Often, before buying a book, I like to read the “flap” language, what’s written on the dust jacket that folds inside the front and back covers. So, below you will find the “flap” language for our new book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush:

“The rain pelted down in icy-cold droplets, chilling both the protesters in soaked parkas and the well-dressed celebrants bent behind umbrellas to shield their furs and cashmere overcoats. Drawn to this historic moment – a time of triumph for some and fury for others – the two opposing groups jostled and pushed their way through security checkpoints, joining the tens of thousands pressing against rows of riot police lining Pennsylvania Avenue. …”

So begins the opening scene of Neck Deep, describing the dreary winter day – January 20, 2001 – when George W. Bush was sworn in as President of the United States.

Neck Deep’s remarkable narrative goes on to reveal how the great American Republic, even at that moment, was undergoing decay that would dangerously accelerate after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration soon was hollowing out many of America’s most treasured principles, including the nation’s founding belief in the “unalienable rights” of all mankind.

But Neck Deep does more than critique Bush’s presidency. The book explains how – across the board – the Washington political/media elite failed the country.

The book also strips away the public myths surrounding leaders – from Colin Powell to John Kerry – and reintroduces them as real people with strengths and weaknesses.

Neck Deep weaves in, too, historical perspective that gives context to the extraordinary events of the six years since Bush became President, including revelations about his father’s secret dealings in the Middle East.

On a more personal level, this book is the story of Consortiumnews.com, a brave, independent Internet site that got many of this era’s key stories right while most major U.S. news organizations got them wrong.

The Internet site presented the work of investigative journalist Robert Parry – who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s – and two of his sons, Sam and Nat, who brought their own expertise to the project.

Sam Parry focused on the Bush administration’s high-handed approach to environmental policy and politics. Nat Parry produced groundbreaking stories about violations of the Geneva Conventions and how Bush’s team laid the foundation for an American authoritarian state.

As work on Neck Deep came to a close in June 2007, the authors observed:

“The United States was still at a dangerous crossroads – or perhaps a better image would be that the nation was at a stoplight that permits U-turns. Ahead lay the route that the country had followed for almost six years since 9/11. It was a road toward a future in which a frightened people would rely on a powerful Executive who promised them safety in exchange for their liberties.

“It was unclear whether the American people would make the U-turn away from fear and authoritarianism and back toward a Republic with ‘unalienable rights’ restored for ‘posterity,’ as the Founders intended. Yet, even as Americans wondered whether to go forward or turn back, many remained confused over how they had gotten to that place on that dark road.”

Neck Deep is the first comprehensive historical work to track the twists and turns of that troubling journey.

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Right now, Neck Deep is only available through the publisher’s Web site at http://www.neckdeepbook.com. And, with each purchase there, $5 will go to help pay the bills at Consortiumnews.com.

You also can order the book by mail by sending a check to:

The Media Consortium
Suite 102-231
2200 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201

The paperback version is $22.95, plus $4 for postage. (Available now)

The hard cover version is $29.95 plus $4 for postage. (The hard cover books won’t be back from the binders for a couple of weeks, so please be patient.)

Thank you.

Robert Parry, Editor

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there.

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