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Political Fictions

by Didion, Joan A

  • ISBN: 9780375413384
  • ISBN10: 0375413383

Political Fictions

by Didion, Joan A

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Publish date: 09/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375413384
  • ISBN10: 0375413383
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Description: These eight brilliant essays from "The New York Review of Books" about the American political landscape -- both about the politicians and their advisors and the media which spins out a fictional narrative where the facts and the reality of any given situation are sacrificed in favor of a dramatic story -- point up how the system has evolved to a far from democratic process. These pieces build one upon the other to show how we got from the crisis of the Clinton presidency to the crisis that was the 2001 election.

In all these pieces, Didion's taut, distilled prose clearly cuts to the heart of the problem. Even from the first Bush ascendance in 1988, Didion shows how the process was not about "the general mechanism affording the citizens...a voice in its affairs, but the reverse: a mechanism seen as so specialized that access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals...those who manage policy, report on it, run the polls, and those who quote them"; thus the electorate has been narrowed to a small, manageable element.

Didion writes about political fictions from the cover-up of the December 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador and the complicity of "The New York Times" with the establishment in recalling Raymond Bonner who had broken the story in January 1982; to the increasingly centrist politics of Clinton at the July 1992 Convention in New York, the moving away from issues, the language overlap with Bush; to the inner workings of Newt Gingrich; to Bob Woodward who bought into the agreement to cover a story not as it is, but as it is presented; an analysis of the country and media on Clinton and Lewinsky; to Robert H. Bork, Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition, andMarvin Olasky, the Bush advisor of compassionate conservatism fame.

This is a journalistic tour de force that, with wit and stunning clarity, describes the American political scene showing us what took us into the landscape we have before us in 2001.

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