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  1 Grace & Steel: Dorothy, Barbara, Laura, and the Women of the Bush Dynasty
Author: Taraborrelli, J. Randy
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Class: 920
Age: Adult
Language: English
Demand: Hot
LC: E883.B87

Print Run: 150000
ISBN-13: 9781250248718
LCCN: 2020040968
Imprint: St. Martin's Press
Pub Date: 03/02/2021
Availability: Available
List: $29.99
Physical Description: xii, 546 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm H 9.5", W 6.47", D 1.78", 1.73 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Blockbuster List
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Adult
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles
Starred Reviews:
TIPS Subjects: Political Science
Women's Studies
Family Life
Biography, Collective
BISAC Subjects: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State
LC Subjects: Bush family
Bush, Barbara,, 1925-2018
Bush, George W., (George Walker),, 1946-, Family
Bush, George,, 1924-2018, Family
Bush, Laura Welch,, 1946-
Children of presidents, United States, Biography
Politicians' spouses, United States, Biography
Presidents' spouses, United States, Biography
Presidents, United States, Family, Biography
United States, Politics and government, 1945-1989
United States, Politics and government, 1989-
SEARS Subjects: Women, Biography
Reading Programs:
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles | 12/01/2020
Publisher Annotation: Bestselling author J. Randy Taraborrelli reveals the unsung heroines of the inimitable Bush family dynasty: not only First Ladies Barbara and Laura, but other colorful women whose stories have been left out of history for far too long, including Barbara’s mother-in-law, the formidable Dorothy Bush; the enigmatic Columba and the controversial Sharon; and Laura’s twins, Jenna and Barbara. No matter the challenges related to power and politics, the women of the Bush dynasty always fought for equality in their marriages as they raised their children to be true to American values. In doing so, they inspired everyday Americans to do the same. Or, as Barbara Bush put it, “The future of this nation does not depend on what happens in the White House, but what happens in your house.” 560pp., 150K
Journal Reviews
Kirkus Reviews | 02/01/2021
A glossy dissection of the women members of a family that has loomed large over decades of U.S politics. Taraborrelli, the author of glitzy celebrity bios of the Kennedys, the Hiltons, Marilyn Monroe, and Beyonce, has his work cut out for him in finding intrigue in the Bush story-this isn't Camelot territory-but he digs deep and locates plenty of interesting details. Early on, the author explores the psychic consequences of Barbara Bush's growing up under the oversight of a clinically depressed, critical mother. He shows a particular fondness for the older George's wealthy, spirited mother, Dorothy, or Dotty, "the most misunderstood of the Bush women" and "a feminist before the word was coined." The author is ambivalent about the "more conventional" Barbara: He admires her ability to recover from a depression, triggered in part by the loss of a child, that lasted for decades but annoyed by her apparent willingness to tolerate her husband's alleged decadeslong affair with another woman. Taraborrelli has a soft spot for Laura Bush, whose life was shaped by a tough childhood in rural Texas and a tragic incident during her teen years, when the car she was driving caused the death of a classmate. While the focus of the book is on these three women, the author also branches out to other women more tangentially connected to power and, inevitably, the political lives of the men they married. As in previous books, Taraborrelli doesn't shy from cliches-e.g., "verdant lawn" and "strong as an ox" appear on a single page. Writing in dozens of brief, punchy chapters and making good use of ample research, including many interviews with those who worked in the households of the various branches of the family, the author assembles a colorful mosaic of lives that didn't always fit comfortably together. Taraborrelli gives the Bushes the royal treatment. 560pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2021.
Library Journal | 01/08/2021
Bestselling celebrity biography Taraborrelli, author of books such as Jackie, Janet & Lee and The Hiltons, here focuses on the lives of First Ladies Barbara (1925-2018) and Laura (b. 1946), as well as Barbara's mother-in-law Dorothy Walker Bush (1901-92). Taraborrelli engagingly presents the background and stories of these three women, reporting both the public triumphs and private failures each faced and overcame. In their roles as marriage partners and chief political boosters, Dorothy, Barbara, and Laura Bush, each of whom also experienced personal tragedy, public embarrassment, marital problems, financial downturns, and sometimes debilitating bouts of depression, still graciously and stalwartly bolstered sometimes-errant sons and husbands through a series of public service careers. The author also explores the lives of lesser-known women, including Sharon, former wife of Neil Bush as well as Columba, wife of Jeb Bush. But Taraborrelli focuses primarily on Laura's life before and during her time as First Lady, and her sometimes difficult relationship with mother-in-law Barbara. Using public records, memoirs, interviews, and secondhand sources, the author portrays the women of the Bush family as far more interesting, and occasionally more ambitious, than the men. VERDICT Similar to Taraborrelli's other books, this is a gossipy read for those who enjoy biography. Linda Frederiksen, formerly with Washington State Univ. Lib., Vancouver. 560p. Library Journal Web Exclusive. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2021.
Publishers Weekly | 01/25/2021
Biographer Taraborrelli (The Kennedy Heirs) delivers a detailed and largely flattering group portrait of the Bush family matriarchs. Dorothy Wear Walker Bush (1901-1922), the wife of senator Prescott Bush and mother of George H.W. Bush, became famous in her own right as a syndicated newspaper columnist. According to Taraborelli, George H.W. Bush's political success can be credited in large part to the unwavering support of his wife, Barbara Bush (nee Pierce; 1925-2018), who suffered from lifelong depression, the loss of a child to leukemia at age three, and insecurities about her appearance, yet became one of the most beloved first ladies thanks to her literacy initiatives and "grandmotherly quality." Though Barbara wasn't the easiest mother-in-law to warm up to, according to Taraborelli, she helped her daughter-in-law, Laura Bush (nee Welch), wife of George W. Bush, to find her footing as first lady and become an active advisor in her husband's presidency. Taraborrelli's breathless prose ("Barbara was nothing if not a real patriot; some might even call her an American icon") occasionally mars his deep research and fluid pacing. Still, this is a unique and colorful look at one of America's most powerful political families. (Mar.). 560p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2021.