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Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency Paperback – April 21, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (April 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312341164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312341169
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Although the George W. Bush administration is famous for being "on message," delivering a consistent and polished political perspective no matter what, such consistency apparently does not extend to every member of the conservative universe. In Where the Right Went Wrong, veteran pundit and occasional presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan offers up scathing criticisms of Bush's policies, the arrogance and boorishness of which, he warns, could ultimately dramatically destabilize the United States' superpower status. The problem, in Buchanan's eyes, is the rejection of traditional Reagan-era conservatism by an administration under the sway of the so-called "neoconservatives," who favor a pre-emptive military strategy and big government and don't mind running up dangerously huge budget deficits to support it. The war in Iraq, fought without direct demonstrable threat, alienates America in the eyes of the rest of the world, says Buchanan, squandering the global goodwill earned after the 9/11 attacks and creating exponentially larger numbers of terrorists who will threaten the U.S. for generations to come. The zeal over free trade among elected officials, a feeling notably not shared by Buchanan, Ross Perot, and Ralph Nader, is costing America jobs, Buchanan theorizes, and leading to a de-industrialized service-sector-only economy, an end to American self-sufficiency in favor of a reliance on global corporations, and a looming economic crisis. Refreshingly, and unlike pundits of his day, Buchanan crafts his arguments by examining world history, offering detailed analogies to the Roman Empire, the Civil War, and pre-Soviet Russia among others. Conservatives alienated by the Bush administration will find an eloquent champion in Buchanan and even liberals, who may not have known there was a conservative argument against war in Iraq, stand to learn something from a right side of the aisle perspective so different from that found in the Bush White House. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his indictment of the current Bush administration and its "neoconservative" policies, pundit and occasional presidential candidate Buchanan likens the American condition to that of Rome before the fall, citing "ominous analogies" such as "the decline of religion and morality, corruption of the commercial class, and a debased and decadent culture." According to Buchanan, the blame for this state of affairs rests squarely in the lap of "neoconservatives," who are mere liberals in sheep’s clothing. These neocons, the author contends, have wrestled control of the Republican party out of the hands of true conservatives such as himself, Barry Goldwater and, of course, Ronald Reagan—with disastrous results. Buchanan takes issue with Bush’s policies on, among other things, immigration, terrorism, imperialism, the Middle East, free trade and the deficit. What may come as a surprise to readers is Buchanan’s position on the war in Iraq, which he believes was an enormous error in judgment. "By attacking and occupying an Arab nation that had no role in 9/11, no plans to attack us, and no weapons of mass destruction, we played into bin Laden’s hand," Buchanan writes. But liberals won’t stay on board with the book’s message for long, especially when it comes to issues of culture and social policy. Buchanan is against affirmative action, abortion and gay rights, to name a few, and he believes immigration poses a serious threat to the American way of life. At times, Buchannan obscures his arguments with ill-chosen words that many will read as xenophobic, if not racist. In a discussion of illegal Mexican immigrants, for example, he calls California "Mexifornia" and adds, "Ten years after NAFTA, Mexico’s leading export to America is still—Mexicans. America is becoming Mexamerica." Whether or not one agrees with these conclusions, Buchanan’s book is provocative and will certainly ruffle feathers on both sides of the party line.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I hardly ever read a political book.
Nothing less than a complete change of foreign policy is needed, according to the author, or we will continue to fight wars as in Iraq.
Alan Beggerow
So, he's stuck in the middle, just like the rest of us.
E. White

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

178 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on August 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Pat Buchanan takes aim at Bush/Cheney and the neoconservatives, and he has them dead to rights. The so-called "preemptive doctrine" is really PREVENTIVE -- Iraq did not pose an imminent threat, so the invasion and occupation was aggressive, not defensive. It could only be justified as action to prevent a threat sometime in the future -- the "Minority Report" doctrine. This is obviously an incredibly dangerous doctrine which can just as easily be used by anyone who wants to attack the U.S. The open-ended counterinsurgency war has made the U.S. LESS secure, not more secure. Buchanan draws on the policy of the Founding Fathers of avoiding entangling alliances to bolster his opposition. He makes the same point as "Anonymous" ("Imperial Hubris") in saying that it is childish for Bush to say the Islamic radicals "hate our freedom" -- obviously they hate our policies of supporting corrupt oil regimes, blindly backing Israel, and stationing troops on sacred Saudi soil, among others.

