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The Price of Loyalty; George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill

Suskind, Ron

ISBN 10: 0743255453 / ISBN 13: 9780743255455
Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 2004
Condition: very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

ix, [9], 348, [2] pages. Index. Small corner crease on front DJ flap. Signed by the author on the title page. Ronald Steven "Ron" Suskind (born November 20, 1959) is a Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist and best-selling author. He was the senior national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000 and has published the books A Hope in the Unseen, The Price of Loyalty, The One Percent Doctrine, The Way of the World, Confidence Men, and his memoir Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism. He won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for articles in the Wall Street Journal that became the starting point for his first book, A Hope in the Unseen. Suskind has written books on the George W. Bush Administration, the Barack Obama Administration, and related issues of the United States' use of power. Paul Henry O'Neill (born December 4, 1935) served as the 72nd United States Secretary of the Treasury for part of President George W. Bush's first term. He was fired in December 2002 for his public disagreement with the administration. Prior to his term as Secretary of the Treasury, O'Neill was chairman and CEO of Pittsburgh-based industrial giant Alcoa and chairman of the RAND Corporation. Ron Suskind interviewed O'Neill extensively about his tenure in the Bush Administration. He was also given access to a large amount of documentation. In 2004 he produced the book The Price of Loyalty, detailing O'Neill's tenure in the Bush Administration. The book describes many of the conflicts that O'Neill had with the Bush administration. The book also details O'Neill's criticisms of some of Bush's economic policies. O'Neill claims that Bush appeared somewhat unquestioning and uncurious, and that the war in Iraq was planned from the first National Security Council meeting, soon after the administration took office. At the first cabinet meeting of the new Bush administration, O'Neill observed that the debate was not "should we attack Iraq?" but rather "how do we go about attacking Iraq?" O'Neill viewed this as a violation of earlier guarantees that (then-presidential candidate) Bush would refrain from nation building endeavors during his time in office.The candid assessments of Paul O'Neill, who was for two years Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush. The Price of Loyalty was published on January 13, 2004. The book, which chronicled the two-year tenure of United States Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, was about the conduct and character of the Bush presidency. While the book covered a number of foreign and domestic issues, it is focussed on events that culminated in the Iraq War. Among the disclosures in the book, which drew from numerous sources and more than 19,000 internal government documents, one was that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the U.S. occupation of Iraq was planned from Bush's first U.S. National Security Council meeting in January 2001, soon after Bush took office. This lay in contrast to the perception that concerns over Iraq came to the forefront after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Administration officials have contended that O'Neill confused contingency plans with actual plans for invasion.Rather than denying his allegations, Bush officials attacked O'Neill's credibility, while answering that regime change in Iraq had been official U.S. policy since 1998, three years before Bush took office. However, O'Neill's claims called into question the relationship of the Iraq occupation to the post-9/11 War on Terrorism. After the cover sheet of a packet containing classified information was shown during a 60 Minutes interview of O'Neill and Suskind, the United States Department of Treasury investigated whether both men had improperly received classified materials. It concluded in March 2004 that no laws were violated, but that inadequate document handling policies at the Treasury had allowed 140 documents which should have been marked classified to be entered into a computer. Bookseller Inventory # 56991

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Price of Loyalty; George W. Bush, the ...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: Sixth Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

An explosive account of the inner workings of the George W. Bush administration, written with the extensive cooperation of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. As readers are taken to the very epicentre of government, this news-making book offers a definitive view of Bush and his closest advisers as they manage crucial domestic policies and global strategies within the most secretive White House of modern times.

Review:

The George W Bush White House, as described by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill in The Price of Loyalty, is a world out of kilter. Policy decisions are determined not by careful weighing of an issue's complexities; rather, they're dictated by a cabal of ideologues and political advisors operating outside the view of top cabinet officials. The President is not a fully engaged administrator but an enigma who is, at best, guarded and poker-faced but at worst, uncurious, unintelligent and a puppet of larger forces. O'Neill provided extensive documentation to journalist and author Suskind, including schedules with 7,630 entries and a set of 19,000 documents that featured memoranda to the President, thank-you notes, meeting minutes and voluminous reports. The result, The Price of Loyalty, is a gripping look inside the meeting rooms, the in-boxes and the minds of a famously guarded administration. Much of the book, as one might expect from the story of a Treasury Secretary, revolves around economics, but even those not normally enthused by tax-code intricacies will be fascinated by the rapid-fire intellects of O'Neill and Fed chairman Alan Greenspan as they gather for regular power breakfasts. A good deal of the book is about the things that O'Neill never figures out. He knows there's something creepy going on with the administration's power structure, but he's never inside enough to know quite what it is. But while those sections are intriguing, other passages are simply revelatory: O'Neill asserts that Saddam Hussein was targeted for removal not in the 9/11 aftermath but soon after Bush took office. Paul O'Neill makes for an interesting protagonist. A vaunted economist from the days of Nixon and Ford, he returns to a Washington that's immeasurably more cut-throat. And while he appears almost naïvely academic initially, he emerges as someone determined to speak his mind even when it becomes apparent that such an approach spells his political doom. --John Moe, Amazon.com

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