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by Kitty Kelley
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385503245, Hardcover)Kitty Kelley, author of exhaustive and highly unflattering biographies of Frank Sinatra, Jackie Onassis, and the British royal family, among others, has never received much cooperation from her subjects. Likewise, none was given for The First Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, and it's not hard to understand why. In the book, the family that has produced two presidents as well as an assortment of other politicians, businesspeople, and a number of lesser-known black sheep is portrayed as a powerful empire that leverages wealth and influence to grow ever stronger while stringently covering up numerous instances of drug abuse, infidelity, poor judgment, and scandal. While charges about George W. Bush, including that he snorted cocaine at Camp David while his father was president, garnered the most attention upon the book's release, Kelley's history goes back several generations, detailing the rise to power of Senator Prescott Bush and his son, the first President Bush. Those seeking a salacious peek at the inner sanctum of a wealthy and powerful family will not be disappointed by The First Family--Kelley always delivers on that count--and will likely devour allegations of Barbara Bush's sour temperament, George H.W. Bush's long-standing affair with aide Jennifer Fitzgerald, and George W. Bush's obnoxious drunken frat boy days that stretched, according to Kelley, well into adulthood. Those seeking a rock-solid and airtight indictment of the Bushes, however, will be disappointed, since Kelley leans on anonymous sources and rumors for some of the juicier bits. Interestingly, although it tells the stories of a family built on politics, The First Family mostly avoids the subject, clearing the decks of all political substance in order to put the style on wider display. --John Moe
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:20 -0400)
"Kitty Kelley takes us back to the origins of the Bush family fortune in the Ohio steel industry at the turn of the last century and through the oil deals and international business associations that have maintained and increased their wealth over the past hundred years. The book leads us through Prescott Bush's first entree into government at the state level in 1950s Connecticut, to George Herbert Walker Bush's long and winding road to the White House, to his son's quick sweep into the same office. Along the way, we see the complex relationships the Bushes have had with the giants of the century - Eisenhower, Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, Kissinger, Reagan, Clinton - as well as the often ruthless methods used to realize their goals." "The book delves behind the obsessively protected public image into the family's intimate private lives: the matriarchs, the mistresses, the marriages, the divorces, the jealousies, the hypocrisies, the golden children, and the black sheep."--BOOK JACKET.
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