Buchanan also makes an important point that China, the rising power, has to be central to U.S. policy, as the U.S. is the declining power. Neither "terrorism", which is a tactic, not an enemy, nor Islamic fundamentalism, has the capacity to threaten U.S. vital interests in the way an ascendant China will have in the years to come. As Zbigniew Brzezinski has pointed out (see his "The Choice" and my review), the Bush/Cheney administration's "war on terrorism" propaganda is simplistic and hysterical.

Beyond that, Buchanan the socially conservative Catholic tacks on the predictable call for a White Straight Christian Nation, discussing Mexican immigration at some length.
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77 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Why did Osma attack? "He hates our freedoms" was the laughable explanation. For those of you who want a REAL reasons Pat Buchanan, offers it. Along with a convincing arguement that we are playing into Bin Laden's hands.

What's even more shocking is that are 'neoconservitives" are just as radical as Bin Laden. Buchanan doesn't need to name call, he simply quotes neocons like Michael "creative destruction" Leedon -

and reveals their radical agenda.

The idea that you can bring freedom at gunpoint is not only unworkable, but far from conservtive - it is a notion that has more in common with Trotsky and the Sans coultte than Edmund Burke.

Buchanan's book offers a strong arguement that not only are we not winning this 'war' but we are actually strenthening our enemies and ignoring our real problems.

Buchanan predictions have repeatedly been confirmed....his book is a closest thing we have to a crystal ball on these matters.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By SUPPORT THE ASPCA. on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author delves deeply into the negative changes in both the USA & the Republican party brought about by the neo-cons. He spends the first third of the book ridiculing the present Bush administration willing attitude toward waging war to spread democracy. With the bulk focusing on the Iraq war.

He shows how Richard Pearle & Paul Wolfiwitz convinced president G.Bush to adopt interventionist policies. In ch-3, he gives some historical background on Islam. from their early conflicts with the west to the present. In ch-4, he speaks of the vagueness of the term "war on terror." He feels it is an eternal war that can't truly be won. Chapter-5 was the most fascinating to this reader as he compares the USA's economic & military power to that of China's. In ch-6-8, he bashes the abysmal economic policies of the neo-cons. From out of control government spending, the huge deficits, the outsourcing of our manufacturing base, & the de-valuing of the dollar. If something is not done to reverse these trends he feels we will be in a permanent decline. In ch-9, he detests the craven Congress' surrender to the judicial branch. He feels the latter has become far to powerful in its negative influence on our citizenry.

In ch-10, "The Way Back Home" he concludes with advice on foreign policy, economic policy, immigration, Islam & terror. For both the USA & the Republican party he believes itis crucial that the traditionalist conservative ideological base take back the party from the neo-con wing of the party. Unlike his previous book "Death Of The West," he has plenty of statistics to back up his claims. In conclusion he feels it will take at least a decade to repair the damage done by the Bush administration. Lets
all hope it can be fixed faster than that?
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102 of 116 people found the following review helpful By ixta_coyotl on August 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a perfectly timed-bomb for the 2004 Republican National Convention, set to explode under the seats of the "neo-conservative" Rasputins which Mr. Buchanan sees as having hijacked the party of Lincoln, directing us into our current Mesopotamian predicament. If he can succeed in blowing some fresh air into the political debate in this country (all but stifled by the "mainstream" establishment media), then this book will have been a worthwhile endeavor. He will most certainly sustain a ruthless counter-attack by the demagogues, but I am sure he is prepared for that. Personally I am more swayed by facts than slurs or emotion, but I fear others are not necessarily so inclined.

Mr. Buchanan is truly a throwback to the old ways of the Grand Old Party: in addition to supporting non-interventionism (in his case isolationism is probably not too strong a word) he is socially conservative and a big government protectionist to boot. Hence his otherwise wonderful discussion of a truly Jeffersonian and libertarian foreign policy is marred by a tirade against Mexicans and a simplistic longing for a return to the Anglo-dominated American life of the 1950s.

Be that as it may, in these times one must be willing to look for the good in all things and Mr. Buchanan provides that in spades with his critique of the Bush administration and its radical turn towards Wilsonianism, the curse of the 20th century. Hopefully enough people will be influenced by this line of thinking so that the "War on Terror" wanes into an historical hiccup (like the War of 1812), and not a calamity-inducing catastrophe (like the Great War).
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