She tried to warn us: With the publication of Shrub
in early 2000, syndicated columnist Molly Ivins detailed George W. Bushs privileged rise and disastrous reign as governor of Texas in the mid- to late 90s. In Bushwhacked
, she looks at his first term as president. The picture she paints is unremittingly bleakunless, of course, youre a big campaign donor well served by Bushs prescription for all economic ills (deregulation, tax cuts for those who need them least, and lax enforcement of worker and environmental safety standards). As the only president in U.S. history to slash taxes and go to war simultaneously, Bush wins consistently low marks from Ivins for pursuing "crony capitalism" to its inevitably depressing extremes. While many of the topics covered here have been covered extensively (Enron, the war in Iraq), Ivins does a good job of building on whats already been written (proving Bushs close ties to former Enron chief Ken Lay, and laying out the fundamentalist, apocalyptic view of Iraq and the Middle East that drives Bushs foreign policy). Ivins is particularly good in taking arcane federal regulations and showing how the Bush administrations lax oversight has hurt ordinary Americans, making their jobs, homes, water, and food less safe. Ivins is no distanced observer. Shes clearly incensed by Bushs policies, but her reporting is so detailed and writing so witty that even those who come to the book undecided about Bush will likely be outraged by the time they finish it. ----Keith Moerer
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
"If y'all had've read the first book, we wouldn't've had to write this one," says Ivins, a columnist who, along with co-author Lou Dubose, wrote Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, which covered "Dubya's" short but sour reign as a Texas governor. This book picks up where Shrub left off, detailing Bush's first term as the not-quite-elected President of the United States. Ivins reads her own material and audibly enjoys discussing what she sees as tax breaks for the rich, environmental and safety deregulation, corporate toadyism and the loss of Americans' civil liberties, though it is also very apparent that behind the laughter lies genuine sadness and anger. In fact, it's hard to listen to this audiobook without simultaneously laughing and becoming incensed. Ivins is a joy to listen to. Her snappy quips, razor wit and downright damnation of the current administration are tempered by a lovely Texas drawl. She's mad as hell and is ready to do something about it, yet she never lets that fact interfere with her delightfully offbeat sense of humor, her engaging delivery or her well-researched argument.
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