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Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush - Book Review by Richard G. Kastelein
Monday, 27 October 2008 17:32
by Richard G. Kastelein

With wit and wisdom, Walter M. Brasch digs deep into the Bush–Cheney Administration and extracts the truth of the past eight years. In Sinking the Ship of State (2nd ed.), a well-documented 550-page book, Brasch looks at innumerable political and social issues, including violations of six Constitutional amendments, well-established federal law, and international treaties. He also looks at media performance since 2000, and the current campaign for the presidency.

Sinking the Ship of State has been named Best Non-Fiction book by the Pennsylvania Press Club, and was a finalist in the politics category for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Brasch’s hard-hitting reporting, as presented within Sinking the Ship of State, with significant annotation and new information never before published, broke new and important information about weapons of mass destruction, the invasion of Iraq, the attack upon civil liberties, the nation’s inability to deal with terrorism, and its vulnerability to natural disasters. Brasch reports upon a secret meeting in the White House in which Bush Administration officials showed members of Congress photos of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Brasch interviewed several of those present at that meeting and used a plethora of documents to conclude that the photos may have been faked, and that the Administration willfully and deliberately gave incorrect information to members of Congress and the public.

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In several columns as much as two years before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Walter and Rosemary Brasch pointed out that the nation, and especially the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was unprepared. His reporting during and after Katrina is considered some of the finest analyses of that tragedy.

But it is his reporting about civil liberties that has brought Brasch some of his strongest acclaim. In column after column, Brasch documented Constitutional violations. He is especially strong in his reporting and commentary about free expression issues.

Nationally-syndicated columnist and best-selling author Jim Hightower notes, “When most Americans and the mainstream media were accepting whatever they were told by the Bush Administration, Walter Brasch was meticulously peeling away the incompetence, deceit, corruption and, most of all, their cavalier attitude to the Constitution.”

The Midwest Book Review agrees, pointing out that “Brasch is a master at weeding through the political lies, deceit, corruption, rhetoric, and hyperbole to help us find the truth. If you’re interested in politics, this book should be on your table beside your bed.”

Brasch “does not spare the media in his well-informed and well-written account of the real-time history of this benighted era,” says Alice Cherbonier, editor of the Baltimore Chronicle. Syndicated columnist Don Kaul says Brasch “lays the whip to an indolent press, ‘cash register patriots,’ and a corrupt Congress.” He is, says Regina Huelman, editor of Liberal Opinion Week, “an articulate and entertaining writer who was one of the first and most consistent columnists to warn about the Bush Administration’s plans for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq and the drummed up evidence of WMD, as well as the Administration’s consistent attacks upon Constitutional rights.”

Jeffrey St. Clair, co-editor of the popular website, CounterPunch, says Brasch’s writing “is propelled by a lively sense of humor and an acute sensitivity to the darker ironies of our times.” Ron Kall, editor of OpEd News, calls the book “powerful, compelling and accurate,” and Joe Shea, editor of The American Reporter, calls Brasch “a unique American with a very creative mind that grapples with the most basic of political problems.”

Brasch’s “intense passions for liberty and enlightenment make him one of the best voices we have to combat the worst who rule over us,” says syndicated columnist and best-selling author Chris Floyd who notes that Brasch is “probing, witty, insightful and learned.”

Brasch also receives high praise from major conservative critics for his unyielding attention to pointing out factual error and Constitutional violations by the Bush Administration. Alan Caruba, whose column appears in more than 50 conservative publications and is a frequent talk-radio guest, named Sinking his Pick-of-the-Month for July 2008 for his own website, BookViews.

The book is available through amazon.com and other online stores.

Dr. Brasch, professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University, is a former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, an award-winning syndicated columnist, and the author of 16 other books, including America’s Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights (Jan. 2005); ‘Unacceptable’: The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina (Jan. 2006); and Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture (Sept. 2006).

Learn more about Dr. Brasch at http://www.walterbrasch.com
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