Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President” as Want to Read:
Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President

by
3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  219 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews


Upon winning the Governorship of Texas, Bush became known for a casual, friendly style, often
spontaneously visiting his fellow lawmakers in Austin. However, this single baby-boomer-style element of
his legacy is overshadowed by the results of "compassionate conservatism:" a ravaged environment,
growing disparity between rich and poor, Texas style cronyism, property tax re

...more
Paperback, 420 pages
Published December 12th 2002 by Soft Skull Press (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fortunate Son, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fortunate Son

The Horse's Mouth by Joyce CaryA Division of the Spoils by Paul ScottThe Day of the Scorpion by Paul ScottThe Best of Saki by SakiThe Towers of Silence by Paul Scott
REALLY Underrated Books (Fewer than 1,000 Ratings)
467th out of 2,988 books — 1,222 voters
Fast Food Nation by Eric SchlosserThe Family by Jeff SharletBeing and Homelessness by John H. SibleyC Street by Jeff SharletPerpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal
The Crisis in America
33rd out of 79 books — 27 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 373)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ryan
Jul 16, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who believe in a free press
Notable more for what happened to the author and the book at the time of publication than for anything actually contained within the book. For those that don't like Bush there is plenty of red meat, there is also a huge credibility gap with the author. I will say that it can't be worse than most of the political hatchet jobs that have come out since.

I worked in the industry at the time of publication and the Bush family used their connections to get it pulled from the shelves and destroyed, it
...more
matt
Feb 23, 2008 matt rated it liked it

Well done biography of W. Ironically, its not frothing at the mouth- not at all- and the Bush people ran him into the ground for what he wrote. I mean, all the way to the Ground.

Watch "Horns And Halos", a superb documentary, for the truth about this very sad and extremely disturbing chapter in W's political history.

The man is utter failure and incompetencery on stilts. I almost did'nt even write "incompetent" because doing so would put a bad name for us incompetents everywhere. Then, I figured,
...more
Ian
Jun 24, 2008 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book makes me all weepy-eyed and nostalgic: remember when we hated him because he was an incompetant cokehead instead of a Constitution-shredding, child-murdering maniac?
Ken
Jan 01, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it
I read this book because I recently saw the documentary, "Horns and Halos" which was more about the author, James Hatfield, and how the writing of this book had such a negative impact on his life. Before the film was released, he committed suicide supposedly due to harassment by the Bush family and Republican power-brokers. I was expecting the book to be a complete hatchet-job, but actually I have more respect for Bush after reading the book that I did before.
The book is well-written, fully docu
...more
John
Mar 30, 2008 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If America could have collectively read this book, we wouldn't be in the situation we are today. It is a complete documentation of George W. Bush's life BEFORE he ran for president - completely documented. The Bushies never disputed one fact in the book. Instead, they threatened large publishers who had any significant sort of distribution so that the book would not receive public attention. There is a good documentary the covers the trials the author went through to get the book published and d ...more
Londress
Dec 16, 2007 Londress rated it really liked it
Shelves: favos
Insightful as to why W. is such a failure. He has skated his way to the top and never had to earn anything.

In his earlier years, oil companies gave him positions of power solely because of his name. Every oil company that he lead, he drove into the ground only to be bailed out by daddies friends latter.

This book explains George W. Bushs' debts to industry and carefully itemizes them. The author was careful to check his facts.
Cwn_annwn_13
Dec 13, 2008 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it really liked it
This book caused a big controversey when it was released. Neo-cons said it was a smear job, but strangely enough mainstream type liberals didn't over do it with their enthusiasm and Bush bashing when this came out. The original publisher ended up balking at releasing it. The author was smeared, attacked and after a while turned up dead under very shady circumstances. Knowing what I know about the Bush families history I expected a lot more because after reading this I was shocked at how LITTLE d ...more
Iver
Sep 01, 2008 Iver rated it liked it
Honestly, I thought this book would be better. It wasn't the writing that I didn't like, but with all the hype that surrounded this book, I thought it would include some really ground-breaking stuff. It doesn't really.

A little bit of this history: The original publisher decided not to sell the book after they had printed a number of copies. They went to the extreme step of destroying the books that they had printed already. Then the author was found dead and was presumed to have committed suici
...more
Amber Arthur
Jul 01, 2008 Amber Arthur rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in Bush's dirty deeds before his acsension to the throne.
Wes let me borrow this book. It had so much detail. I did find it exhausting to read. The author had so much information to work with and provided tons of footnotes and information on the side.

Overall, I learned a lot but the writing didn't flow as well as it could have.

Given the circumstances of the author's death, I would suggest only minimally editing the book for an easier read. But preserve the writing as the author left it.

Kiof
May 24, 2011 Kiof rated it it was amazing
Sure, it's written a bit like a blog post and it's probably a tad skewed...but Fortunate Son is a must-read. It contains critical (as in necessary, but also in the other sense of the word)information about our former president. I really wouldn't be surprised if Hatfield was assassinated by Bush and Co. And this is coming from a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic.
George
Jan 01, 2009 George rated it liked it
Controversial look at George W. Bush's younger days and the allegatins of legal troubles covered up by his father. The author, Hatfield, commited suicide prior to the books publishing.
Jennifer Abdo
Feb 28, 2011 Jennifer Abdo rated it really liked it
There seems to be questions regarding the authorship (at least by one side of the aisle). Don't know whether it's justified or just spin by the masters, the Bush family. Revealing.
Treesh
Dec 15, 2009 Treesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gift from Donnie. Very interesting and a lot of information that makes me sad. Some bias but keep that in mind and its a lot of information I don't think it hurts to have.
Mosca
Apr 01, 2012 Mosca rated it liked it
This is an good expose of the entire Bush family, that clarifies many of the more corrupt and telling corners of its long history
Andy
Feb 27, 2011 Andy added it
looking back, I'm not sure how much of this was substantiated but that didn't stop me from loving this book as a youth
Samy
Sep 14, 2011 Samy rated it it was amazing
Very insightful read about GWs early years.
Timothy
Jun 05, 2009 Timothy rated it it was amazing
That my anger is righteous.
Kerry
Kerry added it
Jan 25, 2016
Dave Arsenault
Dave Arsenault rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2016
Sarah Graham
Sarah Graham marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2016
Thomasinkind
Thomasinkind rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2016
Heather Reeves
Heather Reeves rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2016
Gilbert Gordon
Gilbert Gordon rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2015
Indi John
Indi John marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2015
Lisa Bergstrom
Lisa Bergstrom rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2015
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor rated it liked it
Nov 08, 2015
Mcurty
Mcurty rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
3 Critical Principles Of which Keep Start-up Businesses By Failing 1 1 Jan 15, 2016 01:55AM  
  • American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
  • Into The Buzzsaw: LEADING JOURNALISTS EXPOSE THE MYTH OF A FREE PRESS
  • The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder
  • Bushworld
  • House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties
  • The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration & 9/11
  • Rickenbacker: An Autobiography
  • Drugs, Oil & War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia & Indochina
  • Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
  • Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare
  • Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA
  • Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe
  • Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America
  • The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
  • Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President
  • Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times
  • Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President
  • Jack: A Life Like No Other

Share This Book