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We're Right, They're Wrong: A Handbook for Spirited Progressives Paperback – February 20, 1996

3.4 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

James Carville, chief strategist of Clinton's 1992 War Room, puts the Democrats on the offensive again with this no-holds-barred response to the Republican "Contract With America". Witty, savvy, and just plain smart, this may be the most provocative book of the 1996 campaign season.

From Publishers Weekly

Political pundit and FOB James Carville offers a plan of attack for embattled liberals. With the appropriately pugnacious title of We're Right, They're Wrong: A Handbook for Spirited Progressives, Carville combines his own brand of political affirmation and polemic ("We Democrats are the soul and conscience of this nation!") with statistics and examples that give the faithful ammunition when cocktail chatter turns to issues of health care, the economy, family values (or Mrs. Clinton, for that matter). Like All's Fair, the book Carville co-authored with wife Mary Matalin, We're Right is a co-publishing venture of Random House and Simon & Schuster. ($10 ISBN 0-679-76978-1)
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (February 20, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679769781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679769781
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Douglas A. Greenberg on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was published as a piece of pro-Clinton [information] during the 1996 presidential campaign. Consequently, there is a certain datedness to much of what Carville has to say, plus a generous dose of campaign rhetoric extolling the virtues of the Democratic approach to (domestic) government policy. In truth, Bill Clinton is presented as far more of a populist progressive than was actually the case.
So why should anyone read this book now, nearly six years later? First, James Carville is a smooth-talker who entertains as he explains. His down-home, aw, shucks approach to the issues would almost have you forget what a shrewd political tactician he has proven to be. If nothing else, he does an excellent job of explaining what the Democratic Party has purported to stand for since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt, i.e., the notion that government has a proper and constructive role to play in regulating business, providing basic human services, and providing a "safety net" for people who suffer misfortune as a result of economic setbacks, natural disasters, or just plain bad luck. He also provides much useful and carefully laid-out descriptions of some of the more successful government programs that unfortunately, people in this country have either forgotten about or have come to take for granted.
The context for Carville's book back in 1996 was the attack on "big government" by Newt Gingritch and the rest of the conservatives who swept into Washington in 1994, purportedly with a mandate to fulfill a "Contract With America." Although it turned out that they had no such mandate at all, for a time it seemed to be almost universally accepted that "government does nothing well" and that "liberal" is a dirty word.
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Format: Paperback
James Carville points an accusatory finger on the cover of his book, WE'RE RIGHT AND THEY'RE WRONG, and then spends under two hundred pages setting out to prove his point. Contained in this slim volume are a lot of witticisms, common sense observations, and some devastating facts and figures that he brings out in support of his philosophies. You may not agree with what he says in the book, but you can't deny the power of his passion and the clarity of his thoughts.
Carville has a folksy commonsensical writing style. He throws in numerous references to his childhood and family in Louisiana. One of his philosophies that he attributes to his Cajun mother is the idea of the "5/65 Democrats". She espoused the idea that there are only two important activities that a person should be engaged in between the ages of five and sixty-five - either having a job, or training for a job. Carville revisits this idea many times after its introduction, effectively using it to counter right-wing assertions that government programs encourage laziness and inefficiency. He repeatedly points out that helping people find jobs and giving them access to training are the two things he finds to be of paramount importance. He angrily dismisses the arguments of cutting education and training programs in order to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.
Although the book was written to coincide with the 1996 Presidential and Congressional Elections, there is still plenty of relevant material here. Carville's responses to Republican's plans such as school vouchers, the flat tax, "big government" and others still resonate today. And some of the passages that have dated are still interesting to read about in a purely historical sense.
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Format: Paperback
What happens when you mix a Rajin' Cajun with Politics... You get the truth. Touche' Mr. Carville. Your book has already proven to be true life-saver for me, a 24K Cajun, stuck right smack dab in the middle of Dole and Bushwack, I mean Bush Country in a suburb of South of KC.
I enjoyed the book, but I love the rapid response and extended response part especially! It puts the mojo on the "good ole' boy network!"
This handbook will help to make your time spent at parties or at any event of one of your wonderful, yet, Republican friends and company not only more interesting, but you may also find that people will pay attention to you, whether they agree or not and it will either reply with anger or it might just scare the heck out the them.
What I like is the fact that he gives you the facts. Then, if you don't believe it, you can follow the trails and he will lead you right to it, the original quotes or what ever the issue, right their in your face, through his heavily researched and well-armed footnotes. I researched the footnotes that truly caught my interest, and was astounded to see where some of this "reliable information" comes from in the GOP. Where do the Republicans find some of these people?
This book is not only worth reading, it is worth reading again; or as a gift to a family member or friend who always has a lot to say about politics, and are really not aware of the real ongoings in politics behind the scenes, and for really great Cajun receipts.
Don't take his word for it, check his sources; they speak for themselves!
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