Peter Singer's examination of Bush's ethics asks whether they are anything more than self-serving - an important question, since the actions which follow the rhetoric affect the lives of everyone on the planet.
Astonishingly clear in its line of argumentation, Singer here has decided to take George Dubya at his word and then investigate whether his words and actions unite in any kind of a coherent viewpoint. Singer does not do much to define ethics (an increasingly important aspect of modern philosophical debate: Simon Blackburn's Ethics: A Very Short Introduction is useful; Alain Badiou's Ethics an interesting contribution) but rather rests the majority of his case on Bush's own lack of consistency and logic. Singer clearly addresses the cynical view that Bush's proclamations need not ever be interrogated as he is merely, inevitably, spinning a politician's line. But Singer believes--line or not--that whether what is presented is logical, or right, is hugely important.
Singer has produced an excellent book. Plenty of facts and figures back up his case that "sincerely held or not, Bush's ethic is woefully inadequate" but this is never merely an empirical argument. Singer agrees with Dubya that ethics can be taught and that they can be evaluated. Bush, in Singer's well-documented evaluation, needs to get learning. --Mark Thwaite