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Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush [Kindle Edition]

Robert Draper
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this ambitious work of political narrative, Robert Draper takes us inside the Bush White House and delivers an intimate portrait of a tumultuous decade and a beleaguered administration. Virtually every page of this book crackles with scenes, anecdotes, and dialogue that will surprise even long- time observers of George W. Bush.

With unprecedented access to all the key figures of this administration -- from six one-on-one sessions with the president, to Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Karl Rove, and perhaps 200 other players, some well-known, some not -- Draper has achieved what no other journalist or contemporary historian has done thus far: he has told the story of the Bush White House from the inside, with a special emphasis on how the very personality of this strong-willed president has affected the outcome of events.

Bush loyalists and the growing number of Bush detractors will all find much to savor in this riveting political page-turner. We begin with a revealing lunch at the White House where a testy, hot dog-chomping president finally unburdens himself to the inquisitive reporter, a fellow Texan who well understands the manly argot that courses through this administration.

We revisit the primaries of election-year 2000, in which the character of the candidate and indeed the future of the Republican Party were forged in the scalding South Carolina battle with Senator John McCain. We proceed forward to witness intimately the confusion and the eloquence that followed the September 11 attacks, then the feckless attempts to provide electricity to a darkened Baghdad, the high- and lowlights of the 2004 re-election bid, the startling and fruitless attempt to "spend capital" by overhauling the Social Security system, the inept response to Katrina, the downward spiraling and increasingly divisive war in Iraq.

Though the headlines may be familiar, the details, the utterly inside account of how events transpired will come as fresh reportage to even the most devoted followers of mainstream media coverage. In this most press- wary of administrations, Robert Draper has accomplished a small miracle: He has knocked on all on the right doors, and thus become the first author to tell a personality-driven history of the Bush years. In so doing, he allows us to witness in complete granularity the personal force of a president determined to achieve big things, who remained an optimist in the face of a sometimes harsh unpopularity, who confronted the history of his time with what can surely be described as dead certainty.

Editorial Reviews


"Washington's hottest dinner-party book this autumn." -- The Observer (UK)

About the Author

Robert Draper is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic and a correspondent to GQ. He is the author of several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. He lives in Washington, DC.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1000 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (September 4, 2007)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W5MI26
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well-written - covers a LOT of bases September 7, 2007
Like some other reviewers, I was thinking this might be a puff piece on GWB. It is not. The author has apparently gone to great lengths to expose the good, bad, and ugly - regardless of who it slams.

The Bremer/Bush issue is a particularly good read. Almost novel-like.

This author has a smooth but intense way of writing that keeps you wanting to get to the next page. I read it on a cross-country flight and got irritated everytime the stewardess asked if I was ready for dinner - I wanted to keep reading! :)

I would like to have seen a little more in the book relative to Dick Cheney just because of the fascinating relationship that is.

Overall, if you are a political junkie, this book will be a page-turner for you. Highly recommended.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fair Look At President George W. Bush September 14, 2007
'Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush' by Robert Draper is a fair look at one of the most controversial Presidents in American history. If you are a Bush basher looking to find insights on what makes this man so 'bad' and nothing else, you will be disappointed by this work. If you are a Bush lover who is looking to "drink the Kool-Aid" and read about what makes this man so 'great', you also will be disappointed. If you are a non-partisan (do those people truly exist) who is looking to simply get in the mind of GWB and learn what makes him tick, this is a great read. Written in a fair way (and the key word is FAIR), love or hate the man, that one thing that can be "dead certain" is that Bush is not the politician of today that seems to gloss over past beliefs and change as they see fit when it comes to getting elected. While Bush is no saint when it comes to this (and I apologize for Bush bashers that I use the name of the President and saint in the same sentence), most of his beliefs he makes, sets and sticks to. He won't change his opinions easily, and when he thinks he is right, he KNOWS he is right.

Great for historical buffs who want to learn about GWB and how he got us into thie Iraq mess that we will be in for quite some time, 'Dead Certain' is an easy book to recommend for the masses.

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82 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revealing! September 4, 2007
At first I thought "Dead Certain" would simply be a "puff-piece," or another one-sided "Bush-basher." I was very pleasantly surprised to learn a number of things in this balanced book - eg. that Bush claims to have been surprised by Bremer's disbanding the Iraqi Army and police (in retrospect, a disastrous decision - regardless, Bremer reacted angrily to this claim and released documents showing otherwise), that Bush didn't simply accept anything and everything that Rove suggested, and the startling (and very disturbing) statement regarding the Iraq troop surge that, "I'm playing for October-November," when he hopes the Iraq troop increase will finally show enough results to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence and stay longer. (The latter statement is political dynamite!)

