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Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Revolution (and Not a Moment Too Soon) Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 31, 2008

ISBN-10: 0470182407 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a domestic cooptation of the neocon End of History thesis, talk radio host Press (Spin This!) argues that conservatism's record of failure should condemn it to a subordinate place in American politics—it can survive to check the excess of the majority, argues Press, but must never again be allowed to govern. For Press (who unfurls a dishonor roll of scandals, policy failures, corporate toadying, double standards and outright criminality), this betrayal of public trust has meant the betrayal of conservatism's own purported principles. Thus, citing the conservative canon of the mid-century right-wing intellectual Russell Kirk, and even Barry Goldwater, Press lambastes Bush, Cheney and other Republicans for turning away from the ideals of small government and limited executive power. Likewise, on the environment, conservatism was formerly synonymous with conservation, notes Press, pointing to early Republican leadership on this score from Teddy Roosevelt to California state senator and environmental pioneer Peter Behr. These contradictions rarely come as revelations—indeed the bulk of this narrative will be familiar to anyone paying even passing attention to the news—but by presenting all this material together, Press creates a serviceable election-year handbook for voters, particularly the Democratic opposition. (Apr.)
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Review

In a domestic cooptation of the neocon “End of History” thesis, talk radio host Press (Spin This!) argues that conservatism's record of failure should condemn it to a subordinate place in American politics—it can survive to check “the excess of the majority,” argues Press, but must never again be allowed to govern. For Press (who unfurls a dishonor roll of scandals, policy failures, corporate toadying, double standards and outright criminality), this betrayal of public trust has meant the betrayal of conservatism's own purported principles. Thus, citing the conservative “canon” of the mid-century right-wing intellectual Russell Kirk, and even Barry Goldwater, Press lambastes Bush, Cheney and other Republicans for turning away from the ideals of small government and limited executive power. Likewise, on the environment, conservatism was formerly synonymous with conservation, notes Press, pointing to early Republican leadership on this score from Teddy Roosevelt to California state senator and “environmental pioneer” Peter Behr. These contradictions rarely come as revelations—indeed the bulk of this narrative will be familiar to anyone paying even passing attention to the news—but by presenting all this material together, Press creates a serviceable election-year handbook for voters, particularly the Democratic opposition. (Apr.) (Publishers Weekly, January 28, 2008)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470182407
  • ASIN: B001U3YQYW
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,747,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Press began his career as a political insider and media commentator on KABC-TV and KCOP-TV, both in Los Angeles. Over the years, he has received numerous awards for his work, including four Emmys and a Golden Mike Award.

The former co-host of MSNBC's Buchanan and Press, CNN's Crossfire and The Spin Room, Press has built a national reputation on thought-provoking and humorous insights from the left side of the political aisle.

Press is the author of six books: Spin This! (Atria, 2002), Bush Must Go! (Dutton Books, 2004), How The Republicans Stole Christmas (Doubleday, 2005), Trainwreck (Wiley, 2008), Toxic Talk (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), and his latest, The Obama Hate Machine (Thomas Dunne Books, 2012).

The host of radio's nationally syndicated Bill Press Show (Monday-Friday from 6-9am ET), Press attends the daily White House press briefing and writes a syndicated newspaper column, distributed weekly by Tribune Media Services.

Press resides in the nation's capital with his wife Carol.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Lena Priamo on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like Bill Press, you will enjoy his book. Gives his opinion and why things are so wrong in this country.
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18 of 28 people found the following review helpful By KS on April 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A book that opens with the sentence "The modern conservative movement is dead" is bound to solicit one-star reviews from those who call themselves "proud Republicans." Press goes on "the conservative revolution is finally over--and it was a total bust. If the Republicans were a restaurant, they'd have been closed by the Board of Health. If they were a building, they'd have been condemned. If they were a Hollywood starlet, they'd be in rehab."

He notes an easily overlooked fact: conservatives are better at tearing down than accomplishing things. He notes that none of the ten items in Newt Gingrich's Contract With America is actually law... despite 14 years during which conservatives have vcariously controled of the House, the Senate, the Presidency, the Supreme Court. Not one item accomplished.
Press' funny and insightful new book goes on to reveal the "Ten Things that Republicans Hope You Never Find Out." These are

o Why the conservative movement that spawned Reagan, Gingrich, and Bush is now dead.

o How many core conservative principles the Republicans have betrayed.

o How Republicans have made us less safe, not more.

o How Republicans became the biggest spenders of all time.

o How much bigger the federal government has grown under conservative rule.

o How Republicans got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

o How Republicans went from protecting the environment to plundering it.

o How the party of peacekeepers became the party of perpetual war.

o How Reagan was worse than Nixon-and Bush worse than both.

0 Why conservatives can never again be trusted with power.

The last point is sure to incite some right-wing nutjobs out there...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Waisnor on July 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Press correctly points out that the modern conservative regime of the past eight years has exhibited behavior contrary to the historical principles of conservativism, limited government, non-intervention, state's rights, moral values, etc. Furthermore, he seems correct in assuming that these behaviors are the inevitable result of conservative dominance over the three branches of the federal government, and to give conservatives that kind of power again would be unwise until they show themselves capable of practicing what they preach- living by the moral standards they proscribe for the rest of America, supporting state's rights even when the states choose policies contrary to their own platform, and actively supporting small government, not a government that is simply a tool of big corporations.
This reader is not wholly convinced, however, that keeping conservatives as a perpetual dissenting minority, the Washington Generals to the Democratic Harlem Globetrotters, is a good thing. Small government conservatives have been successful in many state governments, and by holding power in either the legislature or executive, would counterbalance the modern progressives who seem to run the Democratic Party. Besides, the idea that the American people are ready to completely abandon the George Bush, Ronald Reagan brand of conservativism seems more like a bout of progressive wishful thinking than reasoned political reality. This platform will continue to attract voters for many more election cycles.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. McAdams VINE VOICE on May 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first heard of this book as it was plugged on the Stephanie Miller show. That was enough of a recommendation right there. I went ahead and got it last week, and I was not sorry I did. The book is a little bit dry, almost like a text book. But it is full of FACTS, which are not talking points, and which cannot be DISPROVED -- only DISAGREED with. I highly recommend all responsible adult Americans read this book, and decide for themselves if they want to give the Republicans another chance.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Preston C. Enright on July 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Talk show host Bill Press has done a valuable service in writing this book. There is a lot of confusion regarding political terms in this country that have largely lost their meaning. This has come about due to the deceitful work of figures like Sean Hannity and the corporatist movement he represents that has co-opted the term "conservative." As Bill Press has pointed out in another book, right-wing elites have similiarly co-opted the term "Christian" How the Republicans Stole Religion: Why the Religious Right is Wrong about Faith & Politics and What We Can Do to Make it Right, much like Roman emperor Constantine did Constantine's Sword.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned us of the depridations of the "industrial dictatorship," and that is why Rush Limbaugh hates FDR and the government agencies (when they are not corrupted by Big Business) that can curb the excesses of the "aristocracy of our monied corporations" (to use Thomas Jefferson's phrase). "Train Wreck" outlines the many ways in which the "conservative" movement has operated in opposition to actual conservative values - they have not been fiscally responsible as our massive debt illustrates, they have directed an interventionist military agenda
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