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The Bush Betrayal Hardcover – August 7, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Writing from a libertarian perspective, Bovard (Terrorism and Tyranny, etc.) offers a fierce critique of the presidency of George W. Bush , focusing on restrictions on liberty and expansion of government. After 9/11, he writes, "[t]he simple solution was to increase the power of good—i.e., government—to vanquish evil." By the fourth chapter, Bovard has moved on to Bush's gyrations on free trade, notably steel tariffs. By the fifth, he's on to No Child Left Behind, arguing that home schooling surpasses government schooling. Bovard takes swipes at AmeriCorps (a wasteful way for Bush to invoke virtue, he says), subsidies for sugar (an industry that gives huge political contributions), the Medicare bill (far more expensive than advertised), the prison industry and the drug war. He asserts that Attorney General John Ashcroft has "effectively encouraged agencies to deny FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requests" and points out abuses of 9/11 detainees in New York. Americans, Bovard concludes, should cease looking to a president as a savior and instead view him as a hired hand—though he doesn't exactly sketch out the boundaries of such limited government. The book, based on secondary sources, does not break much new ground. It is notable as a comprehensive attack on the administration from a less-often-heard place on the political spectrum.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



"Jim Bovard is a one-man policy think tank, or, rather, a one-man version of what a policy think tank ought to be. Instead of cozying up to the state, the Beltwayites ought to be trying to copy Bovard: doing meticulous and meticulously documented analysis of the crimes of government. Who ever looks, really looks, with the right attitude, at the budget and programs of a federal agency? Or records, with great wit, all the felonies against freedom of the Clinton and Bush administrations? Not that they could copy Bovard, but they ought to try. [The Bush Betrayal] is the handbook of our revolution."--Lew Rockwell, www.lewrockwell.com

"Ahhh, life is so good lately. Happy times. Today, the Postmaster General delived to my door an early copy of The Bush Betrayal, sent to me by Jim Bovard. It's not quite available yet for the masses, but will be soon. So quit wasting time and go order it. A quick glance at this book immediately indicates two things: this book is going to kick some Bush-loving a**, and, cracking open this irresistable cover is going to keep me up til 2am again tonight."
--Karen De Coster, www.karendecoster.com

"One American – a true patriot in my opinion – who has not been hoodwinked or bamboozled by Bush Administration propaganda is James Bovard.... The Bush Betrayal is the best book for an introductory course on what patriotism really means, and it will certainly help awake a comatose public before all its rights are trampled by future 'Bush’s'."
--Jim Grichar, www.lewrockwell.com

"This book is bound to be banned. It obviously violates several federal statutes. It's rapid-fire, high-capacity, equipped with bayonet-sharp wit, and loaded with politician-piercing ammo. Never mind that the ammo is merely words. We already know how terrified the Bush administration is of opponents who fire verbs and nouns.... If you already believed the Bush administration was a bit scary, perhaps even a bit mad, you'll have more evidence than you ever imagined after finishing The Bush Betrayal. If (like me) you believe you already know everything you need to know about the administration's ways, I can assure you that you'll learn more and - this is the kicker - enjoy the process of discovering the facts."--Claire Wolfe, www.clairewolfe.com

“Right from the start, Bovard opens in rapid-fire succession on governmental failures surrounding 9/11.... Bovard also finds amazing anecdotes and details you can't find -- under one roof -- anywhere else.... Bovard brings back the bite to what has depressingly become a reticent and toothless American journalism.”--Brigid O’Neil, Freedom Daily, February 2005

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; English Language edition (August 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140396727X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403967275
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,430,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (Kindle version 2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (St. Martin's/Palgrave, 2006), and eight other books. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications. His books have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean. He is a contributing editor for the American Conservative and a regular contributor to the Future of Freedom monthly, published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

The Wall Street Journal called Bovard 'the roving inspector general of the modern state,' and Washington Post columnist George Will called him a 'one-man truth squad.' His 1994 book Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty received the Free Press Association's Mencken Award as Book of the Year. His book Terrorism and Tyranny won the Lysander Spooner Award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. He received the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association.

