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Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put it in the White House & What Their Influence Means for America

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  700 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
The long-hidden story of a family we thought we knew—and of a power-making apparatus that we have barely begun to comprehend.

After eight disastrous years, George W. Bush leaves office as one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Russ Baker asks the question that lingers even as this benighted administration winds down: Who really wanted this man at the hel
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Bloomsbury Press
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Cries from the Deep by Anthony HulseOperation Paperclip by Annie   JacobsenThe Virus by Janelle DillerAngels Fallen by Francis SmithGhost Wars by Steve Coll
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52nd out of 141 books — 84 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,522)
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Jan 18, 2011 Tiki rated it it was amazing
Read this and weep for all the disinformation we bought into over the years. You will never look at these megalomaniacs in the same way again-nor defining events like the Kennedy Assassination, Watergate or the Iraq invasion/occupation. Think of a goal of a gov't to further right wing ideology and reward loyal supporters/cronies at the expense of taxpayers and you get an idea how the reign of Cheney/Bush did everything in its immense power to curtail basic rights - sort of like a Russian Politbu ...more
Andrew Hogue
Aug 20, 2012 Andrew Hogue rated it liked it
In November 2000, I was a college senior, had just finished a bot of homemade chilli and were enjoying the company of my best friends as we watched the election returns come in. Like others of our countrymen, we celebrated when the projections pitched toward Gore as the victor. Then we settled in for the long nightmare that continued throughout the recount and the Supreme Court selection. My heart began to beat differently in December of 2000, instead of "I LOVE AMERICA!" it began to be "Oh No A ...more
Jun 02, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, biography
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2009 Bill rated it it was amazing
No matter what your political views might be, you will find this book a fascinating read. It is well-researched and links together a lot of data to weave an amazing story of the many forces that played a role in bringing both Bush 41 and Bush 43 to power. There are also some amazing stories about how George Bush, Sr. played a surprising role in some significant historical events long before he became President.
Nov 13, 2009 Gerald rated it it was amazing
You don't want to know this, but you should.
Pete daPixie
Dec 15, 2013 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it
A veritable five hundred pages of astounding and profound investigative journalism. 'Family of Secrets' contains an avalanche of facts, with astute and incisive probes into the miasmic political dynasty of the house of Bush.
At the recent JFL Lancer conference in Dallas, that covered days of very many interesting speakers, Russ Baker's presentation that featured just some of his findings in this book, stood out as one of the highlights.
Any publication with a sub-title that purports to reveal reve
Due out in Jan. 2009.

BuzzFlash review:
“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
Apr 22, 2009 Sonic rated it really liked it
I cannot remember his exact words, but in the conclusion of this most excellent book Russ Baker states that the boundaries of acceptable thought are staked out and fiercely defended. This seems especially true in the case of History. An obvious example I would raise would be the perspective on Abe Lincoln. It was only very recently that an historian gave voice to evidence that Ol' Abe himself was initially something of a racist and only later with the help of Frederick Douglas came to see that s ...more
Sep 25, 2010 Richard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, history
I completed this extended read of three generations of Bushes. Most of what I read, I lived thru via the newspapers and magazines of the times. It all made perfect sense and what scared me so intently was that I grew up with people just like the Bushes. I didn't like those with selfish motivations and greedy patterns of behavior then and I don't like them now. The people that I knew, have all burned themselves with cocaine or other drug or have gone to jail for crimes involving large amounts of ...more
Dec 31, 2011 Lonnie rated it it was amazing
Well resereached and documented book about ourgovernment. Some of it will make you angry, shocked, and in some cases just plain disgusted. A lot of info about the Kennedy Assasination that i wasn't expecting to read about. The author does some detective work on his own as there are a lot of missing pieces to stories. Reads very fast, and hard to put down.
May 21, 2016 Don rated it really liked it
Russ Baker has written a superbly researched, meticulous, comprehensive book that exposes the reach of the tentacles of the Bush family. Be forewarned, this is a very disturbing book that will oftentimes infuriate you, as you learn of the blatant manipulation of power that is the legacy of Prescott, George H.W. and George W. Bush.

At approximately six hundred pages, with a very large cast of characters, this book is not for the casual reader. I took notes as I read this book, given the wealth of
Charles Garard
May 02, 2016 Charles Garard rated it it was amazing
When I read Russ Baker's book FAMILY OF SECRETS and Roger Stone and Saint John Hunt's book JEB! AND THE BUSH CRIME FAMILY immediately following it (before I decided to tackle this review), I remembered how as a kid growing up with 1950s movies I naively believed that the good guys (at least one of them) defeated evil and the bad guys, even organized crime, were defeated. Sometimes the good guy died also, but it was always a noble sacrifice for the honest government and the innocent, honest peopl ...more
Jan 04, 2013 Jo rated it it was amazing
Author has done extensive research into the Bush dynasty and the results are scary. Think you know how political leaders think and act, think again. Yes, it really is all about money and power for father and son (and grandfather).
Jan 04, 2011 Graham added it
reaqd the first 3 chapters and im loving this book. will make you wanna go strangle people however
Oct 08, 2013 Jake rated it really liked it
This should be an eye-opener for anyone who has believed that anyone in the Bush political dynasty has anything other than their own personal gain at heart. Of course, I never believed that, but there was some information in this book that I had never heard before, such as George H.W. Bush's possible involvement in the Watergate scandal. Baker's information and documentation are solid, and he doesn't resort to partisan pandering, or conspiracy promoting, but presents an even-handed view of 60+ y ...more
Mar 29, 2009 Drkazmd65 rated it really liked it
I love (but rarely truly buy into) a good conspiracy theory. However, Mr. Baker puts a lot of information together, from a lot of sources and personal interviews. Some of this (OK, most of this) I had heard in one form or another from other books I have read by Kevin Phillips, Molly Ivins (RIP Molly), and scattered about when I used to listen to AirAmerica Radio more.

