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Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction Paperback – October 2, 2007
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-- Jim Wallis, bestselling author of God's Politics
"The best kind of sermon, the most revealing and meaningful kind of testimony. At [Kuo's] call for action, you want to give [him] a loud 'amen.'"
-- The Hartford Courant
"Though Tempting Faith is a story about the Bush presidency, it is even more a story about Mr. Kuo. As much as it is a story about politics, it is also a story about faith."
-- The New York Times
"Tempting Faith is one of those rare Washington books that is worth reading -- clearly written, disarmingly honest, thoughtfully introspective, and unusually substantive.... A refreshingly honest account of how politics can seduce the best intentioned and the most naïve."
-- The American Conservative
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Many will read this book for its "Gotchas" about the Bush adminstration, but it's also an excellent portrait of a life: a life devoted to serving Christ through serving fellow citizens, and attempting to serve them both through directly and through politics (yeah, yeah, render unto Caesar etc). Kuo lives his life in the question of how to best serve, and this book combines his history and his ruminations on the mixture of politics and Christianity.
I should point out that Kuo is not the first person to leave Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives in disgust. That honor belongs to John J. DiIulio Jr., who described his tenure in the Whitehouse in a Jan. 2003 Esquire article famous for the phrase "It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis".
I have only skimmed this book so far, but I was struck by the passage where Kuo meets Hillary Clinton in a receiving line and takes the opportunity to apologize to her (earlier in the book, in order to grease the skids of fellowship, Kuo agrees with a rural sheriff that Hillary is "the AntiChrist"). he apologizes to her for his attacks: not for attacking her policies, but for "personal attacks." Hillary is taken aback, but manages to stutter out an "Okay, Okay, thank you," and later mentions Kuo's apology in a speech. Kuo is afraid his career in conservative politics is ruined, until he learns that Hillary didn't mention him by name.
Kuo started in politics working for William Bennett, and then moved to the senatorial offices of John Ashcroft.Read more ›
Huntington News Network Book Critic
Hinton, WV - In his eye-opening account of a pilgrim's progress - or rather a lack of it - inside the Beltway, David Kuo's "Tempting Faith" (Free Press, $25, 304 pages) confirms to me something that I believe is obvious: Politics and religion shouldn't be mixed.
In fact, at the end of the book, evangelical Christian Kuo seems to come to that conclusion, suggesting a two-year "fast" from engaging in politics for his fellow believers, who should instead support charities that help the poor and the sick. Fasting, he points out, is an integral part of Christianity, it's good for the soul and body and Jesus was a strong believer in fasting.
The book's subtitle - "An Inside Story of Political Seduction" - tells a lot about Kuo's experiences both before and after working for the George W. Bush administration. From 2001 to 2003, he was second in command - deputy director -- at the President's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, working closely with the director of the organization, John DiIulio, and with Dilulio's successor.
As a matter of fact, Dilulio, quoted in a Dec. 4, 2002 Esquire magazine story by Ron Suskind gave more than a hint that the Bush White House was using believing Christians as part of a Karl Rove-designed scheme to secure the voting base of that group. In the article, according to Kuo (Page 219) Dilulio "critiqued the Bush White House for its lack of a serious policy apparatus. Policy wasn't made by philosophy, John said, but by politics. `There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus...'" Kuo said the article went on at "length detailing Karl Rove's perceived power.Read more ›
Of course, one might argue that his entire book is an indictment of the Bush administration, but I think it might better be termed a call for Christian extremists to look elsewhere for their revolution.
Frankly, I find Jim Wallis' book, God's Politics, a more fulfilling read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It Is good inside look at Republican politics and manipulation. Shows how religious groups are seduced and used through ignorance.Published on May 15, 2013 by Vivia Jean Cox
A fascinating book written by a member of the George W.Bush Whitehouse team when he was (supposedly) organizing his faith-based help. Read morePublished on January 2, 2011 by G. Griffin
I read this book a few years after Kuo's other book "Dot.Bomb." In the latter book, naive guy with little practical experience in his industry gets taken in by the message of... Read morePublished on August 26, 2010 by Ryan Alexander
Mr. Kuo writes this book to share his religious experience in politics as he said" I've seen, done, lived and learned from it" (P.xiv). Read morePublished on August 25, 2010 by Walter W. Ko
For most of American history, there has always been a small but persistent stream of publications about the mixing of religion and politics. Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by Newton Ooi
There are too many lessons in this book to name them all in a review. David Kuo is in the know, working in the George W. Bush White House in the Faith-Based Initiative Program. Read morePublished on June 18, 2008 by Mark Watterson
I read it. Finally. Reads like someone taking cheap shots to make a buck. He calls for a "fast" from politics, yet he rights a political blog. Tells you a lot. Read morePublished on April 7, 2008 by Dingo1118
The book was good in parts. I would recommend borrowing it from the library.Published on December 11, 2007 by K. Edwards