The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government
On Sale: December 26, 2007
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Washingtonâ€™s most acerbic (and feared) columnist, the
Washington Postâ€™s Dana Milbank, skewers the peculiar and
alien tribal culture of politics.
Deep within the forbidding land encircled by the Washington
Beltway lives the tribe known as Homo politicus. Their ways
are strange, even repulsive, to civilized human beings;
their arcane rites often impenetrable; their language coded
and obscure. Violating their complex taboos can lead to
sudden, harsh, and irrevocable punishment. Normal Americans
have long feared Homo politicus, with good reason. But
fearless anthropologist Dana Milbank has spent many years
immersed in the dark heart of Washington, D.C., and has
produced this indispensable portrait of a bizarre culture
whose tribal ways are as hilarious as they are outrageous.
Milbankâ€™s anthropological lens is highly illuminating,
whether examining the mating rituals of Homo politicus
(which have little to do with traditional concepts of
romantic love), demonstrating how status is displayed in the
Beltwayâ€™s rigid caste system (such as displaying a wooden
egg from the White House Easter Egg Roll) or detailing the
precise ritual sequence of human sacrifice whenever a
scandal erupts (the human sacrificed does not have to be the
guiltiest party, just the lower ranked).
Milbankâ€™s lacerating wit mows down the pompous, the stupid,
and the corrupt among Democrats, Republicans, reporters, and
bureaucrats by naming names. Every appalling anecdote in
this book is, alas, true.
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