In just six months we'll be going to the voting booths. If you know where you and your candidate stand, you can find some strong backup in the audios below (all in CD format). If you're undecided, listen, learn and consider the issues.
The subtitle of John Podhoretz's Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane (Audio Renaissance, $24.95, 5 hours abridged, ISBN 1559279788) leaves no doubt about where this author stands. Podhoretz, who reads here, too, sets out to show that George W. Bush was "put on this earth to lead the United States into the third millennium with all its terrifying challenges" and is doing so with "high seriousness" and "daring." If that gets your political hackles up, tune in to The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America (Audio Editions, $49.95, 19.5 hours unabridged, ISBN 1572703768) by Eric Alterman and Mark Green and listen to their carefully researched critique of this "very determined guy" "determined to serve his political base, extremist elements of the Republican Party, the religious right, Fortune 500 CEOs, especially from the oil patch, and neoconservative ideologues, at the expense of the rest of the nation." The authors' aim, to separate the rhetoric from the policy, the words from the actual deeds, is aided by Nick Sullivan's unflagging narration. The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty by Peter and Rochelle Schweitzer, read by Harry Chase, is billed as the full story of "the most successful political family in American history." But you won't find many warts or dirty secrets in this account of the family's rise from "humble origins" in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to enormous wealth, political prominence and power. You will gain insight into what the Schweitzers describe as the distinguishing feature of this clan: their free-flowing, pragmatic and opportunistic style.
A look into the inner workings of the Bush White House is provided by Ron Suskind in The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, The White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill (Simon ∧ Schuster Audio, $30, 6 hours abridged, ISBN 0743536517). Based on lengthy discussions with the former Treasury secretary and thousands of documents on domestic and foreign policy, Suskind shows us a secretive, cynical administration where policy decisions are driven by politics and what will please "the base." More inner workings are revealed in investigative journalist Craig Unger's controversial House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties (Simon ∧ Schuster Audio, $30, 6 hours abridged, ISBN 074353719X), narrated by James Naughton. Unger traces the "amazing weave of Bush-Saud connections" that began three decades ago and continues to impact our foreign policy, business dealings and national security.
In Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (HarperAudio, $29.95, 6 hours abridged, ISBN 006058372X), as yet the only audio about the Democratic Party's candidate, historian Douglas Brinkley goes well beyond Kerry's naval career, giving us a portrait of Kerry and his personal and intellectual development before he enlisted in 1966 and well after he spoke out against the war in 1971 and began his public life. He received both the Bronze Star and Silver Star for heroism and three Purple Hearts during his tour of duty in Vietnam and, in a way, has extended that tour, serving in the Senate for almost 20 years. Douglas Brinkley reads.
There's bound to be more political listening coming up and I'll try to keep you posted as we navigate toward November.