Maureen Dowd
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Buy *Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk* online

Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk
Maureen Dowd
Berkley Trade
560 pages
March 2005
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Maureen Dowd knows her George Bushes well. She's covered both Presidents Bush for the New York Times since Poppy Bush was in the White House. Bush Senior was much stronger on foreign policy than his son. Bush Senior was strangely incapable of using the pronoun "I" in a sentence (his parents thought it would keep him humble to forbid him to speak of/about himself). That explains the oft quoted "not gonna do it".

Dowd portrays Bush Jr. as a kid in footed pajamas, a boy emperor leaping onto Rumsfeld's lap to hear a fairy tale about his Star Wars defense system. It's not literally true, but it smacks true on some level. Some of it is an obvious construction of Dowd's imagination:

The Boy Emperor picked up the morning paper and, stunned, dropped his Juicy Juice box with the little straw attached.
Obviously fancy, as itís widely known that G.W. Bush does not read the paper.

Dowd has quite a talent with words, often drawing comparisons between the Bush administration and popular film and television. One segment has our president as Maverick of Top Gun fame in a conversation with the author, who plays the role of Iceman. These are amusing analogies and perfect for bringing to light issues to a culture that finds movies and television more interesting and compelling than things that may be more important.

Bushworld is a collection of Dowd's articles for the New York Times, organized nicely into similar themes. Often hilarious, sometimes somber, this collection is priceless. Dowd is brilliant with words, and they way she assembles them is a wonder in itself.

© 2005 by Eric Renshaw for curledup.com.

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