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A Bolton man has come out with a new book, criticizing the past two presidents of the United States.

Val Serbalik, an attorney at Serbalik Law in Mechanicville, penned the book Fiddling While Burning Rome: The Failed President of Bush-Obama, which was published last month in Middletown, Deleware.

The cover of the book features Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama playing fiddles while Rome burns in the background. 

Serbalik's book looks at what he describes as "16 years of failed policies," by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Serbalik breaks it down into eight different parts:

1) "Bush-Obama in Historical Perspective" looks at the historical context of the Bush and Obama era. 

2) "Into the 21st Century: The Bush Debacle" focuses on the Bush years, with a section dedicated to what Serbalik calls "the big lie," which got America into the Iraq War. 

3) "Change We Can't Believe In" criticizes Obama, mocking his 2008 campaign slogan of "Change We Can Believe In." Serbalik focuses on the "broken promises" of the Obama era in this section. 

4) "The Match is Lit" jumps into the impact of the Tea Party movement, gridlock at the congressional level, and the "dumbing of America." 

5) "Pedaling Schemes and Pipe Dreams" delves into what Serbalik calls "The Bush and Obama Ponzi Schemes," including the increase in debt and deficits under both presidents.   

6) "Everyone's New Relatives: Big Brothers George and Barack" criticizes Bush and Obama's records on civil liberties, particularly their "war on whistleblowers" and the increasing surveillance state. Serbalik makes some strong comparisons to George Orwell's novel 1984.   

7) "The Never Ending War" argues that both Bush and Obama perpetuated the War on Terror. At one point, the section focuses particularly on what Serbalik calls "The Reign of Drones," a criticism of the use of drone strikes in the Middle East by both Bush and Obama.  

8) "The End of an Era," the books final section, takes a final look at the Bush-Obama era, before the transition to the presidency of Donald Trump. 

Fiddling While Burning Rome can be found on Amazon. The Kindle book is $8.95 and the paperback version is $11.95. 

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Dan King is the Sunday Editor at the Post-Star. He also covers a few towns and villages in Washington County. Dan can be reached at


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