Kevin Phillips has been a political and economic commentator for more than three decades. A former White House strategist, he is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and NPR and writes for Harper's and Time. His books include New York Times bestsellers The Politics of Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy.
A former Republican strategist critiques the Bush family's dynasty-building. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Political and economics commentator Phillips (The Politics of Rich and Poor, etc.) believes we are facing an ominous time: "As 2004 began, [a] Machiavellian moment was at hand. U.S. president George W. Bush... was a dynast whose family heritage included secrecy and calculated deception." Phillips perceives a dangerous, counterdemocratic trend toward dynasties in American politics-he cites the growing number of sons and wives of senators elected to the Senate as an example. Perhaps less convincingly, he compares the "restoration" of the Bushes to the White House after an absence of eight years to the royal restorations of the Stuarts in England in 1660 and the Bourbons in France in 1814. To underscore the dangers of inherited wealth and power, Phillips delineates a complex case involving a network of moneyed influence going back generations, as well as the Bushes' long-time canny involvement in oil and foreign policy (read: CIA) and, he says, bald-faced appeasement of the nativist/fundamentalist wing that, according to Phillips, is now "dangerously" dominating the GOP. Casting a critical eye at the entire Bush clan serves the useful function of consolidating a wealth of information, especially about forebears George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush. Phillips's own status as a former Republican (now turned independent) boosts the force of his argument substantially. Not all readers will share Phillips's alarmist response to the Bush "dynasty," but his book offers an important historical context in which to understand the rise of George W. (On sale Jan. 5) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"[A] devastating examination.... That this powerful argument has been made by Kevin Phillips should be a measure of how seriously it should be taken. He is not an idealogue of the left and he is not a conspiracy theorist.... American Dynasty is an important, troubling book that should be read everywhere with care." --Washington Post "Kevin Phillips is no hotheaded bomb-thrower but a seasoned wise man with deep roots in the Republican party. American Dynasty is as depressing as it is brilliant and important." --Chicago Sun-Times "If Howard Dean (or any other Democrat) is elected president of the United States this year, he (or she) will owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin Phillips." --New York Times Book Review "Given this left-liberal publishing phenomenon, where evil Bushies lurk around every civic bend dismantling our constitutional rights, it is with welcome relief that political commentator and one-time GOP strategist Kevin Phillips has stepped into the fray ... With great skill, Phillips illuminates how the Bush Dynasty has long used such old-boy organizations as Yale's Skull and Bones, the CIA, Dillon Read, and most recently the Carlyle Group to further its main objective: political-economic power." --Mother Jones "A must-read for anyone skeptical of President Bush and other members of the Texas clan..." --New York Daily News "American Dynasty, written with the passion of a modern-day Tom Paine, recalls all too clearly the Founding Father's words, little more than 200 years later." --Seattle Times