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Banana Republicans [Paperback]

Sheldon Rampton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 24 2004
The bestselling authors of Weapons of Mass Deception expose how the "right-wing conspiracy," as represented by the GOP and its mouthpieces in media, lobbying groups, and the legal system, is undermining dissent and squelching pluralistic politics in America.

The U.S. economy is on the ropes, fear grips the nation, and we are embroiled in two overseas military quagmires with no end in sight. Outside its borders, the United States is hated and feared as never before.

For the first time in living memory, a single party-the Republicans-controls every major institution of the federal government: the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate and House of Representatives-not to mention the "fourth branch of government," the mass media. How did this come to pass?

Banana Republicans reveals how the national GOP maintains its hold on power through the systematic manipulation of the electoral system, the courts, the media, and the lobbying establishment. The book examines:

* The legacy of the Florida ballot scandal, and how it has played out in the recall movement in California-and other states, where recall efforts are under way-and in the redistricting controversy in Texas.
* How a GOP echo chamber systematically spreads its views through conservative media giants-e.g., Clear Channel, Fox-and highly placed columnists, journalists, and opinion makers.
* How the Bush administration is loading the federal courts with a generation of demagogues, and smearing the names of legislators who attempt to stand in its way. * How House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has strong-armed traditional lobbying firms into exclusively hiring Republicans, so that even K Street is political, rather than merely opportunistic.
* How the GOP has equated dissent with treason-e.g., Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accusing war critics of abetting terrorism.
* How the Bush administration uses its power to punish dissent, such as the leaking of a CIA agent's name to the press, and unprecedented lawsuits against activist organizations such as Greenpeace.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How a once-great party has deteriorated July 11 2004
By A Customer
VEry good and timely book, showing how aonce-great political party has deteriorated and sunk to the lower depths, by embracing hate-mongers, bigots, reactionaries, and general crazies to become almost an anti-democratic cult. True conservatives such as Barry Goldwater, if they were alive, would be absolutely appalled at how their party has pandered to the basest instincts of many Americans--fear, intolerance, hate, fanaticism, and bigotry. A warning shot...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Salutory June 28 2004
By A Customer
The country has been so bombarded for deacdes by the claim that the media is liberal, readers like the one from Syracuse believe it, ignoring the power, reach and influence of the Wall Street Journal; talk radio, especially Rush Limbaugh; and MSNBC and Fox. Furthermore, the campaign has shifted all media rightward. But even Republicans have admitted the claims of a liberal media are a shell game, and a brilliantly successful one at that. This book and David Brock's The Republican Noise Machine and Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media should be read by all citizens who want to maintain and strengthen American democracy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The "mass media" is Liberal!! June 23 2004
By A Customer
This book is ludicrous. the republicans don't control the "mass media" the left does. Couric,Rather,Brokaw,Jennings,. Left,left,left,left. C'mon, if you're going to go after the right at least bring something better than the right controls the media. Its laughable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well-documented and quite FRIGHTENING June 19 2004
This book was a very compelling look at the well-organized machine that is the right. I was impressed with how well-documented the book was, using the words of those on the right to make the case.
Those that criticize the book will have to refute an awful lot of quotes and facts by their conservative friends. With all the quotes, citations and endnotes, I don't know how one COULD refute the general claims of this book.
What was most frightening for me in this book was the push by the right to completely "wipe them [the left or the democrats] off the face of the planet." This quote by David Horowitz, political strategist for the right, is telling. As the book points out, for the Democrats, politics is a debate between two opposing camps or schools of thought. For the Republicans, it is a war for dominance. I am frightened by a group that does not welcome discourse, especially when that group is so powerful politically and economically. Squashing the political opponent seems very anti-American to me.
Read this book. Then vote.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ba na na na June 19 2004
By A Customer
This was an utterly fabulous book. My friend Marc, the Original Banana Republican, was especially impressed with the bit about gay marriage. I highly recommend this thoroughly investigated masterpiece.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative June 9 2004
Sheldon and John have done another great job. This time exposing the right wing extremist's media machine.
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