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Ambling Into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In many ways George W. Bush did not seem built for the presidency or the paces necessary to win it. He was a laid-back good-time guy with little appetite and limited talent for formal oratory, someone who often projected affability more easily than authority. He was a homebody who seemed to prefer surroundings and situations that were utterly familiar to those that were ri ...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published March 5th 2002 by Harper
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Angie
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it kind of reminded me of legally blonde... the male version
Colleen
This was difficult for me to read. But, I appreciate some of what it said. It was an admission by a journalist who wanted to say that he and so many others in his profession gave breaks to a man that they grew to like personally.

The serious impact of these media breaks are something that I find difficult to forgive. Despite the grueling schedule of the journalist on the road with a presidential candidate, the bottom line is that it is their job to be objective.

Joseph
I decided to read this book on a whim. I am (or perhaps was) sorta lukewarm on Frank Bruni as a New York Times op-ed columnist, but I saw this book referred to in another piece and thought, hmmmm, I should give it a try. I was fully prepared not to like it. Basically, Bruni was part of the press corps assigned to the first Bush campaign in 2000. In this capacity he followed Bush on the campaign trail even to the extent of being allowed to fly with then Governor Bush as he travelled across the co ...more
Reuben Herfindahl
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the strangest political books I've ever read.

The title is just plain wrong, it's basically a book about how it was like to cover a Presidential campaign, but still sorta focusing on the candidate.

The takeaway is that Bush was kinda goofy and trying to be liked. The awkward guy that makes too many jokes.

There is zero politics here, just a prolonged impression of Bush as a person, and the madness of day in day out campaigning.

If I'd read this a decade an a half ago, I'd have been angry abou
...more
Renee Reynolds
Although I enjoyed Frank Bruni's up-close journalistic dive into the successful presidential campaign of George W. Bush, I was surprised at the lack of space given to the Florida recount and protracted election results. Having lived abroad during that period of time, I was hoping that this book would describe what it was like during those historical days of waiting to know who was President. Sadly, at least for historical record, Bruni spent much more time poking fun at Bush's well-known malapro ...more
Joseph J.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political and 20th. century history buffs
A colorful and insightful look at Presidential candidate George W. Bush...and his first days in office. Written by New York Times reporter Frank Bruni, the book is often entertaining and always though provoking.
Jerry Landry
For me, the title was a bit misleading. While there is a good deal of discussion of Bush during the campaign and the first year of his presidency, this book operates in conjunction with another focal point, namely personal revelations about life on the campaign trail for the press corps. That being said, it was an interesting look into Bruni's experiences covering Bush and his impressions of our 43rd president. If you're looking for a less scholarly, personal account of Bush's rise to the presid ...more
Phyllis
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up not so much because of an interest in G. W. Bush, but moreso because I've recently discovered Frank Bruni. He's an excellent writer, and in this book, recounts his time on the 2000 presidential campaign trail with then-candidate Bush. His insights and observations concerning Bush, Laura, and the extended family give one food for thought. His 'insider look' at how journalists behave during campaigns, particularly how they create controversy out of thin air just by being a horde o ...more
Maybama02 Carroll
Jul 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book whether you are or aren't a Bush fan. It is somewhat of a psycho-analysis of Bush from the perspective of a news reporter travelling with him on the campaign bus. There are plenty of Bushisms to laugh at, sincere moments, and many moments where Bush surprises everyone. Its somewhat of a side-note to the Bush we see on television.... ...more
Shawna
An interesting book. Informative with regard to the presidential campaign process and specifically Bush's campaign. Bush is not the most knowledgeable man, but he appears to be aware of his limitations. He comes across as a sincere Christian, concerned with doing what is right. ...more
Brian Stillman
One of the most even handed accounts of Bush I've read. Think I read this one during the lead up to the '04 elections. ...more
Cynthia
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I really enjoyed this intimate and honest look into the life and personality of our former governor and president.
Bonnie
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and informative. I enjoyed it.
Maris
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is pretty good - a look at George Bush thru the eyes of a reporter assigned to his press corps. Did not complete it, but Bruni does not paint Bush in a very flattering light. Duh!
Gillian
This was a fantastic read. I loved it. It should rival Game Change!
Miriam
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not a fan of George W. Bush and his presidency. This book did not change my mind but it did bring former President Bush into focus as a human being. Well worth reading.
Beverly
May 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, politics
This was ok. It revealed Bush's weaknesses as a campaigner and his strengths as a person. I didn't finish it because I got tired of Bruni's narrative about being on the campaign press detail. ...more
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Frank Bruni was named restaurant critic for The New York Times in April 2004.

Before that, Mr. Bruni had been the Rome bureau chief from July 2002 until March 2004, a post he took after working as a reporter in the Washington D.C. bureau from December 1998 until May 2002. While in Washington, he was among the journalists assigned to Capitol Hill and Congress until August 1999, when he was assigned
...more

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