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The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception Hardcover – September 30, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
As Washington editor for the Nation, Corn has had his eyes and ears open for what he construes as lies from the Bush White House, and here he has assembled what many will see as an impressive body of evidence. Corn states that Bush has "mugged the truth-not merely in honest error, but deliberately, consistently and repeatedly to advance his career and his agenda." Corn carefully documents alleged falsehoods dating back to the campaign trail covering a full range of issues-from Enron to education, global warming to stem cell research. But this is no simplistic anti-Bush rant; it also faults the media for not underlining the apparent lies and the public for not caring enough.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It's getting a little hard to find a book about George W. Bush that doesn't have the word lie in the title. First came Joe Conanson's Big Lies [BKL Ag 03], which was followed by Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them [BKL S 15 03]. Corn's take on the topic is straightforward and chronological. No raised voices here. The longtime editor of the Nation, Corn sets out to build a serious case against Bush in which the president's own words indict him. Beginning with the 2000 campaign ("I am a uniter, not a divider"), Corn examines Bush's record on many issues--the environment, health, the war on terror--all referenced to the president's words, e.g., "The bottom end of the economic ladder receives the biggest percentage [tax] cuts." Obviously, how one views the Bush presidency will color one's reaction to the conclusions drawn here, and though Corn sources much of his material within the text, it is too bad there are no notes appended. It is also unfortunate for Corn that so many books about Republican dissembling have come out lately (others include those by Molly Ivins and Eric Alterman). This is a judicious and readable offering, but the target audience may feel they've heard it all before. Still, Corn is sure to do a round of talking-head appearances, so there may be enough buzz to create demand. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Corn, rather then being a shrill bush-baiter, writes in a calm dialogue about the many untrue things Bush has said. Bush's many falsehoods make Reagan's numerous lies about Iran/Contra look innocent by comparison. Buy Corn's book and check independently all of his accusations. You will find its a well researched, well documented book written in a tone that respects the reader. If all you have ever read are books like Ann Coulter's, who prints whoppers like the "NY Times never printed anything about the death of Dale Earnhardt" (they did, on day one, page one!) or that the father of a journalist she dislikes had run for president (he didn't) then you will be refreshingly surprised.
I knew David Corn by reputation and was aware that he had written this book. It met well my expectations.
My book is almost ready. It is written in Italian: though I am fluent in English, my (traditional) pubbisher is in Italy.
Corn begins this book by explaining to the reader that all U.S. presidents have done their fair share of lying and he provides examples for a few of them, making sure to cover both Republicans and Democrats so that the reader can see that he is not strictly anti- GOP. Then, he gets into the heart of the book by first presenting Bush's lies when he was governor, followed by Bush's countless lies he had told when he was a candidate for president, all the way through his first few years as president.
Corn devotes separate chapters to different areas of lying. There is a chapter or two on the Bush tax plan, one on his position on stem cell research, one on the Enron scandal, and a few others. But the topic that receives the most coverage in this book is that of the military and, more specifically, the war against Iraq. Corn shows the endless barrage of lies that came from the Bush White House during this time, starting with the fibs about the reasons to go to war (like the weapons of mass destruction claim), then leading to the grossly understated cost of the war and the dishonesty about the casualties and the peace process to rebuild the nation of Iraq.
In each chapter, Corn highlights some of the key lies in boldface text, and he places them before the paragraph that the quote appears. There are more lies in this book than just those told by George W. Bush himself. The lies include those told by other members of the Bush administration, like Powell, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others.
Corn does an effective job in his uncovering of these many untruths and with his explanations about each lie. He presents the quote, then he backs up his claim that the quote was false by presenting other quotes and facts that directly contradict what the president or one of his team said. He manages to be respectful throughout the book (as respectful as an author can be, given the subject) and he points out that Bush has told the truth sometimes, too. But the main idea of this book is that Bush is as good of a liar as anyone who has ever held the White House and he will tell any lie necessary if it means getting what he wants.
If there is any complaint that I have about this book, it would have to be the fact that most of what it talks about is now old news. Most people already know about the deceptions and falsehoods surrounding the war against Iraq, the Bush tax plan, and other topics. Thus, for those readers who try to stay in tune with the latest political happenings, there won't be very much new to read in this book. Also, in some instances, Corn really seems to be splitting hairs. With a few of the quotes, he tries to make them out to be something far more radical than their speaker intended them to be.
I like the way Corn ends the book by presenting some possible explanations on why presidents and other politicians tell so many lies and why the media has been so soft on George W. Bush. Corn feels that journalists need to come down harder on the president and force him to admit the truth. This final chapter is good for those who want a little more insight on why lying is so commonplace and why no one does much about it, although it doesn't go very in- depth in finding an answer.
Politicians have always told lies. Nothing is going to change this fact in the foreseeable future. George W. Bush has told more than his share of presidential falsehoods and David Corn exposes many of them in this book, with analysis of each lie, along with facts and quotes to back up his assertion that George W. Bush is one of the greatest liars to ever occupy the oval office. The book isn't perfect, but Corn does present a good resource for the politically misinformed, showing how one man and his administrative team can effectively deceive and mislead the people and change the course of history in the process.
The chapter on Bush's cozy relationship with Enron (before it became politically unwise to have such) and his career-long rap-sheet of questionable corporate machinations had me foaming at the mouth by the end. This man has not brought "integrity and honesty back to the White House." I long for the innocent days of Hillary and her cattle futures investing.
The lies that took our country into the war with Iraq are nothing new, but Corn's prose makes them read like a poem--an ugly poem about lost limbs and lost honor.
And the dissection of dishonesty in the Bush 2000 campaign is instructive as we see this year's campaign heating up with the same vile leftovers. Read the book. Especially if you love George W.
Most recent customer reviews
First of all, the author needs to find out what the word "lie" actually means. When a person tells a lie, he is saying something that is not true when he knows it...Read more