John Dean is uniquely qualified to write this book. The first chapter really says it all as he describes how the his own party came after him well after he had retired from politics. It is really on the strength of this chapter, or more to the point Dean's inside knowledge, that I can give this book 4 stars. Beyond this the insights of the book are an attempt to explain the character of the those individuals that came after him as well as many more in the current GOP leadership. Deans leans heavily on Bob Altemeyer's research on RWA and SDO personalities described in his book "Authoritarians", to provide a basis to explain the behavior of the present GOP.
I have read so many books regarding the present republican party ("Twilight of the Elites" by Christopher Hayes, "It's Even Worse Than it Looks" Norman Ornstein, "Authoritarians" by Bob Altemeyer, in addition to Dean's book), and including many written from their own perspectives (e.g., "The Visions of the Anointed" by Thomas Sowell, "The Road to Freedom" by Brooks, and the short lecture "What's the Matter with Kansas" by Thomas Frank). I long for the days when you could have a serious political discussion with your republican friends and walk away feeling like I both gained something. The feeling that you were both working from the same facts, just slightly different perhaps in the degree to which you could have faith in the free market to raise all boats. If you share this feeling, regardless of which side of the political spectrum, then you know the obsession with trying to understand what changed.
Dean's answer to what has changed is helpful, if not entirely original. He provides a perspective that is informed by his conservative roots and shares some personal discussions between Barry Goldwater and himself on the topic of the changes in the GOP.
The narration is excellent.
Dean has an intelligent and perceptive understanding of the motivations and subsequent actions of a group of Americans who stop at nothing to get what they want.
You can't make-up this stuff. Full of intrigue and explanation.
The author, John Dean is meticulous in explaining his analysis, as well as in explaining how his analysis supports his premises and conclusions. He carefully documents the facts he presents in his analysis.
The book is written in an engaging style; that avoids the dryness which often is part and parcel of serious written analysis of public policy and politics.This may stem from the engaging manner in which readers (listeners) are encouraged to draw their own individual conclusions throughout. Readers(listeners) are gently prompted to become more informed and aware of current events and become more engaged in, today's political processes, regardless of political affiliation.
This work provides an introduction to the studies of Robert Altemyer and other social scientists as well as journalists who have studied and reported upon some of the psychological dynamics in play in politics which are discussed in this book.
The overarching point/theory/story is an interesting one. Although this work focuses on a specific set of people in modern current events, the concepts apply generally. One does not have to be a conservative to be an authoritarian; and one does not have to be an authoritarian to be a conservative. It is essential for all leaders to lead with a conscience not just an ideology. The author, John Dean makes this point abundantly clear in the beginning of the book, and at various points throughout the book
The reader is very good. His voice was engaging. His enunciation was clear. His pace was just right for my ear.
no, I got the information I needed and wouldn't have a need to listen again.
very interesting book
I found this book to be a bore. I think there is an entire chapter criticizing conservatives because they cannot define themselves in a concise manner. Who cares? I was hoping for a thoughtful perspective that would make me think. What I found was a book full of petty, partisan name-calling and sweeping generalizations. Skip this one.
Dean presents page after page of armchair soci
ological babble to prove that nearly all Republicans are arrogant, unthinking morons who just live to screw the little guy. Save yourself $20, just scream "I hate Republicans" one hundred times. You'll feel better and save $20.
I bought this with a most sincere desire to ‘understand the thought process of the modern day liberal.’ I perceive John Dean as honest and forthright, so surely he’d be able to provide some insight.
With an open mind and sincere desire, I listened non-stop during a long Labor Day Weekend car drive. Sadly, several hours later, I’m more confused than ever.
On and on it went, endless babbling, countless inconsistencies, rambling with bitter accusations and unnecessary character assassinations… all with an absence of point. Yet, I kept listening, hoping for enlightenment, finding myself mumbling “Where are you going with this?” “What is your point?” “Give me a punch line!” Between the endless babbling and countless inconsistencies, I can attest that it never arrived.
Boring in the extreme.