In the spring of 1974, George Herbert Walker Bush criticized the media.
“The press doesn’t understand this. It’s all very easy for them. You slam a guy. You carve him up … You get the story and the headline. But they don’t understand this question of loyalty, the question of what’s fair.”
Undoubtedly, former President Bush is repeating the same lines, only this time it is because journalist and controversial book writer Kitty Kelly is exposing some buried secrets of the Bush dynasty in her book, “The Family.”
Kelly, author of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Nancy Regan expos/s, begins her chronicle of the Bush family with the stories and descriptions of George W. Bush’s grandfathers, Samuel Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker.
The book follows the story of a verbally abusive Herbert Walker, a Missouri speculator and railroad tycoon, and exposes Prescott Bush’s controversial business dealings during World War II with Fritz Thyssen, one of the Hitler Angels and a German industrialist who was an early supporter of the Third Reich and a large financial contributor to the Nazi party.
A few stories of romance spark between the Walker and the Bush family, and the product is former President George H. W. Bush. The book touches upon both Bush’s time in office, and it ends on the note of current President George W. Bush treating the heads of state who opposed the war in Iraq like troublemakers who deserved punishment.
Through stories of shady financial dealings, infidelity, deceit, manipulation, hypocrisy and several generations of substance abuse, “The Family” exposes the secrets that the Bush family thought was safe from the public’s view.
For example, former president George Bush never expected the media to get hold of the telephone call he placed to Sidney Adger, a Houston businessman, to keep his first-born son from being drafted in the Vietnam War.
Nor did George W. Bush expect the stories of his use of cocaine at Camp David while his father was in office to air. The allegations that he had arranged for an illegal abortion for one of his former girlfriends, whom he impregnated, was also a hard-hitting blow, since George W. Bush prides himself on his efforts to promote abstinence in the public school system and politically votes anti-abortion.
But it is not just George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush who are game for attack in Kelly’s book. First lady Laura Bush is exposed as a dope-smoking college student who also sold drugs.
Kelly’s account of the Bush family is rousing and deterrent. She shows that one can make up for his or her lack of intelligence with good looks, social networking and lots of money.
George H. W. Bush bragged about not reading books and placing more emphasis on athletics than school while in prep school. Meanwhile, George W. Bush prided himself on his prep-school bullying days and the reports from his teachers that he never tried to push himself in class.
In the past, the Bush family has been publicly criticized for its cultural shortcomings, and again, the family has found its ways into pages of another book.
Yet, with all these wonderful quotes and scandals, people will find many instances where sources are left anonymous. When trying to pair sources with quotes, the lack of footnotes makes the effort almost impossible. Kelly does not attribute sources to many scandals, such as infidelity in George W. Bush’s marriage and George H. W. Bush saying those allegations were rumors.
However, Kelly affirms that every scandal came from interviews she recorded and that she has the interview tapes in her personal records. However outrageous these scandals are, Kelly has a clean record; she has never been sued by any of the people she has written about, and she has not received much more than criticism for “The Family.”
In short: With the presidential elections just around the corner, “The Family,” at 673 pages, is a must read. “The Family,” is an in-depth look at the Bush family’s roots and its rise to political and financial fame.