Founders v. Bush: a Comparison in Quotations of the Policies and Politics of the Founding Fathers and George W. BushWith the glut of “Bushisms” that have garnered the President much public attention and derision throughout his presidency, it wouldn’t be a difficult task for an ambitious editor to compile a list of times the President was “misunderestimated” or wanted to ask “Is our children learning?” and publish a shallow, though disconcerting, book of quotations revealing Bush’s inadequacies as a public speaker. In fact, it’s already been done… numerous times. Fourtunately, Founders v. Bush is not a recycled litany of grammatical errors from our Commander in Chief; it is much, much more.

Compiled by Steve Coffman, this eye-opening book of quotations covers topics ranging from Religion to War to Liberty to Taxes. Each section begins with quotes from George W. Bush and other members of his administration (Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, etc.) and then contrasts them with quotes taken from the writings of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, with striking results.

The majority of the book plays out in this compare and contrast fashion, lending itself to some intriguing discoveries and rediscoveries on the passion and wit of the Founding Fathers and the smug ignorance of the current President. Only the ninth chapter (“Lies, Honesty & Disinformation”) is devoted more to the Bush administration, focussing on the infamously false declarations leading up to the Iraq war. From the administration tying 9/11 to Saddam Hussein to declaring that there was evidence of WMD in Iraq to CIA, Pentagon, and State Department Intelligence stating the opposite, this section is the most compelling and immediately relevant. Though it has become abundantly clear that lies and half-truths were tossed around in abundance after 9/11, having them all gathered in one place, followed by a list of quotes such as Benjamin Franklin’s “Half the Truth is often a great Lie.” helps to drive the point home.

Every one of the 621 quotes in the book are fully sourced and displayed in context (the editors sometimes even make note of quotes that are often taken out of context to change their meanings). The scarcity of personal opinion present in the book’s pages aids immensely in the formatting of the material, as readers are left to decide for themselves where the similarities and differences lie within the minds and speeches of these well-known figures.

While the Founding Fathers believed strongly in accountability and explanation, Bush’s opinion is clearly expressed in a quote from the final chapter on Values - 

“I am the commander, see? I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.”

Founders v. Bush may not be capable of explaining Bush’s statements, but at least it takes him to task for what he’s said. This is the kind of book that should spark public discussions and media explorations. Founders v. Bush is a book every American should read.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: An important reminder of the values this country was founded on
Stay Away if: You’re more of a “gut player” than a “textbook player”

To purchase Founders v. Bush, visit Amazon
For more information on Founders v. Bush, visit the book’s homepage
For more reviews by Zach Freeman, visit his hubpage

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