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About the Author

Jean Edward Smith was a member of the faculty at the University of Toronto for thirty-five years, and at Marshall University for twelve. He has also been a visiting scholar at Columbia, Princeton, and Georgetown. In addition to Bush, he is the author of Eisenhower in War and Peace; FDR, winner of the 2008 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians; Grant, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist; John Marshall: Definer of a Nation; and Lucius D. Clay: An American Life.


"Hard-hitting. . . . A shrewd, nuanced view of Bush. . . . Smith embeds this portrait in a lucid, highly readable narrative, balancing rich detail with clear delineation of the larger shape of policy through the chaos of politics. This is a superb recap and critical analysis of Bush's controversial administration." * Publishers Weekly * "A relentlessly hard-hitting assessment." * Kirkus Reviews * "'Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush'. . . . Having laid out that thesis in his opening pages, Bush goes on to comprehensively, meticulously and persuasively back up [Smith's] assertions." -- Dale Singer * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * "A compelling examination of George W. Bush's unlikely ascent to the White House and his calamitous administration of it. . . . A masterful retelling." -- Craig Offman * The Globe and Mail (Toronto) * "An excellent initial assessment of a presidency that began in controversy . . . and ended with the international and domestic failures that saddled Bush with the most sustained negative ratings of any modern president." -- Carl P. Leubsdorf * Dallas Morning News * "A well-rounded portrait of Bush as president. . . . Smith's account is necessary and valuable in this election year." -- Erik Spanberg * Christian Science Monitor * "Makes a voluminously detailed - and compelling - case that vindication is unlikely to come for the Bush administration anytime soon." -- Glenn C. Altschuler * The San Francisco Chronicle * "A thought-provoking book that anybody who wants to understand the opening years of this millennium must read." -- James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom "Pulls no punches. . . . A fair, comprehensive and highly readable account of a critical period that is sure to be reassessed by historians over the coming decades." -- Ray Harkavy * Associated Press * "Harsh though the book is, overall it is well-researched, well-written and convincing." -- Morton Kondracke * The Wall Street Journal * "A swift and damning judgment on the 43rd president. . . . Smith writes with a deft sweep and sense of history." -- Ray Locker * USA Today * "Anyone prone to romanticize the old GOP should take a bracing shot of Bush, a hefty biography of our 43rd president by the prolific and acclaimed biographer Jean Edward Smith. Written in sober, smooth, snark-free prose, with an air of thoughtful, detached authority, the book is nonetheless exceedingly damning in its judgments about George W. Bush's years in office. . . . Authoritative and trustworthy." -- David Greenberg * The Washington Post * "Smith is particularly good on the nuances of Bush's character. . . . [A] carefully researched portrait." -- David M. Shribman * The Boston Globe * "A comprehensive and compelling narrative." -- Peter Baker * The New York Times *

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