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The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals Paperback – September 6, 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Don't look for President Clinton's picture in The Book of Virtues; bestselling author and former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett considers Bill Clinton uniquely unvirtuous. In the wake of the White House intern sex scandal, Bennett accuses Clinton of crimes at least as serious as those committed by Richard Nixon during the Watergate imbroglio. Rising above anti-Clinton polemics, The Death of Outrage urges the American public--which initially displayed not much more than a collective shrug--to take issue with the president's private and public conduct. Clinton should be judged by more than the state of the economy, implores Bennett. The commander in chief sets the moral tone of the nation; a reckless personal life and repeated lying from the bully pulpit call for a heavy sanction. The American people should demand nothing less, says the onetime federal drug czar. In each chapter, Bennett lays out the rhetorical defenses made on Clinton's behalf (the case against him is "only about sex," harsh judgmentalism has no place in modern society, independent counsel Kenneth Starr is a partisan prosecutor, etc.) and picks them apart. He may not convince everybody, but this is an effective conservative brief against Bill Clinton. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

That the author of the Book of Virtues (1993) is appalled by the Clinton-Lewinsky affair is certainly no surprise. Nor is it surprising that Bennett's take on the affair was rushed into publication just after the president's short speech on the matter. After all, if the president was to resign, the book would be moot. Bennett's stated objective is to put the presidential sex scandal into a larger perspective; he hopes to shows that if Americans accept the arguments made in Clinton's defense, "we will have committed an unthinking act of moral and intellectual disarmament." To make sure that doesn't happen, Bennett sets out all Clinton's defenses and attempts to shoot them down. His topics include sex, character, politics, Ken Starr, law, and judgment. Anyone who has heard Bennett (or any of his fellow talking-heads) on the unending television shows that are tracking the scandal will find nothing new here. On the other hand, Bennett's organization is crisp, and his arguments, unlike those of so many on both sides of the issue, are cogent. That doesn't mean a bit of demagoguery here and a bit of disingenuousness there doesn't creep in. For instance, he baldly states that Clinton or Reno could simply fire Starr if they feel he has performed his job so poorly. Surely he's old enough to remember the Saturday Night Massacre and how well that worked out for Nixon. Whether this book will change anyone's mind is doubtful, but there can be no doubt about one thing: Bennett will continue to turn up on the talk shows. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Updated edition (September 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684864037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684864037
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,487,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
If you are one who SUPPORTS the notion that character doesn't count then this is a book that will not make much of a difference in your belief system. However, if forthrightness, integrity, and honesty are important leadership traits to you then this is a must read. Mr. Bennett lays the facts before the reader in clear, easy to understand language and debunks Clinton supporters' point for point with Clinton's own words.
One reviewer stated his dislike for the personal tone that the book sometimes takes. But what has not been realized by the reviewer is that the contorted double helix of untruths the president and his men have fashioned has made a book of this matter necessary.
Ultimately only those individuals who would avoid reality will find great fault in this simple, yet eloquent, book that exposes the man know as William Jefferson Clinton for what he is.
Even more... it tells us about ourselves. And you will not like what you'll see.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Bennett in his typical style thoughtfully summarizes and carefully probes the arguments in this heated controversy. He reminds us that there are inevitable consequences for breaking moral precepts. At times he pushes the argument too far, revealing his anger with Clinton the man. This is unneccesary, he does best when allowing the Presidents words and deeds to prove his argument. I appreciate his candor in finding the independent counsel statute flawed and find it ironic that Clinton renewed the law in 1994.
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Format: Audio Cassette
William Bennett presents in this short, easily readable book a clear, cogent argument for the removal of Bill Clinton as President. Anyone who is wavering in the middle, unsure as to whether Clinton's offenses rise to the level of impeachment needs to read this book. Bennett's arguments are logical, persuasive, and essentially irrefutable. This book should be required reading in college political science curricula.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this, some 11 years after the Lewinsky trial, helps to add a certain amount of context to the current (Obama) administration. With the resurgence of characters like Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and James Carville to the national political stage ... it is important to review the common political history of these figures and their roles in the current national political culture.

"The Death of Outrage" is as much about the habitual (some would say obsessive ... in Bill Clinton's case) abuse of power and hording of influence, regardless of ethics or morality, by national political figures and their talking heads. This book is a timely and refreshing review of the hypocrisy of those who have historically supported the special counsel law, only to refute it when their party was the subject of investigation. Secretary Bennett is fair in this assessment as well, pointing out the flip-flopping observable by both sides of the aisle depending on whether it was Nixon's impeachment hearings, Reagan's Iran-Contra investigation, or Clinton's abuse of power investigation.

The importance of this book is overwhelming. In an age dominated by agenda driven media (you can target any network news, CNN, Fox, they are all agenda driven), the ability to access information like this is critical to having a mature and balanced opinion on issues that affect our political culture and the leadership of this nation. This book dives into a subject that most citizens don't truly understand ...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bennett once again flips on the light of truth in the dark, sleezy, corrupt room of the vast left wing conspiracy. Whose headquarters are now unfortunately in the Oval Office of this great country. An Office now corrupted and bringing down the Democrates into the dirt with them. You see, to the Clintons there is no such thing as political opponents or mutual respect for idealogically different opinions or beliefs anymore. To them everyone who is not of their belief is the enemy. Even to the point of feeling the same about the American people they are suppose to represent. If you do not whole heartedly support the Clintonites you are the enemy. With a capitol E. That means one half of the American people are Bill and Hillary's Enemies. Not merely a political opponent. Bennett knows this very well. And the monstous saber toothed, poison spewing termites of the Bill and Hilllary Clinton Machine (similar to the war depicted in the movie ANTS) go into motion to uterly destroy that light. I.E. the Peewee Hermans of Politics (James Carville, Susan Estrich and Mario Como). Throughout this entire saga we have watched as the liberal left (Democrates and Special Interest Extremist) have opened the floodgates of their true nature. Which is to defend anyone who supports their simple minded agendas and enslaving political and/or social goals. Regardless of the kind of person they are. Forget the founders, the federalist papers and the reasons America came into being. Power is all important to them not America. Their programs are the making of 21st Century Slavery and the masses are holding their arms wide open to this enslavement. Dependency on Liberal handouts is and will be slavery for minorities and women.Read more ›
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