Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush Paperback – March 4, 2003
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But as someone who truly has no political ax to grind (pro or con) I must say this: I absolutely LOVED this book. And in the end some of things that people may have felt belittled Bush
were to me quite endearing. I FINALLY had read a political book and learned a lot more about how the subject of the book REALLY was as a REAL person.
This political saga shows a politician who privately raises an eyebrow at many of the political process' pomposities, rituals and postures and who behaves as an authentic human being, rather than a character sent from Hollywood's Central Casting to fill a stereotypical role.
This book is FUN and enlightening. It's all there: info about the campaign, and early evidence that GWB did not actually "grow in office" due to 911 as much as confront an unprecedented crisis with skills he already had -- and had honed. When I had done shows in Texas (I am an entertainer) I had heard stories about Bush's charisma in private but until this book never saw anything that communicated it in print (or on the networks).
Most of Ambling is set on the campaign trail. After Bush's searing loss to John McCain GWB made himself more available to the press. In private he suddenly became a fun candidate to cover -- and he was clearly trying to win them over with humor. A reporter might find Bush playfully sticking his index fingers in the reporters ears to keep him from hearing something. Bush once jokingly put his hands around Bruni's throat. Such antics were a part of Bush's good-guy make-up, evident in college when he named a stickball team "the Nads"...Read more ›
Bruni's assessment of the Bush Campaign's strategies and of how the candidate acted and reacted to his life on the campaign are excellent reading. Even more interesting is Bruni's candid assessment of how the press covers campaigns, and how the press tends to distort the campaign for the sake of keeping things interesting. He makes no excuses for this, and is refreshingly critical of a number of much of the press coverage.
His assessment of Bush is equally even handed. He doesn't try to cover up Bush's flaws, but neither does he try to bludgeon the reader with personal attacks. The picture of Bush that emerges is one that would be familiar to most of us, a person with strengths and weaknesses, who works to overcome his weaknesses and take advantage of his strengths.
The one area where the book fails, in my opinion, is when Bruni discusses September 11. Bruni attempts to use his knowledge of Bush from the campaign trail to assess Bush's actions following September 11, an assessment that seems remarkably premature. Bruni admits he hasn't seen Bush since his inauguration, yet he makes significant assumptions about Bush's behavior and the rationale for it based on his campaign experience. This detracts from the more interesting parts of the book, because he's replaced reporting and analysis with speculation. Still, it's a book well worth reading.
This book does a remarkable job of portraying a man who struggled with family expectations, addictions, and ambivalence about his race to the presidency. I think that what makes Bruni's criticisms of Bush seem fair even to this Republican is that Bruni frequently touches on his uncertainties regarding the man. Bruni shows a healthy scepticism toward journalists and his own prejudices, telling Bush's story with a remarkable even-handedness. He's sympathetic to Bush's good qualities, yet fair when dealing with the man's faults. This is a book I am strongly recommending to both my Republican and Democrat friends.
That is not something a dispassionate reader would claim after reading Bruni's account in this book, essentially a campaign journal of Bruni's travels on the 'Zoo plane,'and elsewhere during that frantic presidential election.
Overall Bruni is mildly critical of his subject, but often in a funny way, particularly with the then Republican candidate's mangling of the English language -something that Bush is able to laugh at himself over (a good trait).
The book is not a must-read, and is now dated being published in early 2002, but it does give some idea of how manic and maniac campaign life is for both journalists and candidates.
Bush is revealed as a man with an impish sense of humour but also one that developed newfound gravity after the horrific attacks on his country, in September 2001, and a leader who takes the trappings of the presidency seriously. On one occasion he forgot to salute a marine as he boarded his helicopter, Marine One, to go to Camp David but once inside he remembered his failure and so returned to salute the startled guard!
If you like a gossipy style account of elections then this book is an enjoyable enough light read
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After having read several books and listened to hundreds of hours of TV dealing with President G.W.Bush;I almost passed up this book. Read morePublished on January 12, 2007 by Jerry Guild
This book is a politically-motivated libel. The author tries unsuccesfully to hide his aversion to the Bush family, not only toward the President, but also toward his parents and... Read morePublished on September 12, 2004 by Alex Ramirez
I liked this book because it paints the good and bad about George W. Bush. Bruni covered the Bush Campaign for the New York Times. Read morePublished on September 9, 2004 by Kevin M Quigg
Frank Bruni, a New York Times reporter, wrote a perceptive and eloquent book about the candidate whose campaign he covered in 1999-2000 and the president of the months previous to... Read morePublished on September 8, 2004 by Rodolfo Camacho
I am not a big fan of President Bush and I really only picked this book up to find out more of what the campaign was like covering Bush. Read morePublished on May 1, 2004 by John G. Hilliard
Good book by a New York Times reporter who traveled with Bush as he ran for President. Book is well written. It shows a side of Bush that one doesn't see on television. Read morePublished on February 4, 2004
To anyone interested in the inner workings of highly intense election campaigns, the press, or George W. Bush, then I highly recommend you take a look-see at this book. Read morePublished on November 19, 2003 by Chris Salzer
Even as his first term as president nears an end, George W. Bush remains something of an enigma. It should come as no surprise, then, that the reader knows very little about Bush... Read morePublished on September 25, 2003 by J. Gillespie
Frank Bruni's book is indicative of where `journalism' is heading these days. Short on real analysis of the issues and more inclined to view elections as mere `beauty contests,'... Read morePublished on September 22, 2003 by Sgt. Rock