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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,


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.

Join The Conversation
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I could tell you who and what Bush is however my post would be quickly flagged,lol.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
There are too many book on GWB. I haven't and won't read any of them. Even though I'm not a fan of Mr. Bush, I know that many of these books are biased either for or against him, and truly you cannot judge a Presidents accomplishments or failures until years and years have past. Geez, historians are still re-evaluating Lincoln and Jefferson. How they anyone know definitively if Clinton or Bush his been overall positive or negative or neutral. My current plans - my dream sport is to read all of the foremost biographies on all of the US Presidents in order. So I figure with all of the other books on my reading list I won't even make it to Eisenhowser.
FB1977 FB1977 9 years
I've read a LOT of Bush books, and I'm currently reading Dead Certain. The more I read though, the more I am just so shocked he ever became President.
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