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Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: Color
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001OICKIM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,043 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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A Southern boy from a modest background learns the game of politics and goes from a campaign manager for minor, local politicians to the national stage. Lee Atwater, known as "the boogie man" for his guitar playing and perhaps, his formidable political skills, is the predecessor to kingpins like Karl Rove. Without giving away the
story and biography of this influencial figure, the viewer will be treated to skillfully produced documentary
that exposes the seamy side of campaign public relations. Some may hear the word "documentary" and think "boring",
but I must stress: this is as important and entertaining a film I have ever watched. If you like the intrigue of
politics and are amazed by the sociopathy that goes with it, then this one will be high on your hit list. If you are simply interested in being entertained and gaining insight into the nitty gritty of national politics, then this is a must watch for every citizen of the US. From success to personal tragedy, Lee Atwater personifies the American Dream twisted by the cynicism of politics. Before his death of cancer, he wrote a book essentially
apologizing to the American people for motivating them to votre against their own best interest. Was he really repenting? Judge for yourself.
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Format: DVD
This excellent documentary scared me to death--there are too many political ones and too few good political ones. This expose of one of the meanest, most ruthless Republicans since Joe McCarthy will curdle your blood.

By the way, if you didn't catch this: the title refers to Atwater's skill as a blues musician (why "Boogie" I can't say) and is a double entendre. Not the most clever of titles, but I say titles are overrated.

I must follow my opening observations with my personal notion that it is too easy to demonize someone politically, too easy to say, "Such-and-so pioneered the political games of dirty pool." This excellent documentary--all true, I might add--was a bit of a relief because it avoided branding Atwater as anything other than a slightly hyperactive, remorseless Southerner.

But they did say he created the filthy Republican playbook, mentored Karl Rove, destroyed Mike Dukakis, got Old Bush elected, drove Bob Dole mad, and would have destroyed President Clinton had he lived to see the day. Perhaps luckily, Atwater died young...conning and lying his way to the very grave.

My review says all of this because I recall the Atwater days as my father recalled McCarthyism. I was there, as it were, I remember perfectly well what an evil scoundrel Atwater was. This documentary, however, frightened me because I did not realize the full extent of his evil reach. I had no idea that he was as crazy, ruthless and rotten as he really was.

Republicans ought to pay close attention to this film, because in a way, Atwater left this mortal coil with some parting wisdom about abandoning dirty, life-destroying political tactics. He probably didn't really mean it, but drowning men catch at straws, they say.
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Some good history here, but nearly everyone interviewed is a Democrat or a Republican with an ax to grind. Even Atwater's insights and his successes were always loaded with negative motives or qualifiers. Is it really true that Atwater did nothing positive, or did nothing for a good motive? Just be aware that this is a Democrat party view of Atwater, so if that's your thing, you'll love this documentary. (Well, Mary Matalin was the lone voice who was positive...so you know it's pretty weak tea when she's the token positive Republican.)
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By J. Beck on August 29, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered how politics got as divisive, immoral and as nasty as it presently is, here is a perfect explanation of the process. This multiple award winning movie from which a Frontline documentary was written will knock your socks off. It has no partisan agenda, it simply collects the facts and interviews people of both parties about their experiences.
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A fascinating documentary !!! Lee Atwater revolutionized presidential campaigning. He helped to create a solid Republican south. And he became notorious for turning national politics back into a blood sport, not only using nasty attacks but reveling in his image as the bad boy of Washington. Then, at the age of 39, Atwater was struck by a brain tumor. In thirteen months, cancer ended the most controversial career in modern politicsthe charismatic, colorful, and contradictory life of Lee Atwater.Even today Atwater is a fallen leader Republicans love and a rival Democrats love to hate. He was the first political handler as mediagenic as his candidatescertainly the first chairman of the Republican National Committee to record a blues album. His campaigns represent the high-water mark of the GOPs postwar dominance of the presidency, and his techniques set the tone for races across the country. Watching Washington since his death, politicians and pundits still wonder, What if Lee Atwater had lived?Bad Boy reveals how Lee Atwater began his career controlling crowds as jittery class clown, traumatized by the agonizing death of his little brother. In college he discovered the subtle intercourse of policy and public opinion and grew from party animal to party man. Bad Boy details Atwater's political strategies from the grass roots to the national level. Even more ruthless were the behind-the-scenes power games as he crossed paths, and occasionally crossed swords, with nearly every major Republican of the 1980s: Reagan, Bush, Baker, Ailes, Rollins, and many more.In Bad Boy, we also see the faces Atwater tried to spin away. He was a compulsive womanizer, climbing through windows to avoid reporters. He played radical politics but promoted "big tent" Republicanism.Read more ›
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