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On the Newsstand: Judging Bush Books in Vanity Fair


In the latest Vanity Fair, James Wolcott takes an inventory of Bush books and wonders if anyone can really answer the question: Who is George W. Bush? From Evangelical Bush, to Frat-Boy Bush, to Weepy Bush, the depictions of him are as diverse as the books themselves.

Wolcott writes:

"[P]ublishers are pumping out one exhaustive indictment and eyewitness memoir after another about the still-unfolding Bush era, and with each new addition to the stack . . . Bush himself looms larger and emptier, the front man for a fire sale on civil liberties, environmental protections, and constitutional values who’s managed to maintain a flaky-piecrust persona.

Of course authors weren't aways so hard on George. Wolcott reminisces — "in the afterglow of the overthrow of the Taliban and the unprecedented republican victory in the 2002 midterms, authors lined up to tongue-polish his presidential-sealed boots." To see Bush's book profile now, read more.

Now, says Wolcott, Bush's supportive biographers "bask in reflected glory while trying to tiptoe through the radioactive rubble of what went wrong."

Bush's legacy might not be certain until we are all long gone (or at least until he is gone). But, one thing is for certain — historians trying to answer the question — who was President Bush — will have a very high stack of contemporary literature to use for their research. Read the article to decide for yourself how Bush stacks up.

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