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Publisher's Summary

In this first important consideration of the George W. Bush presidency and its profound impact on the state of the world, Jacob Weisberg crafts a wide-ranging portrait that is both balanced and insightful. Weisberg traces the evolution of Bush's political philosophy from its roots in his early life and his years as governor of Texas through the events of 9/11 and his turbulent two terms in office.

With careful analyses, Weisberg offers an eye-opening assessment of Bush's deeply conflicted relationship with his father, former President George H. W. Bush, and with major figures in the administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. This groundbreaking book of reportage, synthesis, and analysis will stand as the indispensable account of a presidency of enormous consequence.

©2008 Jacob Weisberg; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall

Ahead of the Crowd

This is an excellent book published before all of the Bush staffers begin to write their memoirs after his term.

W is an easy target. A biography critical of W can be piecing together by recounting endless verbal tics and the instances he is caught in a lie. This author is personally acquainted with W and says that he is far smarter, wittier, and more charming than his public persona.

The author’s premise is to cast W as Henry V in Shakespeare’s play by that name. Bush Sr. is obviously Henry IV. Henry V spends an indolent youth boozing it up with Falstaff and on accession to the throne, he attacks France, wins the Battle of Agincourt, and becomes one of England’s best loved kings.

This is obviously not how things will turn out for W and for that matter the real Henry V is castigated by historians. W’s approval ratings are in the 20% range. His legacy does not appear to promising. According to the author, W is devouring books to find a favorable comparison to political figures that were vindicated by history.

Whether or not you like W, if you are interested in the man, you should read this book.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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The Apple Never Falls Far from the Tree!

The author, Jacob Weisberg, gives a great overview of the years pertaining to both Bush administrations, Bush the Elder and Bush Junior. I usually don't put too much credence into birth orders and family dynamics, but in this case, I can definitely see where the younger Bush was driven and compelled to compete with and be better than his father and his siblings.

If that's the case, then this book really lays out the great overview of all those dynamics!

I hope that's the last Bush we'll see in the White House!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

...is our tragedy

Not for the feint of heart, this book is an extremely well-written (and performed) analysis of why Bush is who he is, why as President he's acted the way he has and made the choices he has -- virtually all of which have had negative consequences for the United States, many of them horrifically negative. Jacob Weisberg explores the historical and present day Bush/Walker family dynamics and makes credible comparative analysis with great works of dramatic literature, including Shakespeare's Henry plays. This is a highly entertaining and intellectually challenging character study. Highly recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful