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Winning Back America Paperback – December 3, 2003

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I talk as simply and directly to people as possible," claims Dean, and though his official campaign biography-cum-manifesto is notable for its plainspokenness, it mostly lacks the passionate forcefulness the front-running Democratic candidate has shown on the campaign trail. The toning down appears deliberate; not only does Dean apologize for intemperate remarks, he goes out of his way to describe himself as a nonradical during his late '60s college years and compares his fiscal outlook to that of his "moderate business-oriented Republican" father. (He also has kind words for President Bush and his family, though he turns critical on the subject of the president's aides.) The account of his childhood and college years is bland, the result of downplaying his family's wealth. A feeling of enthusiasm doesn't set in until his decision to enroll in medical school, perhaps because this is also the period when he met his wife. Dean's flat facade also cracks in passages recalling the circumstances of his older brother's capture (and probable execution) by the Pathet Lao in Laos in 1974. Obliquely touching on the emotional effects of this trauma on his family, Dean also discusses how it has increased his reluctance to send American soldiers into combat and put their families through the same process. The final sections of the book veer away from the personal to the political, and much of its rhetoric will be instantly recognizable to anyone who's seen a Dean stump speech, possibly frustrating those who want to learn more deeply about the man and what he stands for.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Governor Howard Dean is a physician who previously shared a medical practice with his wife, Dr. Judith Steinberg. He became governor of Vermont in 1991 and served until 2003. He campaigned for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election and served as honorary chairman of Democracy for America, an organization dedicated to building a grassroots network for the Democratic Party. He is currently the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (December 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743255712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743255714
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Annie on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Howard Dean's, "Winning Back America". It was an inspirational experience that renewed me with confidence that Dean is the "real deal" and has the vision, values, experience, and drive to make an outstanding President. What's packed in these 179 pages are the thoughts of a man who understands what America has historically stood for in the eyes of its founders, citizens, and countless millions around the world. Dean writes with clarity and passion about his intense desire to work to restore America to its traditional role of "leadership in which our power is multiplied by the appeal of democratic ideals and by the knowledge that our country is a force for law around the world, not a law unto itself."
Like millions of Democrats, I was flabbergasted by the Supreme Court's "interpretation" of the 2000 election. I figured with our democracy so blatantly compromised, things in America couldn't get any worse... then they did. Lots worse. I felt alternately embarrassed and dumbfounded by the audacity of George W. Bush. The kicker came the morning after 15 million of us marched against his plan for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. Bush's response to history's largest protest was "I don't care." If 15 million protestors around the world couldn't get this guy to re-think his position, and no one in Congress seemed to be noticing anything was amiss, well, what could I possibly do to make a difference?
Nothing. Or so I told myself. I was that discouraged... Totally lacking courage.
Then along came Howard Dean and the first thing I noticed was that he was pissed off, not just at the Bushies but also at the Democrats for abandoning their liberal ideals and becoming "Bush lite." Good point.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I get such a kick out of reviewers like the one who calls dean a "rich preppy boy." Please. Like George W. Bush is NOT a rich preppy boy?
Let's stick to reviews of the book please. Howard Dean states a case for winning back America that is, in my opinion, articulate and intelligent.
In light of Al Gore's recent endorsement of the man, you owe it to yourself (if you want to be an informed voter) to read what the man HIMSELF has to say, and not rely on any "reviews" to decide for you. Including this one, of course.
Get it from the source. It's a well-written book, and worth your time.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By edverb on December 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Howard Dean's Winning Back America was a pleasure to read, an optimistic balance between autobiography and political philosophy, from a passionate and intelligent medical doctor who served as a five term governor of Vermont, who is currently the frontrunner to be the Democrat nominee to challenge Republican George Bush in 2004.
The reader is immediately struck by the sense that this book is one of very few in the political world which is NOT ghost-written. The 15 chapters on topics ranging from Dean's personal background to geopolitical strategy are written in a highly conversational and inimitable style, as if Dean spent a few nights with a tape recorder for later transcription.
In the course of 179 pages, Dean traverses miles of relevant issues with characteristic insight and common sense. This reader's only disappointment was that the book lacks some of the depth Dean is capable of, if only due to the book's brevity.
The author's passion on civic life and good government is manifestly evident in his evocations of Theodore Roosevelt as his champion of an environmental vision that has withstood the test of time. Dean presents healthcare and balanced budgets with the vision of Kennedy - extolling the nation to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
The book's introduction is a call to civic action, to work together in common cause, to restore America's sense of community, after years of being divided by past and present administrations on matters of race, gender, sexual orientation, and income.
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Updated 21 Dec 07 with links.

I was one of the first "substance experts" to believed that Dean could and should be President, and I remain very upset with the Democratic Party for sabotaging his chances.

This is a great book for the masses who want the stump speech in a very easy to read doubled-spaced form. Unfortunately, it reflects zero understanding of the real world (see my 400+ reviews of non-fiction national security books at Amazon) and it reflects zero understanding of the core issues that need to be dealt with in the US economy (see my review posted today of Robert Rubin's "In An Uncertain World").

I still believe in Dean, but if he does not get his policy and outreach acts together at the substantive level, but Dean and his campaign manager gave policy substance short-shrift, and this is important *not* because of the details, but because it must be the foundation for creating a coalition government that integrates Independents, moderate Republicans, Greens, Reforms, Libertarians, and "Drop-Outs" (where Barack Obama is making great gains in 2007) into a united electorate that will a) work together in the open and modified primaries to overcome the Democratic Leadership Council bias in favor of beltway "suits" and b) work together in the general election to defeat the well-fended and often illegal endeavors of the Republican extremists, who are *not* playing by the rules and who believe they have a God-given right to steal the 2004 election just as they stole the 2000 election.

This is a fine book for those who want a quick "read" on Dean as a man and potential leader.
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