The book begins by reviewing some of the history of the Bush family, beginning with GW's Grandpa Prescott Bush, and the Walker fa
Buck Jones
Oct 13, 2012 Buck Jones rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is amazing. Amazingly long, yes. But I read it on my Kindle off and on over the course of a month, and learned so much about the two Bush presidencies, and the two men. More importantly, I learned about the men behind the Bushes. I am someone who has already been following politics for over twenty, even thirty years, and have myriad background histories on the two Bushes. From their early day in central Texas all the way to the White House - but this history by Russ Baker is simpl ...more
Chuc Laventure
Apr 24, 2010 Chuc Laventure added it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Chuc by: Truthout
Quite frightening for anyone who cares about his/her country and its concepts of freedom and liberty. The Bush Family should be feared for their covetousness, greed and avarice but most especially for their belief that we are all here to provide them with the opportunity to redistribute our income to their bank accounts and those of their friends while reshaping the tax to ensure that our tax dollars pay for the infrastructure that their many companies need to provide us with the goods and servi ...more
Vannessa Anderson

Family of Secrets is an expose of the Bush family dynasty, American's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the last fifty years.

Family of Secrets is a book that the Bush family hope you won't read.

The author writes: “The reason the Bushes are relevant today, even with W.'s exit from the national stage, is that the family and its colleagues and associates represent an elite that has long succeeded in subverting our democratic institutions to their own ends. And they will continue to

Maxine McDonald
Feb 10, 2011 Maxine McDonald rated it really liked it
A long and difficult read with lots of footnotes but grabbed my attention, as I learned so very much about the way the media tends to cover up stories in the government and how the CIA worked to change governments all over the world by stimulating revolt. and setting up assasinations. After reading this I no longer look at our government the same way, nor trust it. And I'm especially disgusted by the Bush family and their set-ups with the oil magnates and criminal banks around the globe! I now w ...more
Morgan Plant
I gave up on this about 3/4s of the way through. Not because of the writing but the content. I just couldn't take any more. The strong and well oiled relationships of Bush family, the oil companies and the Saudis were well researched and presented. It continues to amaze me that "W" managed to get elected President, after being handed opportunity after opportunity to profit from the work or money and others, and now I fear we may have another Texan with limited intellectual powers to deal with.
Nov 16, 2010 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a great read esp if you lived and experienced politics in the last 4 decades. If you are a student of politics this book will connect so many dots for you. It is well researched and will correct all the falsehoods in George W's new book. The Bush family has been pulling strings and running wild under the radar for decades.
Feb 14, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An eye-opening investigation into the Bush family’s covert and insidious control of the American government, politics, and power over the last century. Terrifying in its findings of the behind-the-scenes duplicitous, self-serving, and destructive attack on American values and political system.
Jul 21, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing
Wow. The stuff that never made sense at the time, the suspicions you felt must be paranoid ... are confirmed in this intensely researched book. We sheeple have been herded for a long, long time ... and it's still going on.

I hope everyone reads this book. And then throws the bums out.
Dec 12, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
Excellent book. If this book isn't true there have been some amazing coincidences in in the last 30 years. If it is true both of the Bush presidents should be in prison. Everyone should read this book.
Jun 08, 2011 Don rated it it was amazing
Very well written and researched book. Should be read by everyone!

Never liked the Bush family. For the few to have much power over the many is a complete and utter travesty.

John Caris
Aug 04, 2009 John Caris rated it it was amazing
Cogent investigation into the Bush family place in the American elite and fascination presentation of their methods for achieving and maintaining power.
Nov 23, 2010 Andy rated it really liked it
Good read for a background on all the evil shit the Bush family has been wrapped around since before the Kennedy assassination.
Nov 30, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it
And he doesn't even get into Prescott Bush, the American Liberty League, or Brown Brothers Harriman.
Malcolm Frawley
May 30, 2015 Malcolm Frawley rated it liked it
George W. Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth & spent the rest of his life with his foot in there. In spite of the outrageous favours (financial & otherwise) he enjoyed throughout his life he failed at virtually everything he did, yet acquired staggering amounts of wealth & power & eventually lied his way into the White House. While installed there he brought his country to its knees by simultaneously awarding tax cuts to the rich & invading 2 separate countries &a ...more
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Was George HW Bush really the behind the scenes operator described here? 2 18 Jul 08, 2012 09:11AM  
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Russ Baker is an award-winning investigative reporter with a track record for making sense of complex and little understood matters. He has written for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the Nation, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, Esquire, and served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. Baker received a 2005 Deadline Club award for his exclusive reporti ...more
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