Prescott Bush was a two-time senator from Connecticut, working with Dwight D. Eisenhower. His son George H.W. was a congressman, the head of the Republican National Committee during Watergate, the head of the CIA, Vice President under Ronald Reagan and the 41st President of the United States. His son Jeb is governor of Florida and a future presidential candidate, while his eldest son, George W., is the 43rd President and possibly the most controversial one the U.S. has ever had. This is the story of how these men, backed by strong women, have risen to power.
©2004 Kitty Kelley; (P)2004 Books on Tape
Kitty Kelley's book is a chatty, trash talking look at the Bush family. It discusses George Prescott Bush who was a senator in the last half of the 50's and first part of the 60's. He was the father of George HW Bush and therefore the grandfather of the GW Bush. She points out that the family has a long history with Yale and the Skull and Bones Club; that Prescott and HW were pretty good students and that W was not -- and that W only got in because of his family legacy. She discusses the fact that the Bushes present themselves as a self made family, but that each generation has stood on the shoulders of the previous generation to get to the top. She points out some rumors, but tells you they are rumors. And the main point is that despite the public presentation, the family has some major cracks -- (and crack pots). One of the most interesting things she said was how difficult it was to get information on the Bushes; Apparently, its easier to find out stuff on the Royals than a family whose patriarch was head of the CIA. I enjoyed it; but I like peeking around the curtain to see who is working the machines. She got a little rough with Barbara Bush, but even with that, I felt that Ms. Kelley admired Mrs. Bush. If you are a big fan of the Bush family, you will think it scandalous; if you are not, you can enjoy it as a guilty pleasure.
Excellent and well balanced! I find that Ms. Kelly has been careful to research and verify her material and appears to have done a very good job of reporting. Where the record is not clear, she appears to give both sides of the issue and is not afraid to state that there are questions on a particular point. I find the book to be insightful and feel I have gained in my understanding of the Bush family. I recommend this book to both those who support and those who oppose the Bushes.
I have been getting 2 audio books per month for about a year and a half now and in that time, this would be the FIRST book that I just could not finish I even finished. I really gave this one a fair shot. Listened for about 7 hours and now all I want is that part of my life back. I have not had any prior experience with Kitty Kelly's writings but I can be quite certain I will not waste a book credit on her work again. Very one sided and worse than that...it was mind-numbingly boring! I could really care less that $180,000 in 1908 now equals 1 million, eight hundred fifty thousand, two hundred forty three dollars and some change in 2004 (I know it's not accurate but you get the gist)....WHO CARES!!! Also, when she read the list of ALL of the Walker/Bush relatives that attended Yale....my god, I almost steered my car off the road out of sheer boredom. I found no entertainment value whatsoever in this book and little or no useful information.
I was trying to get a different, informed point of view before election time but apparently this was not the book for that purpose.
I am going to go and try to resuscitate my mp3 player now...I imagine it thinks it did something wrong to deserve that kind of boredom.
Well, in reviewing this book I'm really torn. On one hand I think that Kitty Kelly is, as always, superbly entertaining, and I think she's probably fairly accurate in her reporting. However, the number of anonymous sources and near-gossip makes this book fall short of something that will be able to convince most "fence-sitters". It's a pity, because much of what she writes about is very convincing, wildly entertaining, and doutbless to the chagrin of the bushes, very embarressing.
My wife had no clue when she bought this book for me that it would change my vote. After the 2nd chapter, I was glued to the book. How could these things be true about our President? I listened to the entire book in less than two days. I am now getting the hardback to share with my conservative friends. How could I be so stupid to back a President that used cocaine at Camp David? There are more than 100 unique facts that if any one is true, I'm happy to vote for anyone but Bush.
There is potential in this family history, but the constant editorial comments usually negative and often a strech ruins this book. If the author burried her overblown ego and just tell the story, the book would be far better.
Very well researched and supported! No wonder the Bushs weren't thrilled.... the truth sometimes hurts! Makes me even more concerned about the upcoming elections and the outcome. This world could become a whole lot scarier with Bush in office another four years!
A wonderful and lively book full of interesting facts based four years of interviews and research. Ms Kelly is a very intelligent under-rated biographer. She has her own points of view which she bravely defends. A great read (or should I say listen to).
This centers around Prescott and George HW Bush more than the son (Bush 43). Interesting how power trumps leadership abilities. Had to wonder about slanting, for example, in describing Bush 41's infamous dinner where he threw up on his host, the author implies that the incident was due to a hangover, not a 24 hour flu bug because HW had received the flu vaccine. Most people know that the flu vaccine doesn't cover intestinal problems. For this reason (and a few others) I had to wonder about the truthfulness in this book. Regardless, it is a study in how power, money and influence catapults unqualified people into leadership positions.
I have never been a fan of politics, and did not vote until the 2000 elections. I think it's unfair to vote if you don't know the facts behind the person you're voting for or against. I couldn't stop listening to "The Family". I never claimed to be a Bush fan, and after hearing many of the perks the Bush family gets simply because of name recognition, it makes me sick that our wonderful nation has to put up with four more years of this. Ms. Kelley has done her homework on this book. I hear facts repeated in her book that I've come across elsewhere in the media, so I know it's not "made up" stuff. The book is organized in a way that keeps the listener's interest. I very highly recommend this book. It's a definite eye-opener.
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