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American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the…

af Kevin Phillips

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724523,165 (3.37)8
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 Dynastyexplains how it happened and what it all means.… (mere)

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Phillips writes as a true insider, a man who knew the Bushes back when Reagan was president, and longer. He takes an insiders look at politics from the perspective of an influential family, a family with dreams of dynasty. Definitely worth the read, because there's nothing to say another dynasty can't spring up - maybe out of the ashes of the old. ( )
  Devil_llama | May 9, 2011 |
Phillips follows up this dynasty threat concept in at least one other book,Bad Money. It is an interesting, well written story of this political family, but frankly I think the author is into questionable conspiracy theory. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Apr 17, 2011 |
Very well researched book about the Bush family, going back well before Georges H. and H.W. Bush to Prescott Bush and the Walkers (they were the highly successful capitalists who put the "Dubya" into the 41 and 43 presidents' names, and the massive fortunes into the dynasty's coffers), to this clan's exploits in what the author calls "crony capitalism." In these pages, we learn how the Walker-Bush clan amassed huge amounts of wealth and power in the energy, intelligence and defense sectors of the U.S. economy in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Phillips also presents thoroughly documented evidence of America's growing infatuation with royalty, wealth and dynastic families that would make Washington, Madison and Jefferson despair for our democracy. An added bonus are the fascinating side details about the 2000 election's recount in Florida, and how the Reeps completely outmaneuvered, outstaffed and outfunded the Dems, thereby handing the White House to George W. Bush, even though he had clearly lost the election.

That Kevin Phillips would take such pains to "out" the Bush clan and their shady dealings is a story in itself. He teamed up with Patrick Buchanan to chart Richard Nixon's successful course to the presidency in 1968. He brilliantly masterminded the Reeps' successful campaign to turn the American south from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican. So to see this entrenched Republican's scathing indictment of the Bush clan really gave me pause.

After reading American Dynasty in the spring of 2004, I was convinced that enough damning material about the Bush clan had emerged to ensure George W's defeat that November. While my finger is (obviously!) far, far removed from the pulse of the American body politic, I nonetheless highly recommend this book to anyone interested in American history, American politics and this nation's scary shift away from some of the basic tenets of our democratic roots. ( )
2 stem ellengryphon | May 26, 2008 |
The Threat of Political Dynasties Revealed

This is a troubling book.

Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist and current media pundit, sheds a new light on the danger of the growing trend political dynasty in this country. Along the way, he delivers a devastation attach on the Bush family image.

The author offers enlightening research and insights into the Bush family history. Yet it is his portrayal of a growing entanglement between what was once temporary elected office and the permanent government that is cause for concern. This trend, Phillips argues, would have horrified our founding fathers. It comes as no surprise to me. In a age that relies on media as opposed to personal contact, name recognition and branding play an important role in our elections.

This trend goes deeper than the Bushes. In my own state of Connecticut, we are surrounded by this dynastic trend. Our senior Senator is the son of a former Senator. To our north in Massachusetts, family politics dominate the political scene and have spilled over into Rhode Island. To our west, the junior Senator from New York has positioned herself for a run for the presidency, a position her husband recently held.

Other than a brief acknowledgment of this trend, the author illustrates his thesis using four generations of Bush leadership. He shows how an alliance between George Herbert Walker and Samuel P. Bush before World War I solidified the family position on the national scene with a single-minded focus on the critical areas of energy, intelligence and finance.

He argues the Bush family has marshaled all of its resources to create a political dynasty that gained access to the White House and further its family and ideological agenda.

The author’s reputation adds to the power of the book. Kevin Phillips has authored at least three brilliant books: The Emerging Republican Majority, The Politics of Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy. Hardly a flamethrower, he offered clarity. These books represented my first exposure to emerging national trends.

Trained as a lawyer, he delivers a skillful and thought-provoking indictment against dynastic leadership. The book is worth reading, whether you think you agree with its premise or not. ( )
  PointedPundit | Mar 26, 2008 |
3865. American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, by Kevin Phillips (read 9 Mar 2004) The first book of Kevin Phillips' I read was his classic The Emerging Republican Majority, back on 21 June 1970. His political view has evolved some since then. In this book he suggests that there has been a close connection between the Bush family and Saudis, and this discussion is of much interest. He recalls the speech of Dean Acheson in 1949 which Republicans claimed invited the invasion of South Korea in 1950, and points out that just days before Saddam in 1990 invaded Kuwait the U.S. Ambassador told Saddam: "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreements with Kuwait." The book suggests interesting and damning things about the events related to the Bushes and the Middle East, but is pretty speculative and not documented very well. But it arouses suspicions about the Bushes which may well be well-founded. ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 31, 2007 |
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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 Dynastyexplains how it happened and what it all means.

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