In Ambling into History, New York Times reporter Frank Bruni has drawn an informal, evenhanded, largely anecdotal, and revealing portrait of George W. Bush, whose presidential campaign he covered. Bruni initially describes Bush as "part scamp and part bumbler," but his respect grows, and he finds that, with the September 11, 2001, attacks, Bush "inherited his true purpose," thereby spurring his emergence as a leader. Bruni is not especially concerned with Bush's political philosophy, preferring instead to relate many "small moments" to show what Bush "looked and acted like on the edges of what was usually considered news." Bruni is at his best when describing--often humorously--the exhausting life of the media corps during a campaign: the 24-hour days, the harrowing deadlines, and the brutish tedium of listening to and reporting on the same speech over and over again, a process he likens to "aerobic stenography." An equal-opportunity cynic, Bruni decries the "superficiality" not only of American politics but the media's coverage of it. This is an amiable and seemingly trustworthy peek behind the presidential dais and into a reporter's notebook. --H. O'Billovich --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bruni, White House correspondent for the New York Times, aims to entice readers who want to know more about their commander-in-chief, yet he focuses on the seemingly trivial aspects of Bush's personality, small moments that he believes "reveal every bit as much about Bush as large ones": Bush sticking his fingers in Bruni's ears to indicate something is off the record. Or Bush holding his pinkie to the corner of his mouth
la Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. Most of these observations reside firmly in the Bush-as-intellectual-lightweight tradition. But Bruni also acknowledges many times when Bush surprised him with "flashes of cleverness" as when, reflecting on his patrimony, Bush offered stabbing insights into the similar advantages of top New York Times executive Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family has owned Bruni's newspaper for generations. Taken together, Bruni's minute observations do present a cohesive portrait of George W. Bush. The problem is, it's Bush the Candidate, not Bush the President who appears only briefly at the end. For the most part, the book focuses on the 2000 campaign, the last period during which reporters had open access to Bush. Thus, Bruni finds himself writing about Bush on the wrong side of September 11. What does remain interesting are the glimpses that Bruni provides of the journalistic side of the campaign, which the author says reached "new depths of disingenuous behavior" (e.g., reporters manufacturing arguments between candidates in order to trump up stories, as Bruni admits he and others frequently did). These insights are surprising and instructional and far more likely to remain relevant than any caricature of the wartime president as a "timeless fraternity boy." Agent, Lisa Bankoff.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 J. 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