"Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk"
(Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie SEP 16, 2004)
I confess. I am addicted to Maureen Dowd's columns. Ms. Dowd is one of the major reasons I subscribe to the New York Times. Her usually scathing commentaries on the paper's Op-ed page almost always make me smile, if not laugh outright. And humor is a necessary commodity, especially in today's world - especially if you live in New York City, which I do. I may not always agree with who she is zinging, but her wit, insights and caricatures are exceptional. "I think I'm an equal opportunity skeptic," she says. "I used to tweak Clinton just as much...(as Bush)."
I couldn't resist picking up a copy of this anthology of over 100 Dowd columns summarizing the Bush Dynasty, George W. (the Boy King), and George H. W. (the Old King), which she aptly calls "Bushworld." The columns are relatively short, but they are long on satire. Do they lack substance at times? Well, yeah. But most well read people, current on current events, will know the issues and the people she writes about. I can read and appreciate satire on Richard Nixon, JFK, President Clinton, Gerald Ford, etc., without referring to history books before I "get it."
Among her most memorable columns, Dowd does a Bush casted "Star Wars," with Number 43 as Luke Skywalker, who has a good father, (his own dad, Number 41), who believed in internationalism, the Atlantic alliance, togetherness and other good things. Then there's Darth Vader, (the bad, dark father), Dick Cheney, of course, who leads the president astray. Her takes on the Boy Emperor, Rummy, Condi, Wolfie, Uncle Dick of the Underworld, General Karl, Prince of Darkness (Richard Perle), and how they forward their agendas and struggle for power is irony to the 6th power. As she writes, "It's their reality. We just live and die in it."
Maureen Dowd won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for her columns on the Clinton impeachment. I think she brings something original to the journalism table - a unique sense of theater. If you enjoy the acerbic, if satire and dark humor is your thing, if you are a political junkie and don't mind politicians getting zapped, even if it is your favorite pol - then this is your book. I loved it!!
- Amazon readers rating: from 99 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
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- The New York Times Op-Ed page for Maureen Dowd
- Salon.com on "hating Dowd for all the wrong reasons"
- Post-Gazette.com article on Maureen Dowd
- NPR Fresh Air radio interview with Maureen Dowd
- The Early Show on Bushworld with excerpt
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About the Author:
Maureen Dowd was born in Washington, D.C. in 1952. She received a B.A. degree in English literature from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1973.
Marureen began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. When the Star closed in 1981, she went to Time magazine. Dowd joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983 and became a columnist on The New York Times Op-Ed page in 1995 after having served as a correspondent in the paper's Washington bureau for nine years. She has covered four presidential campaigns and served as White House correspondent. She also wrote a column, "On Washington," for The New York Times Magazine. Dowd received the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1999, with the Pulitzer committee particularly citing her columns on the impeachment of Bill Clinton after his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Maureen Dowd lives in Washington, D.C.