His writings have been been publicly denounced by the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Postmaster General, and the chiefs of the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. International Trade Commission, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as by many congressmen and other malcontents.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am sorry to say that I voted for George W. in the last presidential election on account of the fact that I bought into his pitch that he would move the country away from Big Government interference. Unfortunatly, as this excellent book details, it was all a fabrication. Mr. Bovard takes the major initiatives of the President and demonstrates with sickening detail that this administration is built upon a foundation of lies, bringing us closer to a totalitarian state than I would have believed possible from a Republican president. The author exposes the "Leave No Child Behind" boondoggle as a blatant attempt to wrest the education of our children from local control in favor of federal control. From the Patriot Act to the War on Drugs, Bovard demonstrates that our civil liberties are in jeopardy like never before. This book is extensively end-noted with references for every damning fact. Lest you think this is a Democratic Party sponsored hatchet job, please note that the author takes great pains to point out the complicity of the Democrats in Bush's march to a police state. The fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans these days is slight. The results of that fact are frightening.
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Format: Hardcover
James Bovard is a libertarian, and he focuses his scorn on the Bush Administration with laser-like intensity. Here is Bovard in his own words:

"George W. Bush came to the presidency promising prosperity, peace and humility. Instead, Bush has spawned record Federal budget deficits, launched an unnecessary war, and made America the most hated nation in the world" (p. 1).

Of course as a libertarian, Bovard doesn't see the Democrats as a viable alternative. But he's not as mad at them, because he didn't expect anything from them to begin with. As the title indicates, he took Bush at his word, and feels betrayed. Here's more of Bovard's own inimitable scorn:

"For Bush, the right to rule apparently includes the right to lie. Bush has never shown a speck of contrition for his false prewar statements. Instead, he acts like a clumsy magician who assumes his audience is too feebleminded to recognize the elaborate trick that fell into pieces in front of their eyes" (p. 5).

I'm not a libertarian, and while I agree with Bovard's harsh critique of the so-called "Patriot Act" (more like the imminent fascism act), I don't agree with his minimalist "watchman" view of government. But my message to libertarians is -- don't reward Bush's lies with another four years! Regime change in November!
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Format: Hardcover
First let me say that I voted for Bush in 2000. I bought his campaign rhetoric about being for a smaller government and a humble foreign policy. I feel like I was scammed. Aside from the programs aimed at fighting terrorism Bush and the Republicans in Congress have been spending like there is no tomorrow. It's all documented in The Bush Betrayal. They passed the biggest farm welfare bill in history in 2002; increased federal education spending by 50%; and imposed a tariff on steel imports that destroyed roughly 200,000 jobs in the auto industry and related businesses, raised prices for many domestically manufactured products and hurt American competitiveness in world markets.

The author is no Bush hater either. His earlier book "Feeling Your Pain" chronicled the Clinton administration's abuses of government power with equal zeal.

This year I will be voting a straight Libertarian ticket.
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Format: Hardcover
This is by far Mr. Bovards finest work, and his attention to detail to back up and thus make his conclusins as graphic as they are is exceptional even for the master of documentation. While you may not like his conclusions, he leaves no room for any party to call them into question. No one ever said the truth is pretty.

In this work Bovard brings together the ideals of Thomas Jefferson as well as Jeffersons' warning about vigelance and government. James Madisons' constitutional concerns which as Bovard points out in stunning fashion were very well founded indeed.

The common sense approach to these issues that Thomas Payne would hail. And finally the sarcastic whit and ocassional humor to complete the no holds bared addressing of each topic that would bring a smile and an approving nod from Mark Twain. Not bad company under and conditions. This work should be read by one and all. If you are concerened about this nation but are not quite sure just what is wrong, Mr. Bovard has done all of the leg work and research for you and placed it in one nice easy to read book that moves along at an enjoyable pace. Truly this is a 5 star effort.
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Format: Hardcover
This was certainly one of the more interesting "Bush bashing" books of 2004. In one devastating example after another (Iraq, No Child Left Behind, Medicare "reform," etc., etc.), James Bovard exposes how one Bush policy after another was built on a foundation of deception. However, this cannot be dismissed as some leftist screed. This book is part of a growing body of work by disgusted conservatives of various stripes who are shocked and awed by the Bush administration's arrogance. It is also part of an attempt to break the partisan groupthink that is corrupting the conservative movement.

Bovard's dissection of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the follies of the U.S. Justice Department would almost be amusing if it weren't so appalling. Bovard quotes from this internal FBI memo that was leaked to the press in 2003: "Extremists may also employ...body protection equipment (layered clothing...) to protect themselves during [anti-war] marches. Law enforcement agencies should be alert to these possible indicators of protest activity and report [them] to the nearest Joint Terrorism Task Force." Brovard then quotes an anonymous FBI official who opined, "It is obvious that there are individuals who are capable of violence at these events."

As Bovard sarcastically observes: "The 'capable of violence' standard justifies surveillance of anyone except quadriplegics in wheelchairs....the FBI's reference to 'extremists' wearing 'layered clothing' implies that any winter-time protests north of the Mason-Dixon line should be on the target list." Then there is the preposterous policy of not allowing people sporting anti-Bush buttons or banners anywhere near the president and herding them into Orwellian "free speech zones" out of sight and out of mind.
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