Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put it in the White House & What Their Influence Means for America” as Want to Read:
Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put it in the White House & What Their Influence Means for America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  870 Ratings  ·  105 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, 512 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Bloomsbury US
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 Family of Secrets, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Family of Secrets

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Andrew Hogue
Aug 14, 2012 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
Jan 18, 2011 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
Pete daPixie
Nov 24, 2013 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
Aug 26, 2009 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 rated it it was amazing
You don't want to know this, but you should.
Apr 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, politics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 20, 2009 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
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, crime
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
May 30, 2011 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.
Jan 04, 2009 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
Sep 09, 2012 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
Nov 20, 2009 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
Sep 17, 2012 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).
Nov 10, 2010 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.
Jan 04, 2011 added it
reaqd the first 3 chapters and im loving this book. will make you wanna go strangle people however
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
And he doesn't even get into Prescott Bush, the American Liberty League, or Brown Brothers Harriman.
Jun 08, 2011 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.

C. Scott
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Where were you when you heard President Kennedy was assassinated?" For the generation of Americans that were alive and aware at the time this question has become a cliche. Everybody remembers what they were doing when they heard about the biggest news story of the decade. Everybody, that is, except former president George H.W. Bush. When a Japanese film crew innocently asked Bush that question in the late 1980s he improbably answered that he couldn't remember. It turns out that Bush was in Dall ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Started out strong, and was a good continuation after reading "Devil's Chessboard". The second half of the book spent way to much time on W.'s National Guard service. It was pretty interesting reading this during our current presidential environment, as some of the "crimes" outlined seem to pretty mild compared to what we are seeing now.

Just like in real life, George H. (which is the first half of the book) was much more interesting than George W.
Charles Garard
Apr 05, 2016 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
Oct 01, 2013 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
May 21, 2016 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
Malcolm Frawley
May 13, 2015 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
Michael  Gajda
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A well-written, well-researched masterpiece of investigative journalism/political and social history.
If you want to know who controls and manipulates the workings of government (and how its done) along with its propaganda machine which includes a complacent and complicit mainstream media, the military industry and its intelligence networks which plot together to exploit not only the political and financial system but the world's fragile resources...then read this book.
Those who are in charge a
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 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 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.
Jul 04, 2012 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Was George HW Bush really the behind the scenes operator described here? 2 20 Jul 08, 2012 09:11AM  
  • Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
  • The Secret Team: The CIA & its Allies in Control of the United States & the World
  • JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
  • The Last Investigation
  • LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination
  • The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America
  • Dr. Mary's Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics
  • The Kennedy Conspiracy
  • The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government
  • Proofs of a Conspiracy
  • Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination
  • Wilderness of Mirrors: Intrigue, Deception, and the Secrets that Destroyed Two of the Cold War's Most Important Agents
  • A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments
  • Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
  • Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald
  • The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia
  • Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK, A ballistics expert's astonishing discovery of the fatal bullet that Oswald did not fire
  • Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace
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
More about Russ Baker

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
    $12.74 $2.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival
    $8.49 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
    $13.99 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God: A
    $11.49 $2.99