Bush's Fringe Government

By Garry Wills; James Carroll (Preface by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172100, 66pp.)

Publication Date: October 2006

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Description

One of America’s foremost historians looks at the state of American democracy and the influence of the Catholic Church

How is it possible for minorities to rule majorities? An answer can be found by looking at both George Bush's Republican Party and the Catholic Church.

Bush’s Fringe Government is an inquiry into how an extremely conservative fringe in these organizations, although in the minority, have a disproportionate influence on a broad range of issues, and use their influence to govern the majority. By exploring the ways in which the election of Pope Benedict XVI has increased the influence of very conservative Catholics in the Vatican, Garry Wills offers a lucid and striking explanation of the political coalition between Catholics and evangelicals–a partnership that has been instrumental in electing Republicans in the United States and keeping conservative issues in the forefront of American political discourse. As Wills puts it, “How do you govern an apostate nation? When the entire culture is corrupted, the country can only be morally governed in spite of itself. A collection of aggrieved minorities must seize the levers of power in every way possible. One must govern not from a broad consensual center but from activist fringes of morality.”

Juxtaposing Karl Rove and the Bush administration’s political strategy to that of conservatives in the Catholic Church, Wills’s examination of extremist fringe elements is a major piece of political analysis by one of our most highly regarded commentators. Its timely publication is essential reading for the 2006 elections in the United States.




About the Author
Garry Wills is an adjunct professor and cultural historian in the Department of History at Northwestern Universityand the author of "Lincoln at Gettysburg", for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.

James Carroll is a columnist for the "Boston Globe" and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast. A bestselling author, his many publications include "Crusade", "House of War", "Secret Father", and "An American Requiem", which won the National Book Award.
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