Laura Bush, Ronald Kessler
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Laura Bush
An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady

Narrator: Laura Turner

Abridged: 6 hr 1 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download (DRM Protected)

Published: 04/04/2006


When Laura Bush moved into the White House on January 20, 2001, everyone wanted to know what kind of first lady she would be. Would she be like Mamie Eisenhower? Would she follow in Barbara Bush’s footsteps? Would she be another Hillary Clinton?

“I think I’ll just be Laura Bush,” she would say.

On Saturday, April 30, 2005, the world got a glimpse of what that meant when she pushed aside the leader of the free world and stole the show at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Wearing a shimmering lime green Oscar de la Renta gown, Laura wisecracked that she was a “desperate housewife” married to a president who was always asleep at nine.

Replayed constantly on the air, the stand-up routine with its impeccable comedic timing turned the first lady into a glittering star. But while the performance catapulted her to new status, it did not answer the question of who this former teacher and librarian really is and just what role she plays in influencing her husband and shaping his administration. The Bushes are more effective than the FBI or CIA at keeping secret what goes on behind the scenes at the White House, the ranch, or Camp David.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler draws back that curtain in the first biography of Laura Bush to be written with White House cooperation. Based on interviews with her closest friends and confidantes from childhood to the present, as well as family members and administration heavyweights like Condoleezza Rice and Andrew Card, Kessler paints a portrait of a woman who, even as she ascended to the heights of political fortune and power, never lost touch with the bedrock American values she absorbed in her youth.

In this unprecedented account, Kessler reveals:

How Laura’s opinions have brought budget changes to a range of federal agencies and have affected her husband’s policies, appointments, and worldview.
Why Laura told her press secretary in May 2001 she did not want to do any more media interviews.
What President Bush said to Laura at the dinner table after giving the “go” for the invasion of Iraq, and what his father, former President George H. W. Bush, wrote him the next day about the war.
What Laura’s own political opinions are and what her relationship with twin daughters Jenna and Barbara is really like.
What Laura says in private about Hillary Clinton, media attacks on her husband, and his victory in the 2004 election.
And why Laura, at the age of seventeen, missed a stop sign and caused a fatal accident that tragically left one of her best friends dead.

LAURA BUSH offers a remarkable look at the private world of this famously reserved woman, as well as the beliefs and attitudes that shape it. The book will surprise readers whose knowledge of the first lady comes from cautious media interviews and speeches.

Laura Bush’s approval rating stands at 85 percent. Since opinion polls first began asking about them, no first lady has received a higher rating. This moving biography is the first to penetrate the secret world of the president’s stealth counselor who is one of our most admired public figures.


AudiobooksNow review by Carolyn on 2009-01-11 20:02:56

George W Bush will go down in history as one of the nation's least popular Presidents. His wife Laura will not suffer the same critical opinion and may be in fact one of the most well liked First Ladies on history. She grew up in Midland Texas in a world that was fairly innocent and 1950s sitcom perfect. She was a quiet girl but well liked and developed a love of books and rreading, , music and art that has been a pet interest as an adudlt and as First Lady of which I admire her anad share with her. It is amazing she ever fell for GWB with him being such an opposite of her in personality, yet opposites do attract and their marriage seems solid even to this day. Kessler's book is a glgowing account of the First lady's life and the life of the Bush family. He used accounts from media publications as well as personal interviews with friends of the Bush family to tell the 'truth of the story. While I think the book was more than fair to Mrs bush I think some of the friends' recollections might be skewed to make the Bush clan appear almsot saintly. I didn't appreciate the incidents of Clinton bashing which is the main reasaon I didn't n rank the book higher. I didn't think it had a place in the book and marred what I feel is a pretty good portrait of Mrs Bush.