The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's explosive account of the inner workings of the George W. Bush administration, the most secretive White House of modern times.

This vivid, unfolding narrative is like no other book that has been written about the Bush presidency -- or any that is likely to be written soon. At its core are the candid assessments of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, for two years the administration's top economic official, a principal of the National Security Council, and a tutor to the new President. He is the only member of Bush's innermost circle to leave and then to agree to speak frankly about what has really been happening inside the White House.
O'Neill's account is supported by Suskind's interviews with many participants in the administration, by transcripts of meetings, and by voluminous documents that cover most areas of domestic and foreign policy. The result is a disclosure of breadth and depth unparalleled for an ongoing presidency. As readers are taken to the very epicenter of government, this news-making volume offers a definitive view of the characters and conduct of Bush and his closest advisers as they manage crucial domestic policies and global strategies at a time of life-and-death crises.
Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Christine Todd Whitman, and many of their aides are seen in an intimate, "unmanaged" way -- as is Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, O'Neill's close friend and ally. Along the way, the central conflicts of this administration's governance -- between politics and policy, ideology and analysis -- are starkly visible through the lens of recent events and the revelation of the often unseen intentions that underlie actions.
In this book Suskind draws on unique access to present an astonishing account of a President so carefully managed in his public posture that he is unknown to most Americans. Now, he will be known.
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About the author

Ron Suskind is the author of the # 1 New York Times bestseller The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed A Hope in the Unseen. He has been senior national affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. Visit the author's website at www.ronsuskind.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 20, 2004
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780743265799
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / National
Political Science / Public Affairs & Administration
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership challenges the widely accepted distinction between "traditional" and "modern" presidencies, a dichotomy by which political science has justified excluding from its domain of inquiry all presidents preceding Franklin Roosevelt. Rather than divide history into two mutually exclusive eras, Richard Ellis and Aaron Wildavsky divide the world into three sorts of people-egalitarians, individualists and hierarchs. All presidents, the authors contend, must manage the competition between these rival political cultures. It is this commonality which lays the basis for comparing presidents across time.

To summarize and simplify, the book addresses two general categories of presidencies. The first is the president with a blend of egalitarian and individualist cultural propensities. Spawned by the American revolution, this anti-authoritarian cultural alliance dominated American politics until it was torn asunder by what Charles Beard has called the second American revolution, the Civil War. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian presidents labored, with varying degrees of success, to square the exercise of authority with their own and their followers' ami-: authoritarian principles. They also were faced with intraparly conflicts that periodically flared up between egalitarian and individualist followers.

The president with hierarchical cultural propensities faced different problems. While the precise contours of the dilemma varied, all straggled in one way or another to reconcile their own and their party's preferences with the anti-hierarchical ethos that inhered in the society and the polity. Hierarchical presidents like Washington and Adams were hamstrung by this dilemma, as were Whig leaders like Henry Clay and Daniel Webster who aspired to the presidency but never achieved it. .Abraham Lincoln's greatness resided in part in his ability to resolve the hierarch's dilemma. He operated in wartime when he could invoke the commander-in-chief clause, and he created a new cultural combination in which hierarchy was subordinated to individualism. This, suggest the authors, was a key to his greatness.

The unique dimension of this volume is its use of cultural theory to explain presidential behavior. It also differs from other books in that, it deals with pre-modern presidents who are too often treated as only of antiquarian interest in mainstream political science literature on the presidency. The analysis lays the groundwork for a new basis for comparison of early presidents with modern presidents.

Shrouded in anonymity, protected by executive privilege, but with no legal or constitutional authority of their own, the 5,900 people in 125 offices collectively known as the "White House staff" assist the chief executive by shaping, focusing, and amplifying presidential policy. Why is the staff so large? How is it organized and what do those 125 offices actually do? In this sequel to his critically appraised 1988 book, Ring of Power, Bradley H. Patterson Jr.—a veteran of three presidential administrations—takes us inside the closely guarded turf of the White House. In a straightforward narrative free of partisan or personal agendas, Patterson provides an encyclopedic description of the contemporary White House staff and its operations. He illustrates the gradual shift in power from the cabinet departments to the staff and, for the first time in presidential literature, presents an accounting for the total budget of the modern White House. White House staff members control everything from the monumental to the mundane. They prepare the president for summit conferences, but also specify who sits on Air Force One. They craft the language for the president to use on public occasions—from a State of the Union Address to such "Rose Garden rubbish" as the pre-Thanksgiving pardon for the First Turkey. The author provides an entertaining yet in-depth overview of these responsibilities. Patterson also illuminates the astounding degree to which presidents personally conduct American diplomacy and personally supervise U.S. military actions. The text is punctuated with comments by senior White House aides and by old Washington hands whose careers go back more than half a century. The book provides not only a comprehensive key to the offices and activities that make the White House work, but also the feeling of belonging to that exclusive membership inside the West Wing.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Ron Suskind takes you deep inside America's real battles with violent, unrelenting terrorists -- a game of kill-or-be-killed, from the Oval Office to the streets of Karachi.

