“This book was a "big thing" when I was in the U.S. 2004. Former U.S. treasury secretary and senior executive wrote about his time in government. Very interesting book and great insights from Paul O Neill. Very widely discussed his description of the National Security Council (was the Iraqi...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Great read and measured up to all the review comments on the back about being the greatest expose of the Bush administration. It is frightening to see how this government operated and some of the decisions it took! Breathtaking!”Kieron3008 wrote this review Tuesday, April 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It is clear already, that O'Neill and Greenspan had clear doubts about the stimulative effects, particularly in the short term, of the Bush tax cuts, and that they wanted to put limits or "triggers" on the cuts, so that they would not lead to big deficits, if the projected $5.6 trillion of projected surplus over the next ten years didn't pan out. Right from the start, O'Neill didn't much respect or trust Larry Lindsey, who was selling the tax cut to Bush, and privately expressed his concerns to Cheney. Cheney, in his way, didn't give O'Neill any signals one way of the other. The Bush WH politicos almost immediately started to corner O'Neill. I highly recommend this book. If you want to know where the groundwork for the financial crisis was laid, besides the earlier repeal of Glass-Steagall, just read this book; same for the Iraq war! Wish O'Neill was still engaged, and would speak out again now.”Patrick McNamara wrote this review Thursday, March 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was a "big thing" when I was in the U.S. 2004. Former U.S. treasury secretary and senior executive wrote about his time in government. Very interesting book and great insights from Paul O Neill. Very widely discussed his description of the National Security Council (was the Iraqi war planned straight after Bush took office ?) and the weekly economic talks he had with the President. They obviously spent comparably little time talking about the economy. Very interesting book. I read it all at once. There are also funny parts which I recall: He describes President G.W. Bush, famous for his nick names, called him "Pablo" in the beginning, when things went well. Later it changed to "The big O", before was replaced by John Snow. Cheney: "The president wants to make some changes...and you are part of the change...!" ”Jan Veder wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's been a few years since I have read this book. Reading some of the other reviews jogs my memory. Paul O'Neill was a very capable cabinet member who's expertise was never used. Could we have avoided our financial melt down if he had remained in office? Who knows. What hit me the hardest when reading the book was the first full cabinet meeting. Number one on the list of topics at the meeting was Iraq!
America has just voted again, and it is obvious that they have not learned from the tragedy of Bush the Second's administration.”
“Suskind certainly "had the goods" for a revealing book --12,000 pages of notes Paul O'Neill wrote in his two years as Secretary of the Treasury plus interviews with people in the administration who were "cooperative." One of those interviewed described O'Neill as having old-fashioned loyalty, the quality that drew him into the job and lead to his disillusionment. While the book is filled with intrigue, and claims to meet the highest standards of accuracy, it struck me as a sad account.
Cheney is painted as the person who recommended O'Neill for the job, but for a specific reason: O'Neill's bond with Greenspan. Cheney also emerges as inscrutable and ruthless. Bush is revealed as just plain mean, dubbing a 65 year old man (O'Neill) as "Pablo" and treating him shabbily. Bush asked no questions, showing no interest in anything but tax cuts. When O'Neill warned Cheney that the country was headed for a fiscal crisis ude to rising deficits, Cheney dismissed his concern with the flat statement: "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
O'Neill doesn't swallow the ideology, and receives a call from Cheney, telling him the President wants to make a change--his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury is over. The packing up begins, and O'Neill muses: "I marvel at the conviction that the President has in terms of this war. . . with his level of experience, I would not be able to support his level of conviction." O'Neill had felt it his duty to ask hard questions, and his distaste for the administration's direction in fiscal matters and foreign affairs resulted in his being asked to resign.
It's a sad tale, ably told.”
“Paul O'Neill was a brilliant Secretary of the Treasury in Geo. W. Bush's first term, but was forced out because he refused to be a 'yes' man. Had he been able to stay in his position throughout the years of that administration, and had he been able to influence the policymakers, the country likely would have been able to avoid many of the financial debacles of the last years of Bush's reign.”Sharon Anne B wrote this review Sunday, April 18, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ The Price of Loyalty George W. Bush The White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill Ron Suskind
An inside look at the first few years at the Bush White House through the eyes of Paul O'Neill, the first treasury secretary for the administration. O'Neill gives a no holds bar assesment of how we got into the financial mess we are in now. He also tells how if you didn't agree with the president then you were basically forced out.”
“True insight into what it is like to not be "a yes man" in the Republican White House. ”RIRed48 wrote this review Wednesday, March 18, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bush had the unfortunate penchant for choosing the most distinguished advisers, but then taking no time to follow the logic or policies they suggested. O'Neill is one of the most highly qualified treasury secretaries we have ever had, and, if his wisdom had been allowed to guide the economy, we might not be in the same situation that we are currently facing.”Yuri G wrote this review Thursday, November 13, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No