5 stars but I began to suspect I was learning something or at least he was trying to teach me something - which I reject in any fictional work. Having therefore refused to learn anything, I enjoyed the book a lot more but it did cost him a star.

It is much harsher on the Conservatives than the Liberals, but with the eye on hyperbole and events built for the story rather than revealing any current truths. It is an attack, in a fictional sense on ideology replaced by rating, conviction replaced by the coldest pragmatism.

But, this is very fun read and to me, that's all that counts. Our hero Walter is an amblivelent rich guy which zero ambition and maximum apathy toward anything political. He is drawn into the malestrom of politics, basically to satisfy his girlfriend and grandmother; both of whom want to make something of himself.
Seen through Walter's perspective as we get closer and closer to the Powers That Be, we are made to believe that not only is politics only for the seriously deranged and cynical but that selling out in the best way possible is the only recourse.
I did think the ending was weak, requiring a now learned Rich Guy and vague hope of change.

I want to keep saying that this is fun read, a page turner, a great story. Highly recommended.
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