Coverart for item
The Resource Bush, Jean Edward Smith

Bush, Jean Edward Smith

Label
Bush
Title
Bush
Statement of responsibility
Jean Edward Smith
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A biography of George W. Bush, showing how he ignored his advisors to make key decisions himself--most in invading Iraq--and how these decisions were often driven by the President's deep religious faith
Writing style
Review
  • “George W. Bush may not have been America’s worst president” is as nice as historian Smith (Eisenhower in War and Peace) gets in this hard-hitting biography. He gives the 43rd president grudging nods for his No Child Left Behind initiative, prescription-drug plan for seniors, and AIDS relief programs but otherwise portrays Bush’s eight-year presidency as a parade of disasters; irresponsible tax cuts and spiraling deficits; a simplistic, bellicose response to the 9/11 attacks; warrantless NSA surveillance and other assaults on privacy; torture of detainees; a negligent passivity toward Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 financial collapse; and above all, the Iraq War, “the worst foreign policy decision ever made by an American president.” Smith’s negativity is sometimes too much—“Like Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984, the president launched the nation on a never-ending struggle”—but he presents a shrewd, nuanced view of Bush as an insecure, intellectually lazy man who made up for youthful fecklessness with an unwarranted overconfidence and decisiveness in office, a “personalization of presidential power” inside a bubble of sycophantic advisors. Smith embeds this portrait in a lucid, highly readable narrative, balancing rich detail with clear delineation of the larger shape of policy through the chaos of politics. This is a superb recap and critical analysis of Bush’s controversial administration. Photos. Agent: Peter Matson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 05/02/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 18, p)
  • Pulitzer Prize finalist Smith (Eisenhower in War and Peace) treads boldly into an assessment of the ambitious and controversial presidency of George W. Bush (b. 1946) with this highly interpretive study. The author contends that Bush, rather than advisors Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, set his own course in international relations guided by a religious, binary view of the world. Smith himself does not offer differing, alternative assessments of the presidency that spanned 2000–08. Instead, the author compares Bush to others who entered the White House hoping for a larger role at home than abroad. Similar to Woodrow Wilson, Bush believed God destined him for leadership, and both men attempted to export democracy during their terms. While Smith praises Bush's domestic policy stance on immigration, the senior prescription drug-assistance program, and the 2008 bank bailout, he ultimately deems the Iraq War to be the worst foreign policy decision of any American president, overshadowing everything else. There is little doubt that Bush's interventionist actions after the September 11 attacks made his a consequential reign. VERDICT Both public and academic libraries will want this work, although many other accounts are sure to follow as time, perspective, and still-classified primary sources result in a more nuanced, definitive portrait. [See Prepub Alert, 1/25/16.] --Frederick J. Augustyn Jr. (Reviewed 06/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 10, p101)
  • Biography of George W. Bush (b. 1946), concentrating on the eight years of his presidency. From the first sentence, accomplished presidential biographer and historian Smith (Political Science/Marshall Univ.; Eisenhower in War and Peace, 2012, etc.) establishes his critical tone: "Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush." By miring the country in a disastrous war in Iraq, costing 4,000 American lives and some $3 trillion, allowing torture of "unlawful combatants" and restrictions on Americans' fundamental issues of privacy thanks to an empowered National Security Agency, the author considers Bush one of the worse presidents yet. Hurtling quickly through his subject's early life, Smith emphasizes his abysmal school records at Andover and Yale. Indeed, he was coddled as a legacy son "many times over." His penchant for "coasting" and partying kept him floundering for many years, and his well-placed parents bailed him out continuously, until he apprenticed under Lee Atwater and caught the political bug. Marrying Laura Welch, a Midland, Texas, native and librarian, and becoming a born-again Christian thanks to Billy Graham in 1983 helped center Bush's ambitions. However, Smith points out how his "religious certitude and his singular determination," as well as his braggadocio, often swayed his actions more than the advice of more experienced colleagues. Bush relied on sports-minded advisers and hawkish "vulcans" like Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld when the crisis of 9/11 shifted the president's focus from domestic to foreign policy, which he knew little about. Smith considers it a national shame that he was so insistent on finding a casus belli to invade Iraq—then letting Colin Powell be the fall guy—despite the resistance of the rest of the world and cowing even the Democrats in Congress. Notwithstanding Bush's global leadership on AIDS, immigration reform, and education, he left a tarnished presidency. A relentlessly hard-hitting assessment of a president who was a "decider" but "did not wrestle with the details of policy."(Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2016)
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10516198
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Smith, Jean Edward
Dewey number
973.931092
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Bush, George W.
  • Presidents
  • United States
Label
Bush, Jean Edward Smith
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 663-758) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The wilderness years -- Turnaround -- "Don't mess with Texas" -- Governor -- The 2000 election -- The rule of law -- Inauguration -- March of the Hegelians -- Asleep at the switch -- Toppling the Taliban -- "L'état c'est moi" -- The torture trail -- Waging aggressive war: the prelude -- Invasion -- Mission accomplished -- Four more years -- Katrina -- Perils of a second term -- The mess in Mesopotamia -- Rummy walks the plank -- Bush takes command -- Aids -- Quagmire of the vanities -- Financial Armageddon -- Finis
Control code
1611578
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
xxii, 808 pages
Isbn
9781476741192
Lccn
2015034690
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781476741192
  • (OCoLC)920680709
Label
Bush, Jean Edward Smith
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 663-758) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The wilderness years -- Turnaround -- "Don't mess with Texas" -- Governor -- The 2000 election -- The rule of law -- Inauguration -- March of the Hegelians -- Asleep at the switch -- Toppling the Taliban -- "L'état c'est moi" -- The torture trail -- Waging aggressive war: the prelude -- Invasion -- Mission accomplished -- Four more years -- Katrina -- Perils of a second term -- The mess in Mesopotamia -- Rummy walks the plank -- Bush takes command -- Aids -- Quagmire of the vanities -- Financial Armageddon -- Finis
Control code
1611578
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
xxii, 808 pages
Isbn
9781476741192
Lccn
2015034690
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781476741192
  • (OCoLC)920680709

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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