Synopses & Reviews
In this ambitious work of political narrative, Robert Draper takes us inside the Bush White House and delivers an intimate portrait of a tumultuous decade and an embattled administration. Virtually every page of this book crackles with scenes, anecdotes, and dialogue based on access to every principal actor in the Bush administration, including six newsmaking interviews with the president himself.
"While there are many aspects of the Bush presidency that Mr. Draper completely neglects...what Dead Certain does do and does very nimbly is give the reader an intimate sense of the president's personality and how it informs his decision making." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"What Draper does with great skill in Dead Certain is debunk caricatures of George Bush, both positive and negative. In place of the dim-witted bogeyman of the left and the resolute hero of the right, Draper introduces a three-dimensional man full of contradictions." Salon.com
"Draper is no apologist for the administration, and for Bush-bashers there are plenty of nuggets....But the overall portrait sheds a humanizing light on a much-vilified president." Los Angeles Times
"To portray Bush as unfailingly bright-eyed is old news and makes Dead Certain, despite its killer title, seem dated; its stories have a ripped-from-the-faded-headlines feel. But there are moments when the usually guarded president appeared to open up to Draper..." San Antonio Express-News
"Bush seems to lack the intellectual curiosity that makes for an interesting mind. For all of Draper's admirable effort to paint a full picture, warts and all, it is a bit of a struggle to read more than 400 pages about George W. Bush." Anthony Lewis, The New York Times Book Review
"While his narrative offers nuance, at heart Draper's characterization of the president is overly familiar: Bush as frat boy...someone who doesn't invite dissenting opinions....While the book offers fresh insights into the demeanor and behavior of Bush and his staff, it has few 'aha' revelations." Rocky Mountain News
In the definitive book on the Bush presidency, a gifted reporter and longtime Bush observer with unprecedented access to the White House offers a revealing and balanced look at this most secretive of administrations.
About the Author
Robert Draper has been a national correspondent for GQ magazine for the past decade, and prior to that was senior editor at Texas Monthly. He lives in Washington, D.C. He is author of a novel, Hadrian's Walls (Knopf), and the biography Rolling Stone Magazine: The Uncensored History.
Table of Contents
Prologue: December 12, 2006
Chapter 1: New Hampshire
Chapter 2: Texas
Chapter 3: South Carolina
"THROUGH OUR TEARS"
Chapter 4: The Building of Bushworld
Chapter 5: Doing a Few Things Right
Chapter 6: Then...
DARK CITY ON A HILL
Chapter 7: Nightmare Scenario
Chapter 8: Drumbeats
Chapter 9: The Grid
Chapter 10: Thanksgiving
A CHOICE, NOT A REFERENDUM
Chapter 11: The One-Legged Runner
Chapter 12: "You Know Where I Stand"
Chapter 13: Ask President Bush
Chapter 14: "Stand with Me"
Chapter 15: Eight-Year Men
Chapter 16: Big Ball, Long Bomb
Chapter 17: Heck of a Job
Chapter 18: "This Is Not Your Daughter!"
Chapter 19: The Bolten Bounce
Chapter 20: The Phantom Fence
Chapter 21: "I Owe You a Strategy That'll Work"
Chapter 22: A Fine Line Between Realism and Pessimism
Author's Note and Acknowledgments Index