Synopses & Reviews
They have wielded enormous financial power and dominated world politics for more than half a century. They have been appointed to positions of great power and have been elected as governors, congressmen, senators and presidents. They have shaped our past and, with our country at war under the leadership of their number one son, they are, more critically than ever, shaping our future.
As the Bush family has risen to dominance, so too they have been master orchestrators of their own public image, acting and operating under the shield of privacy their money and status have always afforded them. Until now.
Number One bestselling author and investigative biographer Kitty Kelley has closely examined the lives of Jacqueline Onassis, Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra, and the British Royal family. Now the First Lady of unauthorized biography reckons with the first family of the United States and the result is at once a rich and shocking history and a very human portrait of the worlds most powerful dynasty.
An important work on wealth, power, and class in America, The Family is rich in texture, probing in its psychological insight, revealing in its political and financial detail, and stunning in the patterns that emerge and expose the Bush dynasty as it has never before been exposed. Ms. Kelley takes us back to the origins of the family fortune in the Ohio steel industry at the turn of the last century, 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 Bushs first entrée into government at the state level in 1950s Connecticut, to George Herbert Walker Bushs long and winding road to the White House, to his sons 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.
Perhaps most impressive and surprising is the way the book delves behind the obsessively protected public image into the familys intimate private lives: the matriarchs, the mistresses, the marriages, the divorces, the jealousies, the hypocrisies, the golden children, and the black sheep.
At a crucial point in American history, Kitty Kelley is the one person to finally tell all about the family that has, perhaps more than any other, defined our role in the modern world. This is the book the Bushes dont want you to read. This is The Family.
"Although hardly the most authoritative or the most carefully written, Kelley's history of the Bush family nonetheless ranks among the most important books of the 2004 political season. A large part of Kelley's influence comes, of course, from the success of her previous celebrity biographies, among them Jackie Oh!, The Royals and Elizabeth Taylor. But another part comes from her willingness to commit rumors to paper-in other words, to share DC cocktail-party gossip with the masses. Her book will come under a lot of fire for this practice, and with some reason. Many of her most incendiary comments-that Laura Bush was once a 'go-to girl for dime bags,' that George W. Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David-do appear to be poorly sourced. And as the book progresses from the 1860s to the 2000s, her moderate tone often rises with vividly expressed disgust and indignation. But readers who take Kelley's dishy allegations with a grain of salt will still find plenty of hard evidence to support her portrayal of the Bush family's political opportunism, economic privilege and shrewd flip-flopping. Case in point: when George H.W. Bush was chosen as Reagan's running mate in 1980, he suddenly 'dropped his support of the Equal Rights Amendment and vehemently changed his position on abortion.' Kelley also takes shots at Democrats Edward Kennedy, Lloyd Bentsen and Lyndon Johnson, and generally laments what she sees as the Republican Party's turn to the far right. But, overall, her real issues appear to be the same as in her previous books: the abuse of power, the adoption of a false public image, the secreting away of sexual and pharmaceutical peccadilloes. With its focus on these juicy issues, and its occasional nuggets of serious political history, Kelley's book is sure to gratify her many fans." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From Ohio to Connecticut to Texas to Washington, D.C., Bush men and women have, over the past one hundred years, made millions of dollars, dominated our government, and created a legacy unlike any other twentieth- and twenty-first-century family. Prescott Bush was a two-time senator from Connecticut who had the ear of Dwight D. Eisenhower and tangled with Joe McCarthy. His son George H. W. was a congressman, the head of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate era, the head of the CIA, vice president under Ronald Reagan and then the forty-first president of the United States. One of his sons, Jeb, is governor of Florida and almost certainly a future presidential candidate. The eldest son, George W., is the forty-third president possibly the most polarizing and controversial head of statethe U.S. has ever had. How did these men backed and often controlled by strong and single-minded women rise to power? How did they maneuver their way from Yale and the secretive Skull and Bones through back door politics, the CIA, and the White House to have so much control over our lives? The answers are startling. The Bushes have altered history. This book might well alter the history of the Bushes.
If you want to know the history of the Bushes the marriages, the affairs, the money, the wars, the lies... if you want to know the truth then you must read The Family.
About the Author
Kitty Kelley is the internationally acclaimed bestselling author of Jackie Oh!; Elizabeth Taylor: The Last Star; His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra; Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography; and The Royals. The last three titles were all #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Kelley has been honored by her peers with such awards as the Outstanding Author Award from the American Society of Jouranlists and Authors, the Philip M. Stern Award, and the Medal of Merit from the Lotos Club of New York City. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, People, Ladies Home Journal, McCall’s, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her physician husband, Jonathan Zucker.