We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Bush Audiobook

Bush

Regular Price:$41.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, almost single-handedly decided to invade Iraq. It was possibly the worst foreign-policy decision ever made by a president. The consequences dominated the Bush administration and still haunt us today.

In Bush, Jean Edward Smith demonstrates that it was not Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or Condoleezza Rice but President Bush himself who took personal control of foreign policy. Bush drew on his deep religious conviction that important foreign-policy decisions were simply a matter of good versus evil. Domestically, he overreacted to 9/11 and endangered Americans' civil liberties. Smith explains that it wasn't until the financial crisis of 2008 that Bush finally accepted expert advice, something that "the Decider", as Bush called himself, had previously been unwilling to do. As a result he authorized decisions that saved the economy from possible collapse, even though some of those decisions violated Bush's own political philosophy.

©2016 Jean Edward Smith (P)2016 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (133 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.6 (123 )
5 star
 (84)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.6 (127 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rick Urcuquí, Ecuador 11-18-16
    Rick Urcuquí, Ecuador 11-18-16 Member Since 2013

    In a peaceful, verdant valley on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion

    HELPFUL VOTES
    165
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delusions of Competence"

    If, like me, you thought of George W. Bush as an intellectual lightweight who was manipulated by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the other neoconservatives in launching a devastating war for fabricated reasons, prepare to be surprised.

    He was much worse than that.

    With the meticulous and persuasive “Bush,” Jean Edward Smith methodically dismantles the prevailing misconceptions of the 43rd president, who reveled in his role as Commander in Chief and wasn’t kidding when he announced, “I’m the decider.” He was. He made firm, crisp decisions, often without much thought.

    Smith chronicles Bush’s early years as a back-slapping, hard-drinking son of privilege, parlaying his achievements as Texas governor and his born-again conversion into an improbable run for the presidency. Far from being duped by subordinates, he was a quiet Christian zealot who—whether supporting childhood education or laying waste to Iraq—believed without question he was doing God’s will. It was to him a Higher Authority that outranked both the Constitution and international law. Cheney and others were all too willing to follow his lead.

    When intelligence didn’t demonstrate that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, Bush didn’t push for more. What he pushed for was better marketing, to persuade the American public that the invasion he had already irrevocably decided upon was justified. It wasn’t faulty intelligence, it was orchestrated lies about what the intelligence really said.

    It is clear that Bush was determined to vanquish Iraq long before the 9/11 attack on New York.

    “Bush” is filled with detailed anecdotes (the hardcover is 832 pages long), such as his futile attempt to convince the French to join the coalition against Saddam. It’s what led Bush partisans to label the French as cowards, and to rename French fries as “freedom fries” in the Congressional cafeterias.

    The French declined to join in the invasion, not for lack of courage, but because Jacques Chirac was shocked when Bush told him the war was mandated by the Book of Revelations. At that moment, Chirac knew that the failure to find WMD would never be enough to deter Bush.

    Smith writes, “For Bush the coming attack [on Iraq] would mark the beginning of the final battle to rid the world of evil. He may or may not have believed it would be a cakewalk, but he was certain it was God’s will.”

    That invasion was seen by most of the world as a war of US aggression. At the UN, Kofi Annan flatly called it “illegal.”

    For Bush, everything was a self-righteous holy war against “the axis of evil,” the obvious implication being that he had no business serving as Commander in Chief. The smug, unconditional certainty that derived from a born-again religious conviction carried the world into war that may never end. Not to mention the great recession that followed.

    Together with a massive aggregation of particulars by the author, the narration by Tom Perkins contributes much to the credibility of “Bush.” His delivery is straightforward, unemotional, and free of any implied opinion that could easily surface amid the damning details. The book is highly critical of Bush, yet far too meticulous to be dismissed as an opinionated hatchet job.

    The former president has often said that history will be kind to his legacy. Smith’s conclusion that Bush “may have been the worst president in U.S. history” is not a very good start.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    oyezman Evanston, IL USA 10-03-16
    oyezman Evanston, IL USA 10-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Powerful Reminder"

    Most people don't like to be reminded of our errors but it is helpful to understand the many ways in which the Bush43 presidency went wrong. Smith has chronicled these 8 years and more with measured prose and does not engage in piling on when that would be the all too human instinct. Never again, folks.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 07-21-16
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 07-21-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    336
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    218
    114
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Covers the bases"

    A comprehensive look at the life, accomplishments, and failings of the 43rd president. Smith is no fan, considering Bush's presidency as a monumental failure though he does credit him with several successes such as his campaign to combat AIDS in Africa and his response to the 2008 financial crisis. In other words, Smith treads on no new ground here. This is worthy history but thin biography. A reader looking for insights into what made Bush tick, his younger years, or his relationships will find slim pickings here.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Brinckerhoff Haddam, CT USA 11-05-16
    Scott Brinckerhoff Haddam, CT USA 11-05-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "balanced portrait"

    the Bushes saw it as a hatchet job but I found it very fair
    good listen, riveting mostly


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LARRY DINKIN 09-23-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralling, the story behind the story."

    We all know the main events of Bush's presidency, now we see the story "behind the curtain". The author is well respected and gives a balanced account. I found it enthralling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 08-27-16
    Patrick 08-27-16 Member Since 2014

    Making my way through all the US President a biography at a time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Critical in headline but balanced overall"

    The author is well accomplished with past biographies which have hugely impressed me for there ability to balance narrative and detail. The start of this biography made me doubt he was sufficiently independent to achieve this with Bush (43). However, what I have come to expect in detail and story telling returned after early chapters. It is well worth the read - though the performance of the narrator is at times comical for his wish to 'do' voice for each person.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wingdinger 08-20-16
    wingdinger 08-20-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comprehensive look at a divisive figure"

    Mr Smith's work deserves much praise for its clarity and entertainment value. However, as a work of history, I believe this book falls just short. Too much emphasis is put on inferring exactly the inner workings of Bush's thought process, when this information could not be known by the author.

    I think it is about as good a job as possible without actually being able to interview the subject of the book, however, that doesn't excuse the presentation of opinion as fact.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jb 07-27-16
    Jb 07-27-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but long"

    I am not a great fan of Bush and it was fabulous to have WHY spelled out in detail. A fascinating look into the inside details of Bush's presidency. However, I don't think it warranted 25 hours or whatever. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The reader is completely emotionless as he reads through absolutely unbelievable things, and this made it all the more enjoyable.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cavmpc Boulder, CO 07-20-16
    cavmpc Boulder, CO 07-20-16 Member Since 2014

    cavmpc

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Recent History"

    This is as fair and balanced of a history of the George W. Bush administration as it is possible to write at this point in time. It is too favorable to Dick Cheney and perhaps Donald Rumsfeld, but this probably is due to their active cooperation with the author in his writing of the book. Very well written and the analysis is spot on. It should be mandatory reading for any politician.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Rabin 08-05-16
    A. Rabin 08-05-16

    SeattleBookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written, reasonably balanced- a good read"
    If you could sum up Bush in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, detailed, objective


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bush?

    The earlier part of the book that talks about Bush's early life and challenges and how they made and shaped the man he became later. It was well done and conveyed empathy with Bush, even if you may not have agreed with or even liked him as president.


    If you could give Bush a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The man behind the Presidency


    Any additional comments?

    The author is clearly not a Bush fan, but I did not find the book overly anti-Bush in tone. I felt he took effort to present objective facts and details in an interesting, narrative way, and drew conclusions based on the facts.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.