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The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education… (2004)

by Ron Suskind

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767623,417 (3.75)5
Examines the inner operations of the administration of George W. Bush through the experiences and assessments of former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill.

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it was great to get a first hand account of G.W. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 21, 2017 |
Non ho potuto dare più di 5 stelle per questo libro, gli avrei dato tranquillamente 5 . Veramente esilarante, l'amministrazione Bush messa a nudo svelandoci in mano a quale cricca è stata l'Ameriaca prima ed il mondo intero poi. Libro assolutamente da leggere e se lo si fa dopo avere letto Osama di Jonathan Randal è veramente il massimo. ( )
  Maistrack | May 28, 2016 |
I read this book in 2008, but realized how much I had forgotten when I reread it almost a year later. By this time I had read Haldemann's diary and the Woodward books on Bush. This time it hit me like a ton of bricks. Bush's small group who admitted no outside opinions, Bush's sheer lack of interest in anything other than his few ideas and promises from the campaign come through loud and clear. It is amazing that with this book in circulation Bush was reelected. Now this is a good framework to watch the Obama presidency's first days. How is he interacting with his advisors, who are these men and women close to him.

And what of Greenspan, who O'Neill trusted. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Apr 11, 2009 |
3936. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill, by Ron Suskind (read 16 Sept 2004) Paul O'Neill was George W. Bush's first Secretary of the Treasury and was fired in December of 2002. I found this a sobering and devastating look at the Bush White House: how early on (before 9/11) Bush operatives were aiming at invading Iraq, and that deficits don't matter--as Cheney said to O'Neill 'Reagan proved that.' O'Neill was concerned that as deficits rose Bush sought to decrease income for the Government. O'Neill of course comes thru as a very wise person, which is to be expected--but may be true. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 9, 2007 |
This book which was released on Tuesday got a lot of press on Monday and I'll admit it, I caved. I don't usually buy a book just because it's received a lot of press. I fact, I usually avoid books that get a lot of press unless I intended on buying them before the press occurred. In this case I bowed to the pressure and bought the book the afternoon it came out. Am I glad I did.

Unless you were under a rock on Monday it was hard to not hear about this one. Written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind, the main source for this book was former US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill who was fired by Bush after serving only two years. When asked to participate in this book O'Neill asked the Treasury Department for "copies of every document that had ever crossed his desk." They responded by giving him several hundred CD-ROMs containing over 19,000 documents, individually photocopied/scanned onto the discs. O'Neill also handed over his notes and personal journal and calendar that contained 7,630 entries. With all of that data available to the author there is now way to belief that any of this book is made up. (According to the back dj flap, the original documents are available at the author's Web site but I couldn't find them.)

Since O'Neill was the Treasury Secretary, much of the book focuses on the Bush administration's domestic monetary policy, which is actually made interesting. The explanation of the fight behind the original Bush tax cut is brilliantly explained and made clear. O'Neill also give deep insight into other issues including the much reported Bush intention, almost from day one of his presidency, to invade Iraq, the Kyoto treaty on global warming, O'Neill's much publicized trip to Africa with U2's Bono, and how he dealt with the horrors of 9/11 and freezing the accounts of terrorist organizations.

Although it is the single most quoted line from the book I think it bares repeating here just in case you've not already heard it. When it came to cabinet meetings Bush "was like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people". Reading the description of the cabinet meeting that lead to that conclusion is worth the price of the book.

Anyone who reads this book and still believes that they can vote to re-elect Bush in good conscious seriously needs to have their feelings for their country and fellow man questioned. ( )
  travelinlibrarian | Mar 28, 2006 |
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Total loyalty is possible only when fidelity is emptied of all concrete content, from which changes of mind might naturally arise.
-Hannah Arendt
For Walter and Owen, my inspiration
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This is a book of narrative non-fiction, a form of writing about real events and people that relies on the power of story. (Author's Note)
Paul O'Neill looked up from his legal pad and out the window of USAir Flight 991 from Pittsburgh as it made a panoramic descent into Washington's Reagan National Airport. (Chapter 1)
. . . because politics, as it's now played, is not about being right. It's about doing whatever's necessary to win.
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Examines the inner operations of the administration of George W. Bush through the experiences and assessments of former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill.

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