by Jean Edward Smith
Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 5, 2016
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Jean Edward Smith’s stinging biography of Bush 43 will be officially released tomorrow (July 5). Smith is the author of two of my favorite presidential biographies (“Grant” and “FDR“) and in the next few months I will be reading his highly acclaimed “Eisenhower In War and Peace“.
There are 11 presidents and 70 biographies to navigate before I will get to this biography of George W. Bush – so let me know what you think! No matter your political preferences, this biography seems certain to be fascinating (though possibly a bit premature)…
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Third-party reviews and links:
- New York Times review dated July 3, 2016
- Boston Globe review dated July 1, 2016
- The New Yorker review dated July 4, 2016
- The Christian Science Monitor review dated June 6, 2016
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch review dated July 2, 2016
- Texas Monthly review dated July 2016
- Kirkus review dated July 5, 2016
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From the publisher:
“Distinguished presidential biographer Jean Edward Smith offers a critical yet fair biography of George W. Bush, showing how he ignored his advisors to make key decisions himself—most disastrously in invading Iraq—and how these decisions were often driven by the President’s deep religious faith.
George W. Bush, the forty-third president of the United States, almost singlehandedly decided to invade Iraq. It was possibly the worst foreign-policy decision ever made by a president. The consequences dominated the Bush Administration and still haunt us today.
In Bush, “America’s greatest living biographer” (George Will), Jean Edward Smith, demonstrates that it was not Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or Condoleezza Rice, but President Bush himself who took personal control of foreign policy. Bush drew on his deep religious conviction that important foreign-policy decisions were simply a matter of good versus evil. Domestically, he overreacted to 9/11 and endangered Americans’ civil liberties.
Smith explains that it wasn’t until the financial crisis of 2008 that Bush finally accepted expert advice, something that the “Decider,” as Bush called himself, had previously been unwilling to do. As a result, he authorized decisions that saved the economy from possible collapse, even though some of those decisions violated Bush’s own political philosophy.
Bush is a comprehensive evaluation of the Bush presidency—including Guantanamo, Katrina, No Child Left Behind, and other important topics—that will surely surprise many readers. Controversial, incisive, and compelling, it is thoroughly researched and sure to add to the debate over Bush’s presidential legacy.”