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The George W. Bush White House, as described by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, is a world out of kilter. Policy decisions are determined not by careful weighing of an issue's complexities; rather, they're dictated by a cabal of ideologues and political advisors operating outside the view of top cabinet officials. The President is not a fully engaged administrator but an enigma who is, at best, guarded and poker-faced but at worst, uncurious, unintelligent, and a puppet of larger forces. O'Neill provided extensive documentation to journalist and author Suskind, including schedules with 7,630 entries and a set of 19,000 documents that featured memoranda to the President, thank-you notes, meeting minutes, and voluminous reports. The result, The Price of Loyalty, is a gripping look inside the meeting rooms, the in-boxes, and the minds of a famously guarded administration. Much of the book, as one might expect from the story of a Treasury Secretary, revolves around economics, but even those not normally enthused by tax code intricacies will be fascinated by the rapid-fire intellects of O'Neill and Fed chairman Alan Greenspan as they gather for regular power breakfasts. A good deal of the book is about the things that O'Neill never figures out. He knows there's something creepy going on with the administration's power structure, but he's never inside enough to know quite what it is. But while those sections are intriguing, other passages are simply revelatory: O'Neill asserts that Saddam Hussein was targeted for removal not in the 9/11 aftermath but soon after Bush took office. Paul O'Neill makes for an interesting protagonist. A vaunted economist from the days of Nixon and Ford, he returns to a Washington that's immeasurably more cutthroat. And while he appears almost naïvely academic initially, he emerges as someone determined to speak his mind even when it becomes apparent that such an approach spells his political doom. --John Moe --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Ward Just The New York Observer A first-rate piece of work....The best we're likely to have for some time....An intelligent and nuanced narrative.
The New York Times An invaluable contribution both to the historical record and to the fierce public debate over the nature of the Bush administration's true views and motivations on issues of war and peace.
Business Week Suskind is a smart writer....He deftly picks through some 19,000 documents and hours of interviews to open an often eye-popping window into the Bush White House.
The New York Review of Books A detailed, deeply disturbing look at how the Bush administration makes policy.
Paul Krugman The New York Times An invaluable, scathing insider's picture of the Bush administration. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Bush in the words of someone who is supposed to be close, but he is not. Bush is too far gone, even for a conservative corporate ceo.Published 27 days ago by Thinking man
Found this very interesting in describing the difference between loyalty to a person versus loyalty to a principle/philosophy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Janice
This is a good book about how loyalty in politics (in this case the GW Bush administration) outweighs any ethical concerns about doing what one thinks is right -- including for the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by R. Holt
Enjoyed this so much as a library book that I gave it as a gift this Christmas. Excellent presentation of real politics of the early Bush administration and esp. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M. Hopkins
Very well written but it requires a desire for the truth. I would recommend this book to anyone that desire to understand how the United States could have made such a mistake. Read morePublished 9 months ago by jerry
The book was about what I expected and I learned some new insights. To a large extent it confirmed my thoughts of how dysfunctional the workings of "43's" reign was but I... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Satyrman63
This book describes the behind the scene's of the Bush and Cheany administration, (puppet show) actually, and how loyalty is different to each set of players described in this... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Richard S. Smith