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Anyone Can Grow Up: How George Bush and I Made It to the White House Paperback – December 31, 1999
From Publishers Weekly
The ghosts of politicians past and present rattle their chains in this collection of spirited columns from the past decade by Carlson, Time magazine's first female columnist. Reading these pieces is a bit like flipping through the late-night monologues of yesteryear. Remember Dubya's smirk, Clinton's wagging finger and Al Gore's "no controlling authority"? You'll find them afresh here, along with more substantive subjects like the death of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and the transformation of Donald Rumsfeld circa September 12, 2001, from "stealth Cabinet member" to ubiquitous media presence. You'll also find Carlson examining topics largely ignored by her male colleagues: the value of a corporate wife, in financial, divorce court terms ("the richer the household, the less, proportionally, she gets") and why Nicole Simpson was never considered a "fallen hero" like her football husband. Carlson does all this with verve, insight and a gift for wry phrasing. The only problem is that columns, by their nature, focus on the questions of the day and the minutiae of the moment. This kind of reporting loses its luster years later, when readers know how it all ends and no longer care about the details. (One too many columns begin with conditionals like "If George Bush wins in November..." or blunder into unintended irony, as with Carlson's 1996 comment that "Martha Stewart's face is everywhere but on a Wanted poster.") Nonetheless, this collection is a fine expression of a strong career, and an astute snapshot of the politic headliners of the last decade.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Time's first female columnist and "A-list Washington dinner hostess," Carlson offers a rather odd book, half personal memoir and half old columns. New essays begin each chapter with what is presumably her most current thinking on a topic, e.g., the Bush presidency. Why then would readers want to follow that with the stale musings of several years earlier? The most interesting part of the book, curiously, is not her shoulder rubbing with the rich and powerful but the story of her upbringing. Carlson's family was shaped by the needs of her mentally challenged brother, and her descriptions of the push and pull of family dynamics will strike an empathetic chord with most readers. On the other hand, for a reporter so obviously "in" (she watches videos with Kay Graham! Chris Matthews sings at her daughter's wedding!), her political insights are positively banal: Clinton was smart but couldn't rein in his appetites; Gore wasn't elected because nobody liked him (well, the press didn't); the press did like George Bush (apparently, he had better food on his campaign plane). Since Carlson is so well connected, she is certain to make the rounds of the usual talk shows, which may prompt demand for this tepid book. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Whadda we got? The unfortunately buyer gets a book that in truth merits no stars at all.
Carlson's brownnosing of the Washington Post's Katherine Graham is sickening enough without a half-dozen mentions of how Carlson's daughter was married at "Kay's" Georgetown mansion. Did you catch that? If you didn't, Carlson will remind you.
Oh, and George W. Bush made silly faces and served fancy food on his campaign's press plane. Maybe that's how both he and Margaret, as the book's subtitle reads, "made it to the White House." By being dim and opportunistic? Must be.
First of all, the "book" is a bunch of her columns strung together with lazy narrative. Many of the columns are out-of-date and inaccurate.
Similarly, in her ENDLESS complaints about the Clintons (they talk to much) and Gore (he's just too smart), she fails to recognize that she's the one who looks foolish. Below is a verbatim quote from the book (with some elipsis to shorten up her windy prose..and probably a typo or two, since I'm trying to write this review up fast)!
"Joe Klein, then at Newsweek, and I got a joint interview with the First Lady. She used up our time with chatter about the Taj Mahal and the ambassador's gardens...About midnight, an aide showed us the door, literally. Our time was up. Valiantly, Klein reeled her back in with a question about health-care reform. As we descended into the swamps of single-payer insurance...I leaned against the open door-and fell asleep."
Oof! The first lady gives a several hour interview. Margaret complains when she isn't substantive. Then when she is...she falls asleep!
I can only assume this is a highlight of Carlson's brilliant reporting career -- why else include it in the book? Odd that she's so proud of falling asleep during the policy portion of an interview.
There's more of this, but I'm coming up against the 1000 word max. Only read this book (don't give Margaret money -- buy a used copy or check it out from your library) if you really want to be able to laugh at this pathetic excuse for a reporter each time you see her on TV..
We have a name for people who will publish biased, banal, garbage to make a buck. We call them mediawhores.
By the way, the way Bush made it to the White house was by stealing an election. And look what a mess he has made with his squaters presidency.
Anyone who claims to be left or center left poltically, as Carlson does, should be able to say that quite clearly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
God, what a hack! She really should give up writing and devote herself to sewing patches on Tucker's Toughskins.Published on June 29, 2006 by Sylvester Fung
All too often, it is all too easy for Washington insiders to fall prey to common opinion of their peers and colleagues. Read morePublished on July 9, 2003 by K Mannion
Witty, insightful and a whole lot of fun, this collection of columns from Time magazine columnist and CNN commentator is a must read for anyone with an interest in the American... Read morePublished on June 12, 2003
A nice, and long overdue, collection of Carlosn's columns which goes to remind us that she is indeed one of the best (not to mention wittiest) columnists around. Read morePublished on June 8, 2003