A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great

Ed Rendell. Wiley, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-118-27905-2
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Former Pennsylvania governor Rendell promises big critiques and robust prescriptions in this scattered leadership manifesto and political memoir, but fails to deliver. As Rendell argues, “[I]f we circle the wagons and seek to just protect what we have, then we will lose the spirit that has made America the greatest country in the world.” In addition, over-regulation and an absence of bold governing is making us “a nation of wusses.” Though these claims are sound, overall, his thinking and writing veer toward the reductive. He cites John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage and its portrayals of decisive political leadership, but the situations where he decries its absence smack of score settling, such as his defense of Hillary Clinton’s treatment of her campaign staff in the 2008 contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. His attacks on Republican legislative obstructionism follow the centrist Democratic Party line, but are undone by sloppiness. Later in the book, Rendell reasonably claims that “there is no greater example of the wussification of America than the growing neglect of our nation’s infrastructure,” but this scattershot collection of anecdotes, political autobiography, and fealty to the Clinton administration isn’t the best way to make a case for improving the government’s track record. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-118-33461-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-118-33066-1
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-118-33350-1
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