Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of G.W.Bush

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9780066213712: Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of G.W.Bush

The unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush.

As the principal New York Times reporter assigned to cover George W. Bush's presidential campaign from its earliest stages – and then as a White House correspondent – Frank Bruni has spent as much time around Bush over the last two years as any other reporter.

In Ambling Into History, Bruni paints the most thorough, balanced, eloquent and lively portrait yet of a man in many ways ill–suited to the office he sought and won, focusing on small moments that often escaped the news media's notice. From the author's initial introduction to Bush through a nutty election night and Bush's first months in office, Bruni captures the president's familiar and less familiar oddities and takes readers on an often funny, usually irreverent, journey into the strange, closed universe – or bubble – of campaign life.

The result is an original take on the political process and a detailed study of George W. Bush as most people have never seen him.

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Review:

Frank Bruni, a New York Times reporter, has, in Ambling into History, drawn an informal, even-handed, largely anecdotal and revealing portrait of George W Bush, whose presidential campaign he covered. Bruni initially describes Bush as "part scamp and part bumbler", but his respect grows, and he finds that, with the September 11, 2001, bombings, Bush "inherited his true purpose", thereby spurring his emergence as a leader. Bruni is not especially concerned with Bush's political philosophy, preferring instead to relate many "small moments" to show what Bush "looked and acted like on the edges of what was usually considered news". Bruni is at his best when describing--often humorously--the exhausting life of the media corps during a campaign: the 24-hour days, the harrowing deadlines, and the brutish tedium of listening to and reporting on the same speech over and over again, a process he likens to "aerobic stenography". An equal-opportunity cynic, Bruni decries the "superficiality" not only of American politics but the media's coverage of it. This is an amiable and seemingly trustworthy peek behind the presidential rhetoric. -- H O'Billovich, Amazon.com

Review:

“One of the few insider accounts ... [to] reveal the immense impact the process ... has on shaping ... public officials.” (Kirkus Review)

“These insights are surprising and instructional.” (Publishers Weekly)

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