The Bush Family: Four Generations of History in Photographs

James Spada, Author St. Martin's Press $25.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-312-33514-4
Right on time for the Republican National Convention, Spada (Ronald Reagan: His Life in Pictures) presents this pictorial biography in five parts, which illustrates the private and political life of our current president and his family--including, as the St. Martin's press chat puts it, his""attractive coed twins."" Spada, who has produced similar tomes on Jackie Onassis and JFK, Jr., and Caroline Bessette Kennedy, takes an almost happy-go-lucky approach in showing Bushes 41 and 43 with Barbara, Laura, Jeb and other various family members and companions, displaying the family on tennis courts, catwalks and vacations that vary from the ranch to Russia. Of the over 300 photographs, many are candids (and a few seem to have sources in the family itself). Though Spada doesn't quite veer into celebrity tabloid territory, he produces a consumptive propulsion similar to Access Hollywood, as the Bush family's personal life unfolds in front of a consistently irreverent camera. In the captions, Spada combines frankness (W.'s alcoholism and reputation for verbal mishaps) with affirmation and historical context. The whole feels well-researched and chosen, describing the progress of the family, whose members include what Spada calls""Lone Star Yankees.""
Reviewed on: 08/01/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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