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Customer Review

10 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another attempt to edit history with opinion, March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Almost President: The Men Who Lost the Race but Changed the Nation (Kindle Edition)
TOne understands every author has the right to exercise literary license in his work and to share his political opinions in his work. However the author should be held accountable for his unsubstantiated conclusions. My case in point centers on his chapter on Ross Perot and the author's assertion that bothPresident Bush's werefailures, the senior in business, the younger as president. I would have appreciated the example of George 41business failures; and most historians know better than to judge a presidency within 3 years of its conclusion. His point would have been better served had he not taken a cheap shot at both gentlemen.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2012 1:48:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2012 1:49:04 PM PDT
Readers should feel free to like or dislike any book, and mine is not going to be loved by everyone, but I do want to point out an error in this review in which the reviewer states exactly the opposite of what I state. In the chapter on Ross Perot, the point I am making is that Americans have historically been skeptical that success in business translates into success in governance, though because of Perot many more Americans now think a CEO should govern the country, as witness the boomlets around the candidacies or near candidacies of Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg, etc., and his experience as CEO is certainly one of the key rationales for Mitt Romney's candidacy. I noted that Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover and George H. W. Bush, had been very successful in business, but their one-term presidencies are generally not rated highly by historians or the public as none were re-elected. I also mentioned many other presidents with a business background had been failures in business and a mixed bag as president, including Ulysses S. Grant, Harry Truman and George W. Bush. I made no particular judgement on whether George W. Bush's presidency has or has not been successful as, I agree, despite the apparent initial judgment it is too soon to know for certain the full impacts of his presidency.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012 11:23:40 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
But, let's face it: Even without knowing the longterm effects, it's pretty clear that George W. Bush was a failure as president.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 2:57:28 AM PDT
But, let's face it... KinksRock is speaking doltish.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 7:13:05 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
And let's face it: You just insulted me without any basis for the assertion that I'm wrong ("doltish").

Posted on Aug 23, 2012 8:32:49 PM PDT
And, let's face it: things get ugly fast on both sides when people resort to flat, unsupported statements and personal attacks rather than discussing the issues with facts and an open mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 11:07:38 AM PST
Actually what was shown by Perot was sometimes a mistake gets through. All the other businessmen (and George H W could hardly be noted as a businessman - Cia Director, Ambassador to China, Candidate for Congress, 2 term VP and 1 term President is not in the same league as the others) Iacocca, Cain, Bloomberg and ESPECIALLY Trump along with Perot would have been hopeless failures as President. A man used to people jumping when they speak usually doesn't have what it takes to be president. As for Hoover that's a cheap shot for obvious reasons

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 7:59:18 PM PDT
Mr. Farris--

Before I buy a book, I look at the negative reviews on Amazon. In my experience, the negative reviews are much more helpful. For example, if you look at the reviews for Richard Rhodes book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, the "critics" almost uniformly decry Mr. Rhodes's book as way too "technical," going into too much detail on the history of understanding of fission, and how the bomb was constructed. For me, that's the best part of Mr. Rhodes's book.

Your response to aptly named "Grumpy" has convinced me to buy your book (of course, if your book sucks, I'll leave a blistering review....).

As for the general issue of the "success" of the the Bush I and Bush II presidencies...I'm appalled that there is any question of Bush II, given the collapse of the housing market (and subsequent stock market), the 2003 destruction of the federal budget, and with Alberto Gonzales at the helm, presiding over the worst DOJ since John Mitchell...

I could go on, but there's no point. If anyone cares (no one ever cares), I can name a few books I found to be particularly helpful....

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 6:48:17 PM PDT
I have now read Scott Farris's book, Almost President, and the book is superb. Just an all around great read. As for the Grumpy One's criticism that the book is biased or what not--Grumpy can't have read the book.

The point of Robert Mallory's book is that in American history, there are several examples where the person who LOST the presidency has ultimately wound up being more influential (in terms of having a lasting impact on the country) than the person who won. To call any of the "conclusions" in George Mallory's book "unsubstantiated" is just childish and incorrect. On the one hand, I SUPPOSE you could argue that Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan had less of an impact on what America is today, than Andrew Jackson and William McKinley.....but to say there is no support for Mallory's (the oldest daughter in the sit-com Family Ties) argument is nonsensical.

What I found particularly insightful about Boots Mallory's book is his chapter about George McGovern. With both the growth of the Civil Rights Movement and the weakening of Big Labour, the New Deal coalition was clearly doomed. In its place, McGovern and his El Tees saw a new coalition of young people, progressives, minorities, and environmentalists. While McGovern proved to be right (in 2008, that's who elected President Obama, with a considerable assist of the suicide of the GOP with Bush II), 1972--for a variety of reasons--was just to soon for that coalition to prove a winner.

I'm making this comment here, because before I buy I book, I always read the one star reviews--to see why people didn't like the book. I can tell you the reason The Grumpy One didn't like the book, is because that person's a knucklehead. This book is not only informative, but also an interesting read. With a chapter format, about several men (yeah, they're all men), this isn't a be all end all biography of any of the individuals....but each chapter gives an excellent overview about why each character--like Stephen Douglas--remains relevant today.....

By all means, if you have any interest in this subject, read Mallory McMallard's Almost President......

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2014 8:10:55 PM PDT
Belasaurius says:
to be fair, Warren Harding died before he could lose in a re-election contest.
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