"Dead Certain" also reaffirms Bush as resolute (stubborn?) and not liking to receive bad news (Bush has "an almost petulant heedlessness to the outside world"), as well as totally committed to his exercise regime. More importantly, I believe that any book on the Bush presidency should devote considerable effort covering V.P. Cheney's role (this was not accomplished in "Dead Certain") and greater insight into the decision-making on executive power and the treatment of detainees.
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97 of 118 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From an author who tells the truth! September 7, 2007
What makes this book so rare is the fact that GWB has had one of the most secretive administrations in history. Somehow to his credit, the author (Robert Draper) managed to get in and even get the president to open up to him. Very rare!

Most books about GWB are written by authors with an obvious agenda. However, in the case of Draper's 'Dead Certain' I believe he is toeing the line. While he is clearly not a liberal by any means he also doesn't come off as a Sean Hannity conservative either.

The book is written from personal conversations Draper had with the president in the oval office (six in all) and over 200 members of his staff. Over time GWB becomes comfortable with Draper and probably reveals some conversations he either regrets having or believed the author would never print. This is where Draper proves he is loyal to nobody but the reader!

In fact, you would think some of the things GWB said was leaked and then written by Al Franken or another liberal author. Conversation's about making million like his father Clinton are making. Or other conversation's where he blames John Robert's for the idea of appointing Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court which lost him his half his loyal base.

Draper even speaks about the disdain 1st Lady Laura Bush has for advisor Karl Rove in the book. It is said her nickname for Rove is "PigPin" from Charlie Brown. You can draw your own conclusion to why she labled him with that monicker which is hilarious!

Buy the book and read it! I give it only 3 stars because I don't enjoy reading anything about GWB quite honestly. However, as a person who likes politics when the truth is being told (which is rare) I am a fan. A book that give's the truth about the GWB administration is especially rare!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead Certain
This guy just pisses me off, every time I read or watch something about this POS I get more pissed off about the things he did to this country. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Hawthorne
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuk
Even if you voted for this guy you will be disappointed. I do not recommend anyone to purchase this book.
Published 18 months ago by Gloria C. Vanbibber
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Impartial, skillfully researched -easy to read -I would reccomend this book without hesitation Bush was way over his head and is responsible for a number of tragic mistakes Draper... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Roger Rowe
3.0 out of 5 stars Politics as usual
An interesting read. The author's point of view is very obvious. It depends which side of the fence one is on.
Published on January 19, 2013 by Adonna Wilkinson
3.0 out of 5 stars incomplete - on purpose
Robert Draper painted a portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush less than two years before its conclusion in Dead Certain. Read more
Published on September 5, 2012 by Scrapple8
4.0 out of 5 stars Title misleading
I thought this was a well-written, insightful, and objective book. The title of the book threw me off. The title suggested the book would be a bashing of George W. Read more
Published on August 20, 2011 by Caballo
4.0 out of 5 stars George Bush
This book was published in 2007. It seemed odd to me that the author would publish the book now rather than waiting until 2009 in order to review the entire Bush presidency. Read more
Published on February 2, 2010 by Gary Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Before I read "Dead Certain" my view of George W Bush was based solely on how he was portrayed in the media. Read more
Published on September 23, 2009 by P. Mercer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
This book was very interesting; revealing details commonly unknown about Bush. It paints the scene to his frame of mind during his eight years in office, not pro, nor against, a... Read more
Published on July 22, 2009 by Dustin M. Wybrant
2.0 out of 5 stars Draper
I have no opinion about the presidency of George Bush. I believe there is an incredibly ridiculous amount of information we don't know. I am not cynical. Read more
Published on June 17, 2009 by Russell O. Duncan
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More About the Author

Robert Draper has been a national correspondent for GQ magazine for the past decade, and prior to that was senior editor at Texas Monthly. He lives in Washington, D.C. He is author of a novel, Hadrian's Walls (Knopf), and the biography Rolling Stone Magazine: The Uncensored History.

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What this book does wrong and right
Perhaps no one is discussing the book because that isn't what gets done on these discussions but personally I have no intention of allowing someone else to shape the discussion with the notion that the book, which is about a CURRENT presidency needs to bother with events presceding
that... Read More
Sep 9, 2007 by C. B. West |  See all 2 posts
Is Amazon censuring the tags?
Actually, the "war criminal" tag is still here. It is just not popular enough to make it onto the product page. You can see it here:
Sep 6, 2007 by Spork |  See all 6 posts
Why all the hate?
Hold on! Let's declare a moratorium on all the name-calling. After six and a half years, I'm rather tired of Bush supporters accusing the president's critics of mindless hate or "looney left" propaganda. For a moment, let's concentrate on facts, not rhetoric. It would take a book to... Read More
Sep 6, 2007 by David J. Zimny |  See all 126 posts
The publisher must be smokin'...... Be the first to reply
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