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Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known Paperback – July 12, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (July 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812973070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812973075
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Veteran columnist Molly Ivins, a rare and highly irreverent Texas liberal, is back with a collection of columns gathered from a rich and varied career covering some of the best source material a writer with a knack for whimsy could wish for: politicians. In Who Let the Dogs In, Ivins offers her thoughts on politicos from the Reagan era through the administration of George W. Bush (whom she first nicknamed "Shrub" way back in his early Texas days). While Ivins is of the lefty persuasion, she is far from doctrinaire, which helps separate her from the scores of lockstep pundits on either side: she credits Bill Clinton with being a brilliant politician and condemns the policies of Bush as being terrible for average Americans, but also presents stinging criticisms of Clinton's failed initiatives and defends Bush as being smarter than most give him credit for. Her words are strong, her writing is clear, and her thoughts are well organized. Of course, most people remember a Molly Ivins column for the humor, and we get to witness her firing missiles at low-flying targets like Newt Gingrich and Ross Perot and describing Bush's puzzling lead over Al Gore among men in the 2000 campaign, "One guy played football, went to Vietnam, and is notoriously emotionally distant. The other guy was a cheerleader who got into a National Guard unit through family influence, lost money in the oil business, traded Sammy Sosa and is now sliding through a presidential race on charm. Do I not get American men, or what?" Who Let the Dogs In lacks some of the focus of her Shrub and Bushwhacked simply because it's about a whole generation of political characters as opposed to one memorable Texan, but such broader perspective also affords an opportunity to better understand America's recent history and maybe get a few laughs while doing it. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Covering the Reagan years to the present, this collection includes work from three Ivins books (not including Bushwacked) as well as other short published pieces. A proud liberal Texan, Ivins's best stuff hits close to home: she declares her home state "the National Laboratory for Bad Government" and pronounces Bush 43 a product of three Lone Star themes: religiosity, anti-intellectualism and machismo (she thinks the last trait faked). She appreciates the often-dirty art of politics—her heroes include Lyndon B. Johnson, Barbara Jordan and Sam Rayburn, who fought and compromised for the greater good—and praises Bill Clinton in that vein. Of Ronald Reagan, she writes, his charm was "not just that he kept telling us screwy things, it was that he believed them all." She sets her sights on a number of Republicans: Newt Gingrich, she says, had an affair during the Lewinsky drama, and she claims that Rush Limbaugh's satire cruelly attacks the powerless; Bush 41 she deems "a lickspittle even when he has a choice." Though she generally has a gentler touch with Democrats, Ivins is tough on John Kerry in the book's introduction: "[H]e seems to suffer from extreme political caution." Then again, she wants regime change, reminding us, "[T]he next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be in the White House, would you please pay attention?"
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

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As a longtime fan of Molly Ivins, I found this collection to be a treat in every respect.
L Goodman-Malamuth
Don't read it if you've read everything she's ever read & don't want reruns, but other than that, highly recommended.
James Yanni
Whether you agree or disagree with her viewpoint, her writing is funny and very entertaining.
Stuart Gardner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Beth DeRoos HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What I love about Ms. Ivins is she has a genuine non-mean wit when it comes to criticizing or disagreeing with someone like G W Bush. And this book is no exception. She covers all the political bases so she cant be accused of being just for the liberal side. I am a registered Republican who is more of a Reagan Democrat, who is leaning toward Kerry-Edwards in 2004.

Those she writes about so well and in a way that makes you laugh, wince and think are Dick Cheney, Ross Perot, Ann Richards the former Governor of Texas, John Ashcroft, and Donald Rumsfeld, Jimmy Carter, Barbara Jordon, and Bill Clinton just to name a handful.

While I love the book and highly recommend it, I am also going to buy the book on CD because she is one woman who could read the phone book and make it interesting and hold my attention.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By L Goodman-Malamuth VINE VOICE on July 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a longtime fan of Molly Ivins, I found this collection to be a treat in every respect. Sure, there's some repetition from her past books, but I found it refreshing to take another look at articles published long before the horrors of September 11, John Ashcroft, and Shrub. For example, take Ivins' loving tribute to the formidable Texan Barbara Jordan. Just to read BJ's assertion, "My faith in the Con-sti-tution is whole, it is com-plete, it is to-tal," sends shivers up and down the spine. Yet Ivins has added a few more anecdotes about Jordan, one politician and professor about whom it is impossible to say too much.

Ivins told her young editor that the concept of a "career retrospective" makes her feel "slightly dead." To the reader, Ivins' work is still bursting with wit, insight, and just plain fun. Her intimate knowledge of government, based on forty-plus years of reporting from small-town Texas to the vagaries of the White House, gives her a unique perspective and a hilarious way of expressing herself. She can even make us snicker at the Nixon years--no small feat.

In my opinion, "Political Animals" is an excellent introduction to Molly Ivins for those who don't know her work, as well as a delectable read for those who do. You keep going, girl.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Shaffer on January 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for all political junkies, being a retrospective of Ivins' most memorable articles over her 30-year career of covering politics. She is always an enjoyable read, and her sense of optimism in the face of peril is a laudable trait. And she does think that we are at a time of great peril, but she feels compelled to point out stupidity and corruption and lampoon it-hence, the wit and clear-sighted wisdom that is Molly Ivins.

Christian Conservatives and those who don't vote because they feel that it would not make a difference would be well-advised to read her introduction. She makes the case that Christian Conservatives are being used by the greed-is-good neocons. And for the non-voters, she harks back to a time when people followed politics with greater intensity than people follow sports today--like their lives depended on it-because it does.

I would say, Molly Ivins for President, except we could probably never convince her to give up her noble career as a writer to lower herself into the political arena.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Gardner VINE VOICE on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book by Molly Ivins I have read. I found it witty, satirical and worth every penny. Her viewpoint is clear; and it is definately liberal. I'm not. Whether you agree or disagree with her viewpoint, her writing is funny and very entertaining.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Denise Every on July 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Allow me to preface this by saying that I love to read Molly Ivins. She's bright and funny, and I enormously enjoy her humor and the way she can turn a phrase. She's one of my favorite writers. I was happily anticipating reading her latest book. However, it wasn't clear to me from reading the cover blurb that this is an anthology compiled from previously published columns (not something I'd mind as I don't usually have an opportunity to read her work other than in books)... and, in particular, at least some of these essays have been previously published in book form.

So, I'm reading again "How to Survive Reagan", which was originally published in "The Progressive" in 1986, reprinted in "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" in 1991, and now reprinted for a second time in "Who Let the Dogs In?" The same is true for essays like "The Word's The Thing" (first published in The Progressive in 1988, and again in 1991 in "Can't Say That".

But, in my opinion, worse yet is that some essays originally appearing under one title have been included in this book with a completely new title.... see "Don't Worry, They're Happy" (originally printed in Savvy in 1989 and reprinted in 'Can't Say That' in 1991), born again in "Dogs" as "Killing the Messenger." There's also an essay comparing Ross Perot to a Chihuahua (voice, not size) that I know I've read in another Ivins book (could be Can't Say That, but I'm done cross-checking for today). I think that's intellectually dishonest.
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