Ms. Kelley takes us back to the origins of the family fortune in the Ohio steel industry at the turn of the last century, through the oil deals and international business associations that have maintained and increased their wealth over the past hundred years. The book leads us through Prescott Bush's first entrée into government at the state level in 1950s Connecticut, to George Herbert Walker Bush's long and winding road to the White House, to his son's quick sweep into the same office. Along the way, we see the complex relationships the