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Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush Paperback – March 25, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A fascinating...book. What Dead Certain does very nimbly is give the reader an intimate sense of the president's personality and how it informs his decision making." - The New York Times

"What Draper does with great skill in Dead Certain is debunk caricatures of George Bush, both positive and negative. In place of the dim-witted bogeyman of the left and the resolute hero of the right, Draper introduces a three-dimensional man full of contradictions." -- Salon.com

"A fascinating look at both [the Bush] presidency and his personality." -- Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News

"Draper is no apologist for the administration, and for Bush-bashers there are plenty of nuggets.... But the overall portrait sheds a humanizing light on a much-vilified president." -- Los Angeles Times

"An intimate portrait of a White House racked by more infighting than is commonly portrayed." -- The Washington Post

"Amazing...stunning." -- New York Post

"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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743277295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743277297
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David S. Rhodes on September 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
'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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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