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Book Review: 'Hell of a Ride'

Posted on

Hell of a Ride

Current Status:
In Season
John Podhoretz
Politics and Current Events

We gave it a B

See Bush run. See Bush run for reelection. Run, George, Run! See Sununu get fired. See Skinner equivocate. See Baker disassociate himself. Help, James, help! See Bush lose. Poor Bush. Podhoretz, who worked in the Reagan and Bush White Houses, has taken poison pen in hand to re-create the disastrous 20 months between George Bush’s astronomical popularity at the end of the Gulf War and his ignominious defeat last November. In the process Podhoretz talked to hundreds of the mid- and lower-level staffers who carried out the President’s bidding, and the result is as much a mock Junior-goes-to-Washington primer as it is an expose of Bush’s presidency. There are some telling moments — for one, the Clinton campaign’s failure to realize that the chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors not only participated in but led certain anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in London in 1969 — but ultimately the book has all the attributes of a first reader: It is short, simplistic, and glib. Of course, this may not be the author’s fault. The subject himself was not the most complex or demanding of politicians. See Podhoretz make good off his old boss. B