By Frank Rich
The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina
Thu May 3, 2007 01:19


The Greatest Story Ever Sold
The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

By Frank Rich

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When America was attacked on 9/11, its citizens almost unanimously rallied behind its new, untested president as he went to war. What they didn’t know at the time was that the Bush administration’s highest priority would not be to vanquish Al Qaeda but to consolidate its own power at any cost. It was a mission that could only be accomplished by a propaganda presidency in which reality was steadily replaced by a scenario of the White House’s own invention—and such was that scenario’s devious brilliance that it fashioned a second war against an enemy who did not attack America on 9/11, intimidated the Democrats into incoherence and impotence, and turned a presidential election into an irrelevant referendum on macho imagery, Vietnam and “moral values.”

As only he can, acclaimed New York Times columnist Frank Rich delivers a step-by-step chronicle of how skillfully the White House built its house of cards, and how the institutions that should have exposed these fictions, the mainstream news media, were too often left powerless by the administration’s relentless attack machine, their own post-9/11 timidity, and an unending parade of self-inflicted scandals (typified by those at The New York Times). Demonstrating the candor and conviction that have made him one of our most trusted and incisive public voices, he brilliantly and meticulously illuminates the White House’s disturbing love affair with “truthiness,” and the ways in which a bungled war, a seemingly obscure Washington leak, and a devastating hurricane at long last revealed the man-behind-the-curtain, and the story that had so effectively been sold to the nation as God-given patriotic fact.


". . . a caustic, hard-hitting indictment of the Bush administration, timed to make a splash in the upcoming election campaign."
--Publishers Weekly

". . . a scathing rebuke of the current administration's definition of truth . . ."
--Kirkus Reviews

Published by Penguin Press
September 2006
352 pages / hardcover
ISBN: 159420098X

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Frank Rich
New York Times columnist
author of
The Greatest Story Ever Sold
The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

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