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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Bush Tragedy, US and UK

329 days until the end of the Bush presidency; who knows how long to fix the damage. I wish I could appreciate the attempt at humor in the UK edition (the second image), but I can't. To be honest, it sorta pisses me off. Weisberg's book has been described as "compassionate" and largely sympathetic to Bush, arguing that all this isn't *his* fault but rather can be set at the feet of Rove, Cheney, Rumsfield and Rice. Thus, the imagery of a puppet show in the UK version, which seems appropriate.

Maybe I just hate the idea of this book...



13 comments:

Ingrid Paulson said...

The UK cover is good for the UK, but yes, it would piss off most Americans. The sombre US version is much better for Americans, I think. However, as a Canadian, I think the US cover would come off as too full of itself if I saw it in the store. (And its the cover being used in Canada).

Design-wise, the US cover has more impact. The UK cover is a bit too busy (did they really need all the flags at the bottom? Aren't the puppets enough?).

Dan K said...

The title cries out for a photo with more gravitas (if one exists). Makes me think of the iconic photo of Nixon with his back to the camera, hunched over his desk. Something like that would sing.

springer said...

Sounds like you're thinking of an iconic Kennedy photo, Dan.

Dan K said...

Am I? Feels so much like Nixon. Well, you know what I mean.

PF said...

Oh Jeez, let me guess, on the US cover Bush's other eye is on the spine...

One of these days when I find the time I'm going to gather together all my books that have an eye on the spine, put them all in one big bookcase, get my camera, and take what will surely be one freak-ass picture.

LRS said...

Sorry pf, but yes, that is a full picture of Bush that simply wraps around the spine. Is it just me or is that idea becoming more and more over used? I love the spine mosaic idea though.

brad said...

God forbid someone actually trying to understand Bush. Let's make sure we're not too sympathetic...
Liberal hypocrisy is so funny to me. Let's "Try to understand the terrorists...find out why they hate us..." But when it comes to our own President "What an EVIL man! Bush is Hitler!"

I like the 2nd version of the book cover. Maybe it would be more accurate, for the US version, to put a photo of dead Iraqi civilians....if we're being really honest here.

Penny said...

I agree with Dan K that the photograph should be a little more somber. The UK cover doesn't really convey the gravity of the Bush "tragedy," and by implying that the Bushes are puppets of cunning figures like Karl Rove who are to blame for the failures of the Bush presidencies, it ignores the book's analysis of the Bushes' character flaws as the explanation for their failures.

In response to Joseph Sullivan's description of the book, I would have to disagree. I just read The Bush Tragedy, and although it is at times a sympathetic portrayal of the Bushes, it is also highly critical of Bush's personal character flaws that led to his disastrous presidency. That analysis - of his flaws - is emphasized more than any manipulation by his advisers.

Brad - don't make sweeping judgments about "liberal hypocrisy." It is important to understand why anyone - terrorists or presidents - is motivated to instigate war, but you would be hard pressed to find a liberal who thought Bush was worse than a terrorist.

ian shimkoviak said...

UK cover rules. All politics aside. Most Americans can attest to the fact that in NO way is the current administration some sort of mastermind of Bush Jr. It's the biggest and most sorted act in American politics.

Admiral said...

While these books will make liberals happy, they will not be very useful. Time will tell a better story.

Emily said...

This is a little late for a comment on this, but I just found it.

I work for the UK part of a mostly-American company. Our advertisements ("adverts") in the UK have a really similar style to that of this UK cover. Cut out people and kiddy drawings and stuff. And I don't design the advertisements, but I take calls about them. The people love them.

We don't have puppets on ours, though. Or political jokes. But the style matches completely. (So much so that I felt compelled to comment a couple months after the fact.)

Old liberal said...

Anything to do with BUsh is too tragic to glitz up for me. I am interested in the puppet theory, but funeral black seems right for the President who has killed the American Way (as in "truth, justice and the American Way)

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