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Kelley rehashes episodes that have been recounted time and again in other accounts. She suffers from a frustratingly short attention span, even with such meaty scandals as the Iran-Contra affair or Prescott Bush's business dealings with the Nazis, to which she adds precisely nothing. Much of her juiciest material is crammed into the Author's Note, where she characterises the Bushes as close-knit like the Mob: power-hungry, unscrupulous, secretive, vindictive, hypocritical and all too willing to airbrush, rewrite or lie about the past when it suits their ambitions.

She alludes to family documents that have either vanished or been mysteriously consumed by fire, cites a clutch of enemies afraid to commit their names to print and notes a family propensity for disowning relatives who abandon their marriages or demonstrate public disloyalty.

Kelley's biggest coup was landing an on-the-record interview with Sharon Bush, the estranged wife of the President's brother Neil, who characterises the whole clan as a bunch of alcoholics, drug addicts and schizophrenics. It is Sharon who is quoted saying that George W. Sharon also slimes her ex for announcing the end of their marriage by email and describes her former mother-in-law, Barbara, as an "ice-cold" power freak. The rest of the book delivers only sporadically on this initial promise.

Much of the muck does not stand up to close scrutiny - not necessarily because it is false but because the author has not been careful enough in her legwork.

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Sharon Bush, for example, has come forward since the book's US publication to disown the coke story, for reasons that may or may not have to do with pressure from her former in-laws. It would be nice to have the original quote confirmed, but Kelley never got it on tape. Similar problems spoil an enticing nugget about First Lady Laura Bush, who is described as having been the "go-to girl for dime bags of marijuana" on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Austin in the late s.

Kelley's source is a former classmate of Laura's called Robert Nash, but Nash now says he never consented to go on the record and was only repeating rumours, not speaking from personal experience. Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed. Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language Spam: Advertisements or commercial links. I guess it's nice there's no possibility of ulterior motives there. Re: ulterior motives.

Bush Dynasty: Who rules 'Democracy'?

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CNET Forums. Bush, including that he snorted cocaine at Camp David while his father was president, garnered the most attention upon the book's release, Kelley's history goes back several generations, detailing the rise to power of Senator Prescott Bush and his son, the first President Bush. Those seeking a salacious peek at the inner sanctum of a wealthy and powerful family will not be disappointed by The First Family --Kelley always delivers on that count--and will likely devour allegations of Barbara Bush's sour temperament, George H.

Bush's long-standing affair with aide Jennifer Fitzgerald, and George W. Bush's obnoxious drunken frat boy days that stretched, according to Kelley, well into adulthood.

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Those seeking a rock-solid and airtight indictment of the Bushes, however, will be disappointed, since Kelley leans on anonymous sources and rumors for some of the juicier bits. Interestingly, although it tells the stories of a family built on politics, The First Family mostly avoids the subject, clearing the decks of all political substance in order to put the style on wider display.

The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty

Kitty Kelley is the internationally acclaimed bestselling author of Jackie Oh! The last three titles were all 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in Washington, D. Convert currency.

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