University of Arkansas professor and lead editor of the new book “Judging Bush” Robert Maranto will give a reading and sign books on Friday, Oct. 23rd at Nightbird Books, and C-SPAN’s Book TV will be in town to cover the event.
The reading is scheduled to be broadcast on C-SPAN 2 in the coming weeks.
“Judging Bush” is a collaboration between Maranto, Tom Lansford, academic dean of the Gulf Coast campus at the University of Southern Mississippi, and Jeremy Johnson, a doctoral candidate in political science at Brown University, as well as several other contributors who have worked in government. Maranto himself served on the Clinton administration from 1996 to 1999.
The book is an admittedly early evaluation of Bush as a man, a president, with some early judgements of what Bush’s president means historically, and the legacy he created.
From the preface of the book, “As Bush himself points out, historians still debate the presidency of the first GW, George Washington; so it requires some chutzpah for us to spring out of the box with evaluations of the forty-third presidency,” Maranto wrote. “To this we have three responses.
“First, by employing the criteria set out in Neil Reedy and Jeremy Johnson’s introductory chapter, we feel that this work is clearer and more systematic than most such analyses,” he continued. “Second, the quality of our contributing authors demands respect. Finally, we have purposely commissioned a diverse set of authors and encouraged them to interact with each other, to guard against the groupthink that so commonly occurs in both the White House and the ivory tower.”
The book was created from presentations given at a conference (also called “Judging Bush”) in November 2008 at Villanova University. It is divided into sections that examine Bush’s decision making, the role of the vice president, domestic policymaking and the Bush foreign policy. A final section includes chapters by former Clinton domestic policy adviser William Galston and former Bush White House official John DiIulio, who provide detailed evaluations of the Bush years in office from their perspective as insiders.
The reading on Friday is free, and open to the public.