The Bush Tragedy

The Bush Tragedy

by Jacob Weisberg

Unstintingly yet compassionately, and with no political ax to grind, Slate editor in chief Jacob Weisberg methodically and objectively examines the family and circle of advisers who played crucial parts in George W.

Bushs historic downfall.In this revealing and defining portrait, Weisberg uncovers the black box from the crash of the Bush presidency.

Distilling all that has been previously written about Bush into a defining portrait, he illuminates the fateful choices and key decisions that led George W., and thereby the country, into its current predicament.

Weisberg gives the tragedy a historical and literary frame, comparing Bush not just to previous American leaders, but also to Shakespeares Prince Hal, who rises from neer-do-well youth to become the warrior king Henry V.Here is the bitter and fascinating truth of the early years of the Bush dynasty, with never-before-revealed information about the conflict between the two patriarchs on George W.s fathers side of the familythe one an upright pillar of the community, the other a rowdy playboyand how that schism would later shape and twist the younger George Bush; his father, a hero of war, business, and Republican politics whose accomplishments George W.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Politics
  • Rating: 3.75
  • Pages: 271
  • Publish Date: January 29th 2008 by Random House
  • Isbn10: 1400066786
  • Isbn13: 9781400066780

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Do I put off reading about Dubya? I knew if I wasn't careful I'd put this one off until the very end and I was dreading the hell out of that so I bit the bullet and got this one from the library. Dubya was surrounded by two groups of people: Those who didn't believe in him and those who didn't believe in him and manipulated him. To be clear, no one, not even Dubya, ever thought he was up to the job and boy howdy, was he right. I enjoy that precisely because I know that Cheney and Dubya would hate it (while Rove would totally LOVE it). Unlike Cheney, Rove didn't really seem to care about policy. Dubya saw himself as a combination of Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. I'm glad I read this book.

That might mitigate this as a "lapse." There is also something appealling in how Weisberg treats the failures of the Bush presidency, which is to say, he just accepts in his intro that the presidency is a failure, and does not belabor the argument in his text. I was a little skeptical of the book's central - and not exactly unique argument - that most of Bush's actions and beliefs stem from his relationship with his family and especially his father.

I picked the book up after having read the reviews promising that it was an objective look at how Bush got us to this point.

The Bush presidency as viewed through the lens of family psychology or as Harold Blum might put it: Freud as viewed by Shakespeare.

The book seems very well documented and insists on proving the importance of family genes, Oedipus complex, money and social status in the making of George W Bush and on demonstrating the vacuity of his persona.

Jacob Weisberg situates and explains the struggle and the ultimate failure of 'Dubya's presidency in relation to his complicated family history and in particular to Bush Senior.

This book gives a graceful, measured, even-handed, and ultimately pretty much completely damning portrait of one of the worst presidents this country has ever had. Weisberg doesn't hyperventilate or sermonize, he simply sits back and tells the tale full and true and doesn't leave out that he actually enjoys Bush's company personally (he was on the campaign plane in 2000 with the rest of the press corps) and has a certain measure of pity for the man. I think, and I gather that Weisberg thinks, that GWB knows this pretty thoroughly either deep down or perhaps quite clearly and thus, in my own humble opinion, must live with the fate of staring up at the massive obelisk of his own shmuckitude until the day he dies. This is of course not to excuse his awful effect on the country, it's just to point out what I think often gets missed- that not only did he pour a giant bowl of shmuckitude over the entire political and social landscape but he has to know it and swim in it for the rest of his life.

The author begins his story well before Bush 43s presidency, going back to earlier Bush and Walker generations for traits and characteristics.

Bush is vaccinated as a show of god faith; Cheney refuses.

Some good history here, and I agree with Weisberg's thesis that George W. The man has plenty of flaws, but I feel like there's some fundamental decency and good intentions that the book overlooks.

Jacob Weisberg is an American political journalist, serving as editor-in-chief of Slate Group, a division of The Washington Post Company.