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Shrub : The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush Paperback – October 10, 2000
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"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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Beginning with his admission to the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War (where he bypassed a waiting list of about 100,000), the authors go on to deconstruct his losing congressional bid, his failed career as an oil executive, and his role as managing partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, revealing how he was helped every step of the way by wealthy and influential friends of the family. Ever popular, Dubya has always been good at rounding up powerful players to bankroll a variety of ventures, including political campaigns. For this reason, explain the authors, along with his lineage and social status, Bush's primary allegiance is to the business community. While his speeches may deal with the "entertainment issues" of "God, guns, and gays," Bush is a "wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America," they write. They further point out that Texas ranks near the bottom of the nation in terms of a number of social categories, such as poverty, health insurance for children, and pollution, spearing the governor for his less-than-compassionate conservatism.
Shrub is not a complete Bush whacking, though. The authors laud the governor's record on education, in which he has managed to raise standards, push local control of schools, and launch a successful reading campaign. They also cite his wooing of the Hispanic vote and his ability to bridge the gap between the Christian right and the economic conservatives within the Republican party as evidence of true political acumen, though they maintain he lacks a penchant for actual governing: "From the record, it appears that he doesn't know much, doesn't do much and doesn't care much about governing." Bush has admitted that he dislikes reading, particularly about policy issues, and that he hates meetings and briefings, causing the authors to wonder, "The puzzle of Bush is why someone with so little interest in or attention for policy, for making government work, would want the job of president, or even governor."
Love him or leave him, Shrub leaves much to consider about the man who would be president. And it can be read in about a day. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The story Ivins tells is one that is a damning indictment of the current U.S. political system. George W. Bush was hand-picked by monied corporate interests some time ago to be groomed as a potential "capitalist tool," a figurehead politician who will do their bidding unquestionably while possessing the personality traits essential to appealing to a broad spectrum of voters. It's the stuff out of which bad Hollywood movies are made, and yet it's real. Consequently, although there is much wry humor in Ivins' narrative regarding how this ne'er-do-well, pampered inheritor of the Bush political legacy, the story she weaves is also frightening.
What I found particularly disturbing was Bush's indifference toward the natural environment. His lack of commitment to protecting the health of Texans from pollution is incredible. Given the high level of support that Americans overall have expressed for strong environmental laws, this issue alone ought to be sufficient to disqualify Dubya from the presidency.Read more ›
To the criticism that the book makes challenging or verifying their facts difficult, this is somewhat true. I checked out several statistics, especially the ones on the environment. Most I found easily verified. I took the anonymous sources with a grain of salt. However, to say this book is without facts, without support, is willful misreading.
Living in Dallas, I've watched the corporate media at work, and it's hardly a myth. The Belo Corporation is unabashedly pro-Bush:
+ Reports on Bush are extremely favorable. (In one week of watching channel 8 evening news, I counted 8 Bush stories to 1 Gary Mauro story during the recent governor's race.)
+ For many months, the Dallas News website had links to the Bush campaign site. They did not provide links to opponents' sites.
Sometimes, contrary opinions do make their way out of the Belo media outlets. But the overwhelming presentation from Belo (which owns several Texas newspapers--including the Dallas Morning News--, the Texas Cable News network, and television stations) is that Bush should be president. Consider too the Center for Media & Public Affairs analysis: Bush has been treated more often and more favorably by the news media than Gore.
It's in this environment that this book is refreshing. It's an approachable examination of recorded actions and outcomes, not "talking head" summaries of sound bites and propaganda that pass for political analysis.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent view of Bush Jr.s background, his ways and means, how he operated and whose influence he followed... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bassvamp
Don't like her style. Her approach is not to my taste. I won't buy her work ever again even if others like her.Published on October 29, 2013 by Dottie. Mitchell
Ok, so this book was written in 2000. Still, in retrospect, George W. Bush hardly had a "short" political career, when compared with the horrors of the following president and his... Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by criscrossqz
This story is written and NARRATED by the late, beloved and lamented Molly Ivins. Her gentle Texas twang is perfect for this story about Texas politics, and she gets a good... Read morePublished on July 5, 2010 by ted
I bought this for someone else, but had read it years ago. She was a terrific writer. Molly Ivins and Anne Richards were the best - they will be missed. Read morePublished on May 9, 2010 by Z
If more people had paid attention to Ms. Ivin's wryly-funny-but-dead-serious dismemberment of George W. Read morePublished on December 7, 2009 by Felix
Well, you can't expect even-handedness in a book about the (at the time) future President Dubya, especially from the late Molly Ivins, fellow Texan and not exactly one of the Bush... Read morePublished on September 20, 2009 by Muzzlehatch
If you still can't believe the first eight years of this century were real, this book will convince you. This book should embarrass everyone who voted for this clown.Published on February 27, 2009 by Pete Lister