Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration

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New Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Political Science - 288 pages
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The preeminent political essayist writes about the perversion of America's democratic legacy under George W. Bush—and makes a compelling case for impeachment.

Lewis Lapham stands virtually alone among mainstream American journalists in having consistently seen through the fog of lies and narcissism surrounding the Bush administration from its earliest days in Washington. Pretensions to Empire brings together Lapham's trenchant political commentaries from his award-winning "Notebook" column in Harper's, giving us a complete picture of a presidency whose brazen abuses of power—and incompetence—have led the United States down a precipitous path, culminating in Lapham's eloquent case for impeachment.

From a perspective deeply informed by history, Lapham's essays measure the current political moment against a backdrop of past events. Whether discussing the failure of the Bush administration's imperial project in Iraq, its shameless servitude to the country's corporate and religious minority and equally shameful ineptitude in responding to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, or the disturbing revelations of illegal domestic spying authorized by the president himself, Lapham perceives in George W. Bush and his allies a fundamental betrayal of the nation's democratic heritage.

Written with the clarity of thought and elegance of prose that have become Lapham's signature style over the years, Pretensions to Empire is a brilliant and provocative work of political reportage.

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Pretensions to empire: notes on the criminal folly of the Bush administration

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If the bylines of these two journalists were somehow switched, you couldn├ƒ┬»├‚┬┐├‚┬Żt spot the mistake from the political views expressed. Their criticisms of the Bush administration are all but ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Lewis Lapham is editor emeritus of Harper's Magazine.

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