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Patriots [Kindle Edition]

David Frum
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

America's first black president has just lost re-election. A new leader tries to pull the country out of a terrible recession—only to face a devilish plot from inside his own party. David Frum's darkly comic satire PATRIOTS is not only a warning about the future of American politics. It is a scorching, intimate explanation of why the U.S. political system has so badly failed the American people over the years just past.

PATRIOTS tells the story of Walter Schotzke, the aimless young heir to America's largest mustard fortune. Walter is sent by his tough-minded grandmother to work in the office of a distinguished U.S. Senator. She hopes her otherwise worthless only grandchild might find purpose, and even appreciation for his country, from political service. Perhaps the job will also help Walter overcome the tragic loss of both his parents—especially that of his famous father, a genuine American hero, whose example Walter can't ever hope to live up to.

In Washington, Walter quickly proves to be a better student of the dark side of politics than he ever was at all the boarding schools he was thrown out of. He gains his education from a farcical faculty of blowhard radio hosts, outraged protestors, think-tank experts-for-hire, shady lobbyists, internet impresiaros, and the sexy but sinister talking heads of the "Patriot News Network."
Lunching and fundraising their luxurious way through economic depression and foreign war, the characters of PATRIOTS prosper by manipulating the fears and resentments of a country in crisis. Walter is used and abused - until, inadvertently and unexpectedly, he finds himself the unlikely hero of the angriest populist movement America has ever seen.

It is not the experience Walter, or his grandmother, expected. Walter must make some tough decisions fast—leading to the novel's surprising and hilarious conclusion.

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: 1051 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007NLP46E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny and entertaining political novel May 4, 2012
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Excellent. Fiction. Fun May 29, 2012
By G. Rutz
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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38 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adequately written, but tiresomely cruel. May 4, 2012
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and easy to read. May 2, 2012
By Taha
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely book on the current political situation
Mr. Frum has a solid bead on the current political situation in Washington. Unfortunately, the lunatics have taken over the asylum and any reasonable policy work for the good of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Victor Marbury
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read filled with interesting insights and observations
Frum's writing style is interesting. I think he took a page from the Elmore Lenard play book in the way he writes dialog. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bama Fan 2009
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever Satirical Look at the Political Party System
This is an easy and fun read if you like to follow politics, especially if you're no fan of the hyper-polarized environment we live in today. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ray Schrab
2.0 out of 5 stars Mildly amusing (emph. "mildly")
Frum tries to avenge and even scores after his apostasy from the GOP. Broad caricatures -- do the clowns who inhabit DC even warrant caricatures? -- but mostly boring. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Village Idiot Savant
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and Fun Read
Pollical satire is quickly becoming my favorite genre, perhaps because it is such a fertile field! The "mustard heir" being forced into the political world by his grandmother was a... Read more
Published on May 19, 2013 by janeaustinfan
4.0 out of 5 stars Political satire
The main character of the novel, Walter Schotzke, is the wastrel son of wealth. He is like a character out of a P.G. Wodehouse novel. Read more
Published on January 14, 2013 by Fred Camfield
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Book
I usually don't review books, but in this case, I have decided to do so. I did not care for the book at all. Read more
Published on November 23, 2012 by baw53
4.0 out of 5 stars Patriots
I was totally engaged by this book. Very humorous throughout and lot of great characters. Storyline flows along well , only disappointment is an overly convenient ending with all... Read more
Published on October 15, 2012 by SeanT
3.0 out of 5 stars Cynical, then corny and hopeful.
Ok, I'm too much of a knee jerk liberal and west coaster to fully understand what Frum is going on about. Read more
Published on September 28, 2012 by E. J. Miller
1.0 out of 5 stars Ouch - Version 2 so I can share the response.
I wrote a review earlier today that lead to the author quickly responding and calling me a liar since the book "is not available in bookstores" and accusing me of being part of... Read more
Published on September 22, 2012 by Amazon Customer
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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

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