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A questionable history revealed

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July 20, 2017

Book review: The greatest story ever sold

The Greatest Story Ever Sold

— Frank Rich

The US presidential political scene is always big news around the world.

So perhaps that makes reading this book more interesting than it otherwise may be, since it is about the presidency of a world leader whose power was huge, and sometimes deliberately misdirected.

Frank Rich, a well-known New York columnist, slashes away at the George W. Bush administration in day-by-day detailed accounts of where it went wrong (to the point of huge deception), what the results were, and why it happened.

Bush had been in office for less than a year when the shocking terrorist incidents of September 11, 2001 occurred in New York.

Frank Rich links the president’s tardy response on this and other issues to his questionable history when his personal integrity is challenged, and quotes dates and times to uphold his argument.

It is not pretty reading.

The declaration of war against Iraq was linked to unsubstantiated rumours of weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s possession, and the acquisition of uranium for nuclear weapons, when in fact Bush’s main aim was solely to depose Hussein.

Even the US military losses were blurred.

Rich quotes innumerable facts to support his points, and again, it makes for disturbing reading.

He covers Hurricane Katrina, which demolished New Orleans, and Bush’s response to that, and other questionably-handled incidents.

If it weren’t for a potted time-line at the end of the book, this would be a convoluted read, although possibly not for an American voter.

The current situation has sunk to an ugly low, but as Frank Rich shows, Americans have been there before.

Politics is not an attractive game, especially when it is played on the world stage.

— Lee Stephenson

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