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Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy Paperback – December 31, 1993

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George F. Will's column appears in more than four hundred newspapers nationwide. His work also appears biweekly in Newsweek. Will is a commentator for ABC News and the author of twelve books in addition to Men at Work. He was educated at Trinity College in Connecticut, Oxford University, and Princeton University. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (December 31, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029347130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029347133
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,412,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. P. Ledbetter on July 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
RESTORATION
In this book George Will has proven himself to be one of the great political thinkers of our times. His wisdom, although presented in 1992 in Restoration over a decade ago, is still vitally relevant to today and tomarrow and to the future of the American Republic as when he wrote it.
I have spent decades as have many other average Americans, being frustrated, over the sorry state of affairs in our nation and especially in our government institutions.
Many of us have had a nagging feeling that something was causing our nation to slowly slide into the hands of unconstitutional, unpatriotic, unethical, immoral, greedy, power hungry, elitist who pretend to care about "WE the People." But really care only about padding their own nest, enriching themselves and their families with material and monetary things, and to ensure their political longevity.
They seek only to acquire unwarranted influence and with it manipulate the mob and sheepish unenlightened among us for their deviant personal near-treasonous self-gratification.
Communism, socialism, mob rule democracy (dispised by our founders)or life-term representative encumbancy, it makes no difference to them, as long as they are on the top of the social aristocracy, and the rest of us are on the bottom. Nepotism and narcissism runs rampant in their ranks and this shows each and every day whether they are conducting business in the House or Senate, or during elections and reelection campaigns.
They will, as Bill and Hillary have so eloquently demonstrated, do, say and support anything that will help them get and stay in power, as members of that society of disgusting ladies and gentlemen, known as the 20th and 21st century politician...
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Format: Paperback
Those who were following politics in the early Nineties remember the House bank/post office scandal, an episode that caused great public anger and debate and led many to call for term limits on members of Congress--I can remember attending a February 1992 debate on my college campus concerning term limits.

In "Restoration", George Will makes the case for term limits. He demonstrates how problematic gerrymandering had become by showing geographic outlines of crazily-shaped districts, and talks about the problems associated with careerism by congressmen--under such circumstances, Congress begins to legislate for its own interests, Will asserts, instead of for the public interest.

The author believes that term limits would strengthen, not weaken, Congress by making it more able to solve long-term problems and that term limits would restore congressional supremacy in an age when Will thought that the presidency had become too important relative to the legislative branch.

The call for term limits has abated somewhat in the 17 years since the book was written, but the book is a great read no matter which position you take on this issue.
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Congress is rotten and this book offers the perfect cure for the evils of the federal government -- elect Republicans!

It's the ultimate conservative solution to the woes of contemporary life: Let's go back to the good ol' days. Will puts politicians such as Thomas Jefferson on a pedestal, completely ignoring the bitter criticism that conservatives directed at Jefferson in his day.

On a more recent basis, he says modern politicians should be like Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater who he says was "enticed" into politics in 1952 and quipped at the time, "It ain't for life and it might be fun." He ignores that Goldwater got into politics in 1946 as a prime backer of a state law that prevented veterans from returning to their pre-war jobs. For Goldwater, politics was his only lifetime occupation.

This book isn't an objective analysis of federal politics; it's a blatant recital of the Republican party positions of 1991. It's pure nostalgia, completely oblivious to the "greedy old party" lobbyists such as Jack Abranoff and the stench of corruption surrounding the flood of new lobbyists who flocked to Washington after George Bush was elected in 2000.

It's a disappointing book, because it ignores the basic problem of limiting power in an extraordinarily rich society. The corruption of wealth and power has afflicted every great society since time began; the secret deals that made Enron a major architect of today's energy policies is typical of great power run amok. The basic issue Will ignores is honesty; as Malcolm Gladwell points out in 'The Tipping Point', honesty is governed more by one's associates than by abstract principles.
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