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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gore Vidal's Presidential Reality Check
As his literary life continues, Gore Vidal delivers a blow to the solar plexus of the American Empire. Demolishing the ridiculous myths surrounding the presidency as a noble and fine institution, the author presents a short, dynamite-laden essay leaving no stone unturned and no president untouched.
For the one-third desperately clinging to the ridiculous notion...
Published on 20 Jan 1999

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1 of 128 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Gore Vidal is a bore and a waste of time. So was this book.
Published on 2 Aug 1999


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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gore Vidal's Presidential Reality Check, 20 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The American Presidency (Paperback)
As his literary life continues, Gore Vidal delivers a blow to the solar plexus of the American Empire. Demolishing the ridiculous myths surrounding the presidency as a noble and fine institution, the author presents a short, dynamite-laden essay leaving no stone unturned and no president untouched.
For the one-third desperately clinging to the ridiculous notion that their vote means an expression of power and choice, Vidal shows that, "the American Empire is governed not from the Oval Office but from the White House TV studio." As important, Vidal discredits the liberal-conserviative paradigm so warmly embraced by the likes of WAMU Washington talk show host Diane Rehm and her NPR minions.
Tracing American history, Vidal clearly shows the reader where the empire was created and how Americans today are living with the results. With Bill Clinton crowning himself both president and king, it is any surprise that the president's lawyers presented the ludicrous argument that since he can be both commander-in-chief and enlisted man at the same time, can a military coup d'etat be far behind?
Moving to the creation of the national security state under Truman, Vidal argues that the so-called "communist threat" was "all nonsense. They also knew it was good for business." Kennedy agreed but, as with all presidents, was powerless to act upon it.
However, the author's assessment of Clinton as a president who naively thinks that the office has power and that he will exercise it for the common good is mistaken. Clinton's actions on behalf of the multi-nationals and his acquiescence on behalf of corporate lobbyists, big business and the Pentagon-based military-industrial complex clearly portrays a president not unlike his predecessors, not a victim of the corporations that run America. For Clinton is not a victim; he is a player, admittedly naive and ridiculous, but a player nonetheless--Mena, Filegate, Iraqgate, travelgate, Monicagate, Whitewater, the murders of Vince Foster and Caity Mahoney, deals with the Chinese giving them influence over American elections, and a military base in Long Beach, California, and finally a plethora of represssive immigration, criminal and welfare laws harkening back to the worst abuses of Dickensonian England will be the lasting historical legacy of the "Clinton regime."
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gore Vidal is a witty chronicler of American History, 28 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The American Presidency (Paperback)
Vidal's latest book is a criticism of American history, and how imperialism became the dominant factor in American foriegn policy. Vidal has many unique insights into America, and more of these can be found in his article for the latest issue of Vanity Fair. Always witty and stylish, Vidal goes against the grain yet again. Here is an intriguing new book by an American master.
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5 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a review from mango, 23 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The American Presidency (Paperback)
it was nice reading about how one of our top historians view the economy. i learned a lot about the presidents that i wouldn't of known.
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1 of 128 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 2 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The American Presidency (Paperback)
Gore Vidal is a bore and a waste of time. So was this book.
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The American Presidency
The American Presidency by Gore Vidal (Paperback - Sep 1998)
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