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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars history of the modern Republican hotshots, 4 Feb 2005
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This review is from: Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this very much because of the history it gives on Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Rice etc. It has nothing much to say about Bush, he had no experience of national politics except what he learned from Dad it seems. In 2000 he didn't know the names of the prime ministers of India or Pakistan, and thought the Taliban was a pop group.
Rumsfeld and Cheney have been big in the Republican party since Nixon's day and noone could get on with Rumsfeld then either. The thing about Cheney seems to be that he doesn't say much but however right wing you think he is you're probably underestimating it. Armitage turns out to be a thug with a heart of gold, couldn't quite figure him out. Rice doesn't seem to have any opinions of her own. Powell comes across as thorough, a great manager, in favour of the military but cautious, and without him all the others (except Armitage)wouldn't be able to organise their way out of a military paper bag. Wolfowitz I wasn't expecting to like but he is the intellectual of the group and one wonders just how much of the world view these guys have developed is down to him. He is not portrayed as as hawkish as one generally assumes, and in some ways cautious and even timid. However he is the guy who has been going on about getting control of Iraq even since before Saddam came to power.
There is also some fascinating stuff about how Rumsfeld, Cheney and then Reagan all came to dominate the party and push theKissinger and Nixon influence aside as too liberal (???). Reagan of course was his own man and wound up doing some very unRepublican stuff with Gorbachev. Basically this is a fascinating history of the Republican party in modern times and great if you want to understand where they're coming from. But it doesn't answer many questions about Bush's own philosophy, and exactly how much he is influenced by whom.
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