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Description - Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers! by Tom De Luca

The level of vitriol in American politics has been rising over the last decade. Clinton is a liar, Gore is a pathological exaggerator, Bush is a coke-head and Kerry is a traitor. There seems to be no end to the mud-slinging accusations from both the Republicans and Democrats. Meanwhile, terms like evildoer, war on terror, and axis of evil have become commonplace in our discussion of international politics. What ever happened to civil debate? Where has all this moralizing come from? And what harm has this new level of reckless attack caused to democracy in America? In this compelling and cogent account Tom De Luca and John Buell chart the rise of what they rightly label as the demonization of American politics, showing how political campaigns often neglect debates over policy in favor of fights over the private character and personal lives of politicians. Political interests are still served by this style of politics, but democracy, the authors contend, is the loser. Focusing on recent events, from the Clinton impeachment to the war on terrorism to the 2004 presidential campaign, the authors show the distinctly American qualities of demonization and how and why the frequency and intensity of this pernicious rhetoric has grown over the last four decades. Rather than simply lament this sad state, the authors identify the sources of this tendency and resources within American culture that can help us break the habit. Suggesting that demonization in American politics is not inevitable or irreversible, this important book offers ways out of the political mudpit and back to a more civilized debate where democracy and freedom of speech can coexist in a productive, idea-rich environment.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780814719756
ISBN-10: 0814719759
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 228
Imprint: New York University Press
Publisher: New York University Press
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Tom De Luca

Tom De Luca is associate professor of political science at Fordham University and the author of The Two Faces of Political Apathy and the co-author, with John Buell, of Sustainable Democracy: Individuality and the Politics of the Environment. John Buell is a columnist for the Bangor Daily News, former editor at The Progressive, and author of The End of Homework.