jamiebowen0306 (jamiebowen0306) wrote,

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I finished "My Father, My President" by Doro Koch Bush

One of my biggest grumbles with biographies is that I sometimes suspect that they aren't written with the reader in mind. The author does a lot of research, and almost seems to think "This book isn't the easiest read, but feel the weight" as he writes it.

There is no such problem with this book about George Bush Sr, which is written by his sole surviving daughter. She's clearly done some research, and has the advantage of having unprecedented access to a president and his private papers and diaries. She weaves this research into a chit-chatty, gossipy style book about Bush 41, and ensured that he his presented in a favorable light.

The book irritated me though for a number of reasons. Firstly, she doesn't really tell us anything anyone with an interest in politics probably didn't already know. This is a shame given the access she had. Secondly, skims over his early life and the period leading up to the end of the Vice-Presidency very quickly. In a 520 page book, all of that is dispensed with inside 200 pages. Thirdly, she shied away from the difficult questions. Iran-Contra is barely covered for example. I know it might be difficult to challenge your dad about certain things, but I think people have a right to know what he knew and when he knew it. Finally it's almost too chatty. I've never read a women's magazine, but part of me suspects that this is the sort of book that an author might write if it was aimed at readers of those sorts of magazine.

So all in all, I feel a little let down. she had all this access and didn't do a whole lot with it.

I know I shouldn't complain, I bitch when there's too much research and now I'm complaining when there's too little. It's just it's so conversational and chatty, that I feel almost dirty (or a traitor) for reading it.
Tags: book, review

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