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The Greatest Story Ever Sold

The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

Frank Kelly Rich - Author

Hardcover | $25.95 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781594200984 | 352 pages | 19 Sep 2006 | The Penguin Press | 6.14 x 9.25in | 18 - AND UP
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New York Times columnist Frank Rich examines the trail of fictions manufactured by the Bush administration from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, exposing the most brilliant spin campaign ever waged

New York Times correspondent Frank Rich examines the trail of fictions manufactured by the Bush administration from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, exposing the most brilliant spin campaign ever waged.

When America was attacked on 9/11, its citizens almost unanimously rallied behind its new, untested president as he went to war. What they didn't know at the time was that the Bush administration's highest priority was not to vanquish Al Qaeda but to consolidate its own power at any cost. It was a mission that could be accomplished only by a propaganda presidency in which reality was steadily replaced by a scenario of the White House's own invention-and such was that scenario's devious brilliance that it fashioned a second war against an enemy that did not attack America on 9/11, intimidated the Democrats into incoherence and impotence, and turned a presidential election into an irrelevant referendum on macho imagery and same-sex marriage.

As only he can, acclaimed New York Times columnist Frank Rich delivers a step-by-step chronicle of how skillfully the White House built its house of cards and how the institutions that should have exposed these fictions, the mainstream news media, were too often left powerless by the administration's relentless attack machine, their own post-9/11 timidity, and an unending parade of self-inflicted scandals (typified by those at The New York Times). Demonstrating the candor and conviction that have made him one of our most trusted and incisive public voices, Rich brilliantly and meticulously illuminates the White House's disturbing love affair with "truthiness," and the ways in which a bungled war, a seemingly obscure Washington leak, and a devastating hurricane at long last revealed the man-behind-the-curtain and the story that had so effectively been sold to the nation, as god-given patriotic fact.

"Occasionally the right man is at just the right place at exactly the right time.... Frank Rich is that man.... A shrewdly observed and reasoned explanation of the motives behind all this horrifically destructive deceit."
-Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times

"Frank Rich has the perfect credentials for writing an account of the Bush administration, which has done so much to blur the lines between politics and show business."
-Ian Buruma, The New York Times Book Review

"A gripping, witty and devastating indictment of President Bush's reliance on public relations to market his Iraq and counterterrorism policies."
-The Washington Post

"Fierce and uncompromising."
-Time Out

"An incisive assault on the administration's message control and word games."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Destined to enjoy a healthy shelf life."
-The New York Times


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