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Bush Country

How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane


John Podhoretz (View Bio)
Hardcover: St. Martin’s, 2004; Paperback: St. Martin's Press/Griffin, 2005.

Bush Country
A Denver Post Best Seller

"Podhoretz's book makes a good case for Bush's record.... Clever.... If bookstores had political primaries, Podhoretz would have long since sewn up the campaign." — St. Louis Post–Dispatch

"In this riposte to Bush bashers, New York Post columnist Podhoretz takes two tacks: ridiculing the denigrators of Dubya and extolling him as a great president. Naturally, the author's red-meat sections will entertain aggrieved Bush supporters, as Podhoretz runs with journalists' or politicians' quoatations.... Interest in political pugilism lasts only so long, however, as every library that has weeded last month's it-book knows. Yet the spotlight on Podhoretz may linger because...he dwells on reasons Bush, from the technical viewpoint, has prevailed on most matters in which he has invested presidential prestige." — Booklist

"[A] home run.... BUSH COUNTRY is wonderfully entertaining and refreshingly well-reasoned. Liberals will be enraged and conservatives will be enraptured.... Using logic and concrete examples throughout Podhoretz explains how Bush has made his mark in history." — UPI

"Trenchant and timely.... The book advances a clean, simple thesis: Democrats loathe and misunderestimate the president and keep their ___ boiling by embracing eight myths about him. They regard the commander-in-chief as a moron, a puppet, a fanatic, a Nazi, a cad, a wastrel, a cowboy, and a lying thief. (The book is a bonanza for Bush lovers and haters, because it gathers together some of the most fevered and hilarious vitriol aimed at the president.) Podhoretz unravels the libels in slow, delicious detail.... Podhoretz has done a masterful job of explaining...[Bush's] traits and how they have helped Bush create a presidency of astonishing activism and accomplishment.... Of all the books produced so far on the president, this one stands out because John Podhoretz understands not just the policies of the Bush presidency, but George W. Bush himself — a man who, in the book's final observation, has given America back 'its calling.'" — New York Post

"Over the past three years, liberals have been far from shy in expressing their distaste for George W. Bush. Now conservative commentator Podhoretz offers up a thorough defense of the president as well as a scathing attack on his most vocal detractors. Podhoretz takes a series of the more popular attacks on the president — what he calls 'crazy liberal ideas' — and debunks them one by one. These include 'Bush is a moron,' 'Bush is a fanatic,' 'Bush is Hitler,' and 'Bush is a liar,' charges he cites as being made by some leading liberal writers: Paul Krugman, Michael Lind, Maureen Dowd and Todd Gitlin, among others. Podhoretz claims that the president is, in fact, an intelligent, savvy, principled and honest leader, who responded to the September 11 tragedy with inspiring courage and determination. Bush's presidency will be remembered as 'one of the most consequential...in the nation's history.'... The book is well done: provocative, witty, in-your-face and honest." — Publishers Weekly

"As the presidential election heads into the gladiatorial phase, the various media competitors are gearing up for combat.... [T]he gladiator who really brought the spectators to their feet was the hoplomachus, the most heavily armored fighter of all, a beefy expert in close combat whose technique was simply to get within range and club, slash or otherwise clobber his opponent into submission. The hoplomachus was not dainty, but he was brutally effective, and a reliable crowd-puller. John Podhoretz, a conservative columnist for The New York Post, has emerged as the hoplomachus of this election, with a book that comes barreling into the arena spraying sawdust in all directions and looking for a fight.... An unapologetic apologia, a cheerfully demotic assault on the president's detractors designed to inflict maximum damage in the shortest space of time.... Podhoretz offers a sharp and considered reappraisal of a president who has been, in Bush's own mangled word, misunderestimated from the moment he entered politics, possibly from his birth.... Podhoretz rightly demonstrates that the yawning gap between expectations and performance has proved to be a formidable asset. Bush is not a moronic, fanatical, mendacious Nazi puppet, Podhoretz insists, but a complex and subtle operator, with the gambler's instinct for the bluff, a bedrock of belief and an ambitious vision of world democratization.... This book is an important corrective to anyone tempted to write Bush off as a president of no consequence, and from whichever side of the arena one stands, it is hard to argue with Podhoretz's conclusion: Love him or hate him, respect him or revile him, George W. Bush has made extraordinary use of the powers of the presidency and has changed the United States, its government and the world in ways that have made an indelible mark on the new century.... Raunchy, punchy and mischievious, Podhoretz's style is in many ways closer to the British tradition of polemic than the American, tabloid in the best sense, both deeply informed and profoundly informal.... Oddly refreshing.... BUSH COUNTRY is serious stuff, a line drawn in the sand with a passion." — The New York Times Book Review

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