You may think you know what the "war on terror" is.
But to know it truly, you must read this book.

Suskind has written a riveting work of narrative nonfiction, filled with exclusive, historically significant disclosures that will echo across America and the world.

What is the guiding principle of the world's most powerful nation as it searches for enemies at home and abroad? The One Percent Doctrine is the deeply secretive core of America's real playbook: a default strategy, designed by Dick Cheney, that separates America from its moorings, and has driven everything -- from war in Afghanistan to war in Iraq to the global search for jihadists.

The story begins on September 12, 2001, the day America began to gather itself for a response to the unimaginable. Ultimately, that reply would shape the nation's very character.

Suskind tells us what actually occurred over the next three years, from the inside out, by tracing the steps of the key actors -- the notables, from the President and Vice President to George Tenet and Condoleezza Rice, who oversee the "war on terror" and report progress to an anxious nation; and the invisibles, the men and women just below the line of sight, left to improvise plans to defeat a new kind of enemy in an hour-by-hour race against disaster. The internal battles between these two teams -- one, under the hot lights; the other, actually fighting the fight -- reveal everything about what America faces, and what it has done, in this age of terror.

Who is actually running U.S. foreign policy? Is there an operational cell, armed with WMDs, inside the United States? Have some of the world's most dangerous terrorists -- including leaders of al Qaeda -- been caught and accidentally released? Can America prevail in this struggle against enemies who are patient, ingenious, certain, and have clear tactical advantage?

With his unparalleled access to senior officials, past and present, Ron Suskind -- author of The Price of Loyalty, the most revealing book yet written on the Bush administration -- finally answers the questions that keep Americans awake at night.

And in this startling book, he reframes the debates that roil the globe.
With his unmatched investigative skill, Bob Woodward tells the behind-the-scenes story of how President George W. Bush and his top national security advisers, after the initial shock of the September 11 attacks, led the nation to war.
Extensive quotations from the secret deliberations of the National Security Council -- and firsthand revelations of the private thoughts, concerns and fears of the president and his war cabinet -- make Bush at War an unprecedented chronicle of a modern presidency in time of grave crisis.
Based on interviews with more than a hundred sources and four hours of exclusive interviews with the president, Bush at War reveals Bush's sweeping, almost grandiose, vision for remaking the world. "I'm not a textbook player, I'm a gut player," the president said.
Woodward's virtual wiretap into the White House Situation Room reveals a stunning group portrait of an untested president and his advisers, three of whom might themselves have made it to the presidency.
Vice President Dick Cheney, taciturn but hard-line, always pressing for more urgency in Afghanistan and toward Iraq.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, the cautious diplomat and loyal soldier, tasked with building an international coalition in an administration prone to unilateralism.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the brainy agitator and media star who led the military through Afghanistan and, he hopes, through Iraq.
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, the ever-present troubleshooter who surprisingly emerges as perhaps the president's most important adviser.
Bush at War includes a vivid portrait of CIA director George Tenet, ready and eager for covert action against terrorists in Afghanistan and worldwide. It follows a CIA paramilitary team leader on a covert mission inside Afghanistan to pay off assets and buy friends with millions in U.S. currency carried in giant suitcases.
In Bush at War, Bob Woodward once again delivers a reporting tour de force.
From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Ron Suskind comes a startling look at how America lost its way and at the nation's struggle, day by day, to reclaim the moral authority upon which its survival depends. From the White House to Downing Street, from the fault-line countries of South Asia to the sands of Guantánamo, Suskind offers an astonishing story that connects world leaders to the forces waging today's shadow wars and to the next generation of global citizens. Tracking down truth and hope within the Beltway and far beyond it, Suskind delivers historic disclosures with this emotionally stirring and strikingly original portrait of the post-9/11 world.

In a sweeping, propulsive, and multilayered narrative, The Way of the World investigates how America relinquished the moral leadership it now desperately needs to fight the real threat of our era: a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists. Truth, justice, and accountability become more than mere words in this story. Suskind shows where the most neglected dangers lie in the story of "The Armageddon Test" —a desperate gamble to send undercover teams into the world's nuclear black market to frustrate the efforts of terrorists trying to procure weapons-grade uranium. In the end, he finally reveals for the first time the explosive falsehood underlying the Iraq War and the entire Bush presidency.

While the public and political realms struggle, The Way of the World simultaneously follows an ensemble of characters in America and abroad who are turning fear and frustration into a desperate—and often daring—brand of human salvation. They include a striving, twenty-four-year-old Pakistani émigré, a fearless UN refugee commissioner, an Afghan teenager, a Holocaust survivor's son, and Benazir Bhutto, who discovers, days before her death, how she's been abandoned by the United States at her moment of greatest need. They are all testing American values at a time of peril, and discovering solutions—human solutions—to so much that has gone wrong.

For anyone hoping to exercise truly informed consent and begin the process of restoring the values and hope—along with the moral clarity and earned optimism—at the heart of the American tradition, The Way of the World is a must-read.

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