5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, Compelling Reading for Limiting Government, Great Comedy, April 4, 2013
By P. Manning “floating mote” (Ireland) – See all my reviews (REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Public Policy Hooligan – Rollicking and Wrangling from Helltown to Washington (Kindle Edition)
“Public Policy Hooligan” is a compelling boy’s own story, a journey into the heart of Big Government with Jim Bovard. If you have not encountered Bovard directly you certainly have indirectly: fearless, stubborn journalist that unravelled most of Washington’s big spending money burners from the fiasco of US Farm policy to the National Endowment For Humanities, including the wonderful revelation that US Government now regards asking potential employees about a prison record as racist discrimination. His exposure of the vast waste, fraud & enforced inefficiency in US Government has made every US citizen better off. Bovard was targetting deficit reduction before anyone else knew there was a deficit problem.
There is little to which to compare Public Policy Hooligan, few can write this kind of honest memoir & no one has Bovard’s 33 year grasp of Washington’s messy waste. It is a unique American classic, an odd, wonderful road trip with a great writer. Public Policy Hooligan made me go read anything else by Bovard I could get.
This book is a memoir so it is both his story and the story of his investigations into Federal Government long off the rails. James Bovard is not just a relentless, courageous investigative journalist, he is a wonderful writer with an scalding honesty and self deprecating humour that makes PPH oddly laugh out loud and touching. Bovard’s own story, his struggle to become a writer is inspiring & for me, hugely educational. Few have witten with such care or honesty about the difficulty of teaching oneself to write and write well- and Jim Bovard does write very, very well.
I would have liked more about Bovard’s relationship with his parents in their declining years: once the Washington investigative years take on they are somehow avoided, perhaps the scalding honesty would be to hard for family and himself but it is pity someone with Bovard’s talent avoided that essential human story. That is not to take from this magnificent hugely readable & very entertaining book, just I would have liked more. Bovard’s writing does make one greedy that way.
I felt I knew Jim Bovard when I finished this memoir and I certainly knew vast amount more about US Government’s waste & public fraud.
Public Policy Hooligan is a book that should be bought and read by every US conservative, libertarian, GOP activist or citizen: this is how your country works and this is how it got to $16 trillion deficit.