American Dynasty : Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
A biting analysis of the Bush family's rise to power from one of today's premier political observersThe 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.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 16, 2004
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips
This book has changed a lot ' in length, indignation, and its hitherto unpublished information ' since I began writing it in December 2002. My original ambition was to identify and explain the Bush-related transformation of the U.S. presidency into an increasingly dynastic office, a change with profound consequences for the American Republic, given the factors of family bias, domestic special interests, and foreign grudges that the Bushes, father and son, brought into the White House.
Unfortunately, in examining two Bush presidencies and the family's four-generation pursuit of national prominence and power ' and in doing so through a lens that highlighted elite associations, dynastic ambitions, and recurring financial and business practices ' I found a greater basis for dismay and disillusionment than I had imagined. The result is an unusual and unflattering portrait of a great family (great in power, not morality) that has built a base over the course of the twentieth century in the back corridors of the new military-industrial complex and in close association with the growing intelligence and national security establishments. In doing so, the Bushes have threaded their way through damning political, banking, and armanents scandals and, since the 1980s, controversies like the October Surprise, Iran-Contra, and Iraqgate imbroglios, which in another climate or a different time might have led to impeachment.
I am not talking about ordinary lack of business ethics or financial corruption. During the late twentieth century, several other presidents and their families displayed these shortcomings, and the public has become understandably blas ' . Four generations of building toward dynasty, however, have infused the Bush family's hunger for power and practices of crony capitalism with a moral arrogance and backstage disregard of the democratic and republican traditions of the U.S. government. As we will see, four generations of involvement with clandestine arms deals and European and Middle Eastern rogue banks will do that.
American Dynasty is on the one hand a book about economics, history, and politics in the era that covers the two Bush presidencies. But it is also a portrait of four Bush (and Walker) generations ' their ambitions, financial practices, scandals, and wars. It brings into focus many circumstances and relationships that have not previously been examined together and seriously discussed, for reasons that are both unusual and unfortunate. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Bush clan in a sense flew under the radar of critical biography and investigation. The first two published biographies of George H. W. Bush ' George Bush: A Biography (1980) by Nicholas King, a former Bush press secretary, and George Bush: An Intimate Portrait (1989) by Fitzhugh Green, a CIA-connected Bush social chum ' were friendly treatments that had no room for warts. Neither did the 1991 Flight of the Avenger sequence of books lionizing his record in World War II. Unfortunately, this puffery managed to preempt more serious book-length exploration.