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The Bush Betrayal Hardcover – August 7, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Writing from a libertarian perspective, Bovard (Terrorism and Tyranny, etc.) offers a fierce critique of the presidency of George W. Bush , focusing on restrictions on liberty and expansion of government. After 9/11, he writes, "[t]he simple solution was to increase the power of good—i.e., government—to vanquish evil." By the fourth chapter, Bovard has moved on to Bush's gyrations on free trade, notably steel tariffs. By the fifth, he's on to No Child Left Behind, arguing that home schooling surpasses government schooling. Bovard takes swipes at AmeriCorps (a wasteful way for Bush to invoke virtue, he says), subsidies for sugar (an industry that gives huge political contributions), the Medicare bill (far more expensive than advertised), the prison industry and the drug war. He asserts that Attorney General John Ashcroft has "effectively encouraged agencies to deny FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requests" and points out abuses of 9/11 detainees in New York. Americans, Bovard concludes, should cease looking to a president as a savior and instead view him as a hired hand—though he doesn't exactly sketch out the boundaries of such limited government. The book, based on secondary sources, does not break much new ground. It is notable as a comprehensive attack on the administration from a less-often-heard place on the political spectrum.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
FOR ADVANCING THE LITERATURE OF LIBERTY
"Jim Bovard is a one-man policy think tank, or, rather, a one-man version of what a policy think tank ought to be. Instead of cozying up to the state, the Beltwayites ought to be trying to copy Bovard: doing meticulous and meticulously documented analysis of the crimes of government. Who ever looks, really looks, with the right attitude, at the budget and programs of a federal agency? Or records, with great wit, all the felonies against freedom of the Clinton and Bush administrations? Not that they could copy Bovard, but they ought to try. [The Bush Betrayal] is the handbook of our revolution."--Lew Rockwell, www.lewrockwell.com
"Ahhh, life is so good lately. Happy times. Today, the Postmaster General delived to my door an early copy of The Bush Betrayal, sent to me by Jim Bovard. It's not quite available yet for the masses, but will be soon. So quit wasting time and go order it. A quick glance at this book immediately indicates two things: this book is going to kick some Bush-loving a**, and, cracking open this irresistable cover is going to keep me up til 2am again tonight."
--Karen De Coster, www.karendecoster.com
"One American – a true patriot in my opinion – who has not been hoodwinked or bamboozled by Bush Administration propaganda is James Bovard.... The Bush Betrayal is the best book for an introductory course on what patriotism really means, and it will certainly help awake a comatose public before all its rights are trampled by future 'Bush’s'."
--Jim Grichar, www.lewrockwell.com
"This book is bound to be banned. It obviously violates several federal statutes. It's rapid-fire, high-capacity, equipped with bayonet-sharp wit, and loaded with politician-piercing ammo. Never mind that the ammo is merely words. We already know how terrified the Bush administration is of opponents who fire verbs and nouns.... If you already believed the Bush administration was a bit scary, perhaps even a bit mad, you'll have more evidence than you ever imagined after finishing The Bush Betrayal. If (like me) you believe you already know everything you need to know about the administration's ways, I can assure you that you'll learn more and - this is the kicker - enjoy the process of discovering the facts."--Claire Wolfe, www.clairewolfe.com
“Right from the start, Bovard opens in rapid-fire succession on governmental failures surrounding 9/11.... Bovard also finds amazing anecdotes and details you can't find -- under one roof -- anywhere else.... Bovard brings back the bite to what has depressingly become a reticent and toothless American journalism.”--Brigid O’Neil, Freedom Daily, February 2005
Top customer reviews
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His books are incredibly well-researched and written, with no pandering to political correctness.
Why has James Bovard not been interviewed by Jon Stewart? Maybe with his next book.
Obviously, I'm a big fan.
Read James Bovard!
1. Piling on top of a list of already convincing facts, he has to add questionable editorial opinions from obscure sources and his own quips.
2. Instead of being happy to present "the other side" of the argument, he has to make conclusions that this view is the complete picture.
He should be happy with making us nervous and question Bush heavily, which he does very well.
One of his more obvious excesses is when he quotes a lefty Michigan History professor making outrageous statements about Israel's assassination of Sheik Yassin, which advances no point about anything, and suggests that he could have been 'arrested' instead of killed, as if this would have made the terrorists less outraged and as if arresting a heavily guarded terrorist leader is 'easy' compared to killing him. And as if Israel has a choice about letting the leader of one of the biggest terrorist organizations in the world just do nothing...and then to link all this to Iraq. It's a real stretch.
There are two sides to this story as with any story, as with his story about Bush. There have been successes in Bush's war on terror and presidency in general. Bovard isn't interested in these, which is fine. Critique has its place, but he has to remember he is presenting critique, not the whole story.
Other examples are his quoting of editorial opinion columns in newspapers. You can find an editorial to say anything.
He should stick to the facts.
If you have the ability to sift through his books for the information he gets, and the timelines he puts together, and separate out the extra flab, you'll be a more knowledgeable person.
But if one is a true conservative (meaning, wants little government interference in the economy or in personal decisions) then the Bush presidency has to be more than just a disappointment- it has to be regarded as a huge letdown since Bush has expanded the size and scope of government at every opportunity since he took the oath of office early in 2001. This book examines the Bush legacy of the past few years, showing how Bush has grown government to record levels while simultaneously cutting back revenues, creating massive budget deficits that future generations will be forced to pay back.
Some of the key areas James Bovard focuses his attention in this book are free trade, the War against Iraq, the War on Terror, and the increases in government that have accompanied this and every other Bush initiative. Many of Bush's violations of the Constitution center around the War on Terror and the efforts to "protect" the American citizens. Many people are already aware of the so- called "Free Speech Zones" where protestors are forced to stay when Bush is giving a speech. And most are aware of the airport security mania where ordinary people are treated like criminals in order to make flying "safer". These violations of individual rights are covered in this book, with the author demonstrating how the Bush administration has manipulated the law and deceived the people to further his own agenda.
More time is spent in this book talking about the War on Terror than any other topic. This is because Bush has used this "War" and the events of September 11, 2001, as an excuse for his government excesses. The fact is, Bush had already adopted the neo- conservative political philosophy (one that calls for growing government to the largest size possible in order to push its own political beliefs, while pretending to believe in small government) long before September 11, 2001. The author effectively shows, through countless examples, how Bush and his team of control freaks manipulate the law and press their agenda on the American people.
James Bovard has written critical books in the past about government so this book is nothing new for him. He writes in a style that is appealing and convincing. Instead of ranting and raving about government abuses, he uses concrete examples, backed up with sources, to illustrate what has happened and the hypocrisy and deceit behind various political maneuvers by Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, and others in the Bush administration. He uses sarcasm on occasion, and his biting wit adds to the book's overall appeal.
If you're the type who believes in the conservative ideal of small government, you should feel disgusted with the present administration. Bush has grown government to levels beyond imagination. Even if the increases in defense are taken into account, the rate of growth under Bush is still gigantic- much greater than it was under Clinton, a man who conservatives often considered a closet socialist for his use of government power. The "Bush Betrayal" is a good book for conservatives to read, for it illustrates the unparalleled growth in government under Bush's watch. Don't be fooled when Bush tries to proclaim himself a prophet of small government. Numbers don't lie, and Bush is arguably the biggest abuser of government spending since Lyndon Johnson. Read this book, and educate yourself on the explosion of growth under our current presidential administration.