The President's Philosopher: The Holes in Natan Sharansky's Democratic Manifesto
Young, Cathy, Reason
DURING THE 2000 presidential debates, then-candidate George W. Bush famously declared that his favorite political philosopher was Jesus Christ. Now there's a runner-up: Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and political prisoner, now an Israeli politician and cabinet minister. Bush's lavish praise for Sharansky's book The Case for Democracy prompted The Jerusalem Post to quip that Sharansky had "the White House doing his promotion free of charge."
Talking to The Washington Times before his inauguration in January, Bush suggested reading Sharansky's book for "a glimpse of how I think about foreign policy." Around the same time, he told The New York Times' Elizabeth Bumiller that the book was a part of his "presidential DNA." While Bush did not invoke Sharansky in his State of the Union address, the foreign policy part of his speech, with its theme of global freedom as the only sure way to end terror, clearly bore Sharansky's genetic imprint.
The Case for Democracy, co-written with Sharansky's adviser Ran Dermer and published in late 2004 by PublicAffairs, lays out a fairly simple thesis. The world, it argues, is divided into "free societies," in which people can speak freely without fear …
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Publication information: Article title: The President's Philosopher: The Holes in Natan Sharansky's Democratic Manifesto. Contributors: Young, Cathy - Author. Magazine title: Reason. Volume: 37. Issue: 1 Publication date: May 2005. Page number: 16+. © 2009 Reason Foundation. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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