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Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years Paperback – November 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the most important books of the past ten years.”—Gore Vidal

“A tour de force … Family of Secrets has made me rethink even those events I witnessed with my own eyes.”—Dan Rather

“Shocking in its disclosures, elegantly crafted, and faultlessly measured in its judgments, Family of Secrets is nothing less than a first historic portrait in full of the Bush dynasty and the era it shaped. From revelation to revelation, insight to insight—from the Kennedy assassination to Watergate to the oil and financial intrigues that lie behind today's headlines—this is a sweeping drama of money and power, unseen forces, and the emblematic triumph of a lineage that sowed national tragedy. Russ Baker’s Family of Secrets is sure to take its place as one of the most startling and influential works of American history and journalism.”—Roger Morris, former senior staff member, National Security Council, and author of Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician and Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America

“Left-wing paranoia? Baker, a solid investigative journalist, works hard to back up his claims – a reader could choke on the complex, interwoven details in Family of Secrets. He's a man on a mission, desperate to stop the “methods of stealth and manipulation that ... reflect a deeper ill: the American public's increasingly tenuous hold upon the levers of its own democracy.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

 “Prodigiously industrious investigative journalist Russ Baker…. connects the dots between the Bushes and Watergate.” —Lev Grossman, Time Magazine

About the Author

Russ Baker is an awardwinning investigative journalist. He has written for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Nation, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and Esquire, and has served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. He is the founder of WhoWhatWhy/the Real News Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization, operating at www.whowhatwhy.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; First Paperback Printing edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608190064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608190065
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Russ Baker is an awardwinning investigative journalist. He has written for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Nation, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and Esquire, and has served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. He is the founder of WhoWhatWhy/the Real News Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization, operating at www.whowhatwhy.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

563 of 600 people found the following review helpful By Richard Cummings on December 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America

French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said that "words are loaded pistols." In the hands of Russ Baker, they are hydrogen bombs. On each and every page of his masterpiece, "Family of Secrets," he exploses the myths and lies that powerful forces have perpetratred on the American consciousness. He digs beneath the surface in a form of journalistic archeology to reveal the hidden history of one of America's most powerful families, leaving no stone unturned. Moreover, he names all of his sources and documents the materials he relies on to unmask the hypocrisy behind the myth. From Prescott Bush's ties to Nazi Germany to Poppy Bush's secret role in the Watergate scandal that ousted Richard Nixon, which was, in fact, a "silent coup," to George W. Bush's deceit in launching the war in Iraq, Russ Baker unmasks the truth with a relentless brilliance unmatched by his peers. His publisher, Bloomsberry, is to be congratulated for its confidence in Russ Baker at a time when most publishers are hedging their bets and looking over their shoulders in acts of self-censorship. Baker's revelations about George W. Bush's private life is worth the price of the book alone. Here is Bush, forcing himself on a Danish beauty, stripping to the nude, while getting another girl friend he knocks up an abortion, and then later, as president, opposing abortion and cutting funding for organizations that provide information about birth control.
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242 of 257 people found the following review helpful By Christopher K. Halbower on March 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Russ Baker's book "Family of Secrets" takes the reader on a tantalizing journey into the Bush family. Baker's unabashed goal was to answer the question "How did Bush happen?"

As Baker began his intensive research into George W Bush, he found that in order to understand George Jr., one must first look at George Sr. This led him to inquire about the Bush clan in general, raising the blinds on this most secretive of families.

The book is comprised of 23 chapters. Of these, Baker spends the first 16 discussing George H W Bush (called Poppy by those close to him). The remaining 7 chapters are about George W Bush and those in his specific orbit.

Russ Baker makes a strong circumstantial case that George H W Bush was involved in intelligence work long before his 1974 CIA stint appointment. The actual evidence that would verify this is unavailable to the public in general as the CIA does not like inquiries.

Those who surround Poppy Bush seemed to be tinged by covert, intelligence operations. A few examples are: his father Prescott Bush, Neil Mallon and George DeMohrenschildt. The intelligence apparatus that evolved from WWII (the OSS) would become known as the CIA. And many in Bush's orbit were somehow connected to the OSS, the CIA or to covert missions in WWII.

Building upon this, Baker argues that the world of covert operations, including propaganda and psyops, is able and willing to suppress information and diseminate disinformation. The gatekeepers of knowledge tend to have ties to the CIA--including the Watergate journalist Bob Woodward.

The world of covert operations goes hand in hand with the oil industry and the world of international finance. The oil industry has acted as a kind of vanguard for US covert operations.
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Format: Hardcover
"All great accomplishments are the products of discipline and the force of will. To write a lasting and important book, a journalist must be relentless in pursuing detail that others have misunderstood or even ignored. The commitment to discerning the facts can never waver, regardless of the obstacles placed before the reporter. We see such non-fiction narratives too infrequently in American publishing but we have a great one before us now in Russ Baker's phenomenal `Family of Secrets.' As an investigator and as a writer of compelling narrative, Baker has created, in my estimation, an almost unequalled standard in political reportage. He has refused to accept conventional wisdom regarding the Bush family and the failed son they made president. There is no way any reasonable person can reject what Baker reports and the conclusions are profoundly disturbing. The reader becomes convinced, page after page, footnote after footnote, quote after quote, that everything we thought we knew about American history in the past 50 years was wrong. I confess that I was prepared to be dismissive. When Baker first approached me about an interview and to offer what little insight I had on years of covering the Bushes in Texas, my reaction was that he was too late and that the public had been worn out by the publishing deluge prompted by George W's incompetence and lying. Why did we need another book on the Bushes? After reading `Family of Secrets' that answer is abundantly obvious: we did not know the truth. I think we do now and Russ Baker has given it to us in a brilliant book that that will be impossible for any sensible American to ignore.Read more ›
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