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Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Revolution (and Not a Moment Too Soon) [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Bill Press
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 31, 2008 0470182407 1
One of America’s best-known progressive commentators reveals that, far from betraying conservative ideals, George W. Bush’s administration has behaved exactly as anyone would expect of a group that believes government is evil and always doomed to failure. Bill Press demonstrates that conservative positions have remained consistently wrong, and that, from its inception, the movement was dedicated to tearing things down, not building them up. Trainwreck will convince you that the conservative movement has remained on track for decades—and that, from the beginning, those tracks were headed for disaster.

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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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)

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: #4,303,323 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
(13)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting reading 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and True April 18, 2008
By KS
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Conclusion is a bit skewed 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
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did not hit the jugular September 10, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Press lays out the disastrous record of those who are label themselves "conservatives" but who are conserving nothing. But the far-right media and talkers always do a better job of connecting with people's fear and suspicion. It takes a true regressive (ex: Hannity / Limbaugh) to really rile up a mob. Press is too calm and reasoned to be very successful in political writing.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Corporatism, not conservatism. 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 The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project), they are disrespecting our environment and squandering natural resources
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Republicans are Unfit to Govern
Bill Press makes an excellent case that conservatives are, by nature, unfit to govern. As he puts it in the introduction (page 3, Hard Cover) "Given the chance to govern,... Read more
Published on March 8, 2009 by watzizname
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious and eloquent rant with bite and substance
This is a book that in sharp language recalls the history of the conservative failure. "It began with Robert Taft... Read more
Published on January 21, 2009 by Dennis Littrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Liberal comebacks to conservative lies.
Republicans make us safer!
- No... they don't.

Conservative rule means smaller federal government!
- No... it doesn't. Read more
Published on December 8, 2008 by T Z Me
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth always hurts
I consider myself an independent but I cannot argue with the information in this book. I will never be tempted to vote republican again
Published on June 2, 2008 by question everything
1.0 out of 5 stars Another list of Democrat talking points
I started reading this because I like to know what the opposition is thinking. After a few pages it became clear it was just another laundry list of talking points. Read more
Published on May 16, 2008 by R. Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars True, but Oversimplified!
"The modern conservative movement is dead" proclaims Press in his opening sentence. Champions of fiscal responsibility have delivered bloated federal budgets and historic... Read more
Published on April 24, 2008 by Loyd E. Eskildson
1.0 out of 5 stars Historicially Mistaken!
Mr. Press' central theme is that conservatism started with Russell Kirk and William Buckley Jr., and that it failed to deliver what it promised. Read more
Published on April 15, 2008 by Ted Baiamonte
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Historical accuracy of Press' book
Im sorry Ted, but you really have a twisted view of history. Mussolini and Hitler both supported Franco in Spain against the Republicans. The Republicans were the left wing supported by communist Russia. Franco was on the right supported by Mussolini and Hitler. Mussolini and Hitler did have... Read More
Apr 19, 2008 by Alex Casillas |  See all 49 posts
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