A sardonic tone and plenty of statistics are used in this work that argues, most emphatically, against electing another Bush.
Patrick Andendall’s journalistic and revealing biography Who is Jeb!!! paints a disturbing portrait of former presidential hopeful Jeb Bush.
Who is Jeb!!! is clever, eye-opening, and angry. Very angry. Perhaps rightfully so. Andendall, in a move that will be sympathetic to many Americans across party lines, responds to 2016’s presidential candidates with energy in this text. These pages express a desire for bold authenticity in candidates, and so reject the type of politician Bush is shown to represent: backed by big business, with little connection to average Americans. Who is Jeb!!! is a timely and frank take on the Bush family’s impact on politics, from Prescott Bush’s suspect business connections during World War II to Jeb Bush’s controversial legacy as governor of Florida and his current conservative platform.
The first part of the book focuses on the history of the Bush family tree and details exactly how the family came to be such a formidable political force. This recounting spares no shots, illustrating the military “glory” of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush to be incidental at best. By outlining the donors, supporters, and policies of the Bush family, the book aims to show the direct links between the Bushes and many major catastrophes of the past century, including the JFK assassination, the Iraq War, climate change, ISIS, and Nazi Germany.
The second portion of the book dissects Jeb Bush’s platform, using a “Math vs. Myth” format. It presents compelling statistics that strike at conservative policies, including trickle-down economics. The book also uses statistics in support of more liberal political positions, like legal abortion and prison reform. The last portion of the book emphasizes the Machiavellian political leanings of Jeb Bush, presenting him as ignorant and entitled, aiming to show that a Jeb presidency would be disastrous.
The book does its best to unearth and immortalize the alleged wrongdoings of Jeb Bush and his family to ensure that “their true agenda never darken the hallways of power again.” Satirical biblical language—about the epic battle against good and evil—is included. It is clear that the book regards its fight against the Bushes as one of dire importance. Such passion stands to energize a notoriously apathetic electorate.
This invigorating, sardonic tone also inhibits organization and focus, though. The text sometimes directly addresses Jeb Bush by using second-person pronouns. Of “Stand Your Ground,” it asks: “I guess you dreamt the law up all by yourself? Of course not. It was given to you by … bloody money.” These switches are not only stylistically jarring, but their rage detracts from the objective evidence presented.
The supporting graphs and statistics fluctuate from compelling to disorganized. They tend to lack consistent or easily comprehended formatting, and the sources of some data are not cited. Such inconsistencies undermine the work’s authority. This is particularly true of the the chart depicting the consequences of states rejecting Medicaid expansion. It measures the number of “women killed by Stupidparty” but does not provide a source.
Who is Jeb!!! is a worthwhile political manifesto that includes an invigorating call to vanquish the latest Bush to seek power.
Paige Van De Winkle
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.