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Dead Certain

The Presidency of George W. Bush

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Paperback published by Free Press (Free Press)

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About This Book
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 an embattled administration.Virtually every page of this book crackles with scenes, anecdotes, and dialogue based on access to every principal actor in the Bush administration, including six newsmaking interviews with the president himself.
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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 an embattled administration.Virtually every page of this book crackles with scenes, anecdotes, and dialogue based on access to every principal actor in the Bush administration, including six newsmaking interviews with the president himself.
Product Details
Paperback (480 pages)
Published: March 25, 2008
Publisher: Free Press
Imprint: Free Press
ISBN: 9780743277297
Other books byRobert Draper
  • Do Not Ask What Good We Do

    Do Not Ask What Good We Do
    Inside the U.S. House of Representatives
    The U.S. House of Representatives—a large, often unruly body of men and women elected every other year from 435 distinct microcosms of America—has achieved renown as “the people’s House,” the world’s most democratic institution, and an acute Rorschach of biennial public passions. In the midterm election year 2010, recession-battered Americans expressed their discontent with a simultaneously overreaching and underperforming government by turning the formerly Democratically controlled House over to the Republicans. Among the new GOP majority were eighty-seven freshmen, many of them political novices with Tea Party backing who pledged a more open, responsive, and fiscally thrifty House. What the 112th Congress instead achieved was a public standing so low—a ghastly 9 percent approval rating— that, as its longest-serving member, John Dingell, would dryly remark, “I think pedophiles would do better.” What happened? Robert Draper explores this question just as he examined the Bush White House in his 2007 New York Times bestselling book Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush—by burrowing deeply inside the subject, gaining cooperation of the major players, and producing a colorful, unsparingly detailed, but evenhanded narrative of how the House of Representatives became a house of ill repute. Draper’s cast of characters spans the full spectrum of political experience and ideologies—from the Democrat Dingell, a congressman since 1955 (though elbowed out of power by the party’s House leader, Nancy Pelosi), to Allen West, a black Republican Tea Party sensation, former Army lieutenant colonel, and political neophyte with a talent for equal opportunity offending. While unspooling the boisterous, at times tragic, and ultimately infuriating story of the 112th Congress, Draper provides unforgettable portraits of Gabrielle Giffords, the earnest young Arizona congresswoman who was gunned down by a madman at the beginning of the legislative session; Anthony Weiner, the Democrats’ clown prince and self-made media star until the New Yorker self-immolated in a sex scandal; the strong-willed Pelosi and her beleaguered if phlegmatic Republican counterpart, House Speaker John Boehner; the affable majority whip, Kevin McCarthy, tasked with instilling team spirit in the iconoclastic freshmen; and most of all, the previously unknown new members who succeeded in shoving Boehner’s Republican Conference to the far right and thereby bringing the nation, more than once, to the brink of governmental shutdown or economic default. In this lively work of political narrative, Draper synthesizes some of the most talked-about breaking news of the day with the real story of what happened behind the scenes. This book is a timely and masterfully told parable of dysfunction that may well serve as Exhibit A of how Americans lost faith in their democratic institutions. *** “Congress will rise June 1st, as most of us expect. Rejoice when that event is ascertained. If we should finish and leave the world right side up, it will be happy. Do not ask what good we do: that is not a fair question, in these days of faction.” —Congressman Fisher Ames, May 30, 1796 In Do Not Ask What Good We Do, Robert Draper captures the prophetic sentiment uttered by Fisher Ames over two centuries ago. As he did in writing about President George W. Bush in Dead Certain, Draper provides an insider’s book like no one else can—this time, inside the U.S. House of Representatives. Because of the bitterly divided political atmosphere we live in, because of the combative nature of this Congress, this literary window on the backstage machinations of the House is both captivating and timely—revealing the House in full, from the process of how laws are made (and in this case, not made) to the most eye-popping cast of lawmakers Washington has ever seen.

    Hadrian's Walls

    Hadrian's Walls
    This striking debut novel is an intensely powerful story of imprisonment, both behind walls and within the personal confines of human relationships. Shepherdsville, East Texas, is a town defined--architecturally, financially, and socially--by its state penitentiaries, among them the bleak Hope Prison Farm. It's a town where virtually every inhabitant is either an inmate or a prison employee, a town where crime literally pays. Shepherdsville's two most famous citizens are Sonny Hope, its larger-than-life prison director, and Hadrian Coleman, its most notorious convict. Their friendship since boyhood has followed a pattern of mutual dependence, keeping them at once in collusion and on opposite sides of the law. At age fifteen, introspective and emotionally vulnerable, Hadrian killed a man and was sentenced to fifty years at Hope Farm. However, twenty years later, he achieves the unthinkable and escapes from the prison. After years of life on the run, he's summoned back to Shepherdsville to receive a full governor's pardon secured by Sonny, who now runs the prison and, by extension, the town. Hadrian knows that Sonny's motives are not entirely clean, that this is a favor that will require something in return. When the nature of that payment is finally made clear, he must determine who really owes what to whom and whether carrying out Sonny's demand will result in a lifetime spent in his power. As Hadrian vacillates between loyalty to his friend and the struggle to do right, he is pulled toward a final showdown with Sonny--a crisis that will not only change the lives of the two men but also finally free Hadrian from Shepherdsville and from his past. Hadrian's Walls won the Steven Turner Award, given by The Texas Institute of Letters for the best first work of fiction.

    Splendor in the Short Grass

    Splendor in the Short Grass
    The Grover Lewis Reader
    "Grover was, after all, the most stone wonderful writer that nobody ever heard of....His job was to hammer the detritus of fugitive cultural encounters into elegant sentences, lapidary paragraphs, and knowable truth; and, in truth, the loveliness and lucidity of Grover's writing always rose to the triviality of the occasion." —Dave Hickey, from the foreword Grover Lewis was one of the defining voices of the New Journalism of the 1960s and 1970s. His wry, acutely observed, fluently written essays forRolling Stoneand theVillage Voiceset a standard for other writers of the time, including Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Eszterhas, Timothy Ferris, Chet Flippo, and Tim Cahill, who said of Lewis, "He was the best of us." Pioneering the "on location" reportage that has become a fixture of features about moviemaking and live music, Lewis cut through the celebrity hype and captured the real spirit of the counterculture, including its artificiality and surprising banality. Even today, his articles on Woody Guthrie, the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont, directors Sam Peckinpah and John Huston, and the filming ofThe Last Picture ShowandOne Flew over the Cuckoo's Nestremain some of the finest writing ever done on popular culture. To introduce Grover Lewis to a new generation of readers and collect his best work under one cover, this anthology contains articles he wrote forRolling Stone,Village Voice,Playboy,Texas Monthly, andNew West, as well as excerpts from his unfinished novelThe Code of the Westand his incomplete memoirGoodbye If You Call That Goneand poems from the volumeI'll Be There in the Morning If I Live. Jan Reid and W. K. Stratton have selected and arranged the material around themes that preoccupied Lewis throughout his life—movies, music, and loss. The editors' biographical introduction, the foreword by Dave Hickey, and a remembrance by Robert Draper discuss how Lewis's early struggles to escape his working-class, anti-intellectual Texas roots for the world of ideas in books and movies made him a natural proponent of the counterculture that he chronicled so brilliantly. They also pay tribute to Lewis's groundbreaking talent as a stylist, whose unique voice deserves to be more widely known by today's readers.

    Turn Out the Lights

    Turn Out the Lights
    Chronicles of Texas During the 80s and 90s

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