American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips
Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

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Synopsis

The Bushes are the family nobody really knows, says Kevin Phillips. This popular lack of acquaintance—nurtured by gauzy imagery of Maine summer cottages, gray-haired national grandmothers, July Fourth sparklers, and cowboy boots—has let national politics create a dynasticized presidency that would have horrified America's founding fathers. They, after all, had led a revolution against a succession of royal Georges.

In this devastating book, onetime Republican strategist Phillips reveals how four generations of Bushes have ascended the ladder of national power since World War One, becoming entrenched within the American establishment—Yale, Wall Street, the Senate, the CIA, the vice presidency, and the presidency—through a recurrent flair for old-boy networking, national security involvement, and political deception. By uncovering relationships and connecting facts with new clarity, Phillips comes to a stunning conclusion: The Bush family has systematically used its financial and social empire—its "aristocracy"—to gain the White House, thereby subverting the very core of American democracy. In their ambition, the Bushes ultimately reinvented themselves with brilliant timing, twisting and turning from silver spoon Yankees to born-again evangelical Texans. As America—and the world—holds its breath for the 2004 presidential election, American Dynasty explains how it happened and what it all means.


 

About Kevin Phillips

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Kevin Phillips, a political and economic commentator for more than three decades and a former White House strategist, is the author of ten books.
 
Published September 7, 2004 by Penguin Books. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Dynasty

Kirkus Reviews

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As to the manifold manifestations of theocracy, few are subtle: Consider the Schiavo case, and unprecedented federal meddling in science education (with the executive’s expressing a clear preference for so-called “intelligent design”), and the endless effort to undo various civil liberties.

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Publishers Weekly

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Political and economics commentator Phillips (The Politics of Rich and Poor , etc.) believes we are facing an ominous time: "As 2004 began, [a] Machiavellian

Dec 22 2003 | Read Full Review of American Dynasty: Aristocracy...

Publishers Weekly

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Finding detailed correspondences between the giddy greediness of America's Gilded Age (complete with a surprising quote from Walt Whitman—"my theory includes riches and the getting of riches") and the "great technology mania and bubble of the 1990s," Phillips (The Cousins' War, etc.), noted NPR ...

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Daily Kos

That's precisely what was missing in the Bush fiasco - "staying the course" of insanity, "stick to principles" as Cheney famously whispered in W's ear - all this stasis kept Bush from responding appropriately to actual facts on the ground, from Iraq - a delusional greed-crazed catastrophe - to Ka...

Feb 04 2008 | Read Full Review of American Dynasty: Aristocracy...

Bookmarks Magazine

Timothy Brown NY Times 1.5 of 5 Stars "The narrative of 'American Dynasty,' however, is so discursive, its ambitions so amorphous, that the book all too often devolves into a simple litany of accusations against the Bushes, some grounded in careful research, others based on little more than...

Oct 29 2009 | Read Full Review of American Dynasty: Aristocracy...

New York Magazine

In his new book, ex-Republican Kevin Phillips writes less a work of history than a screed and a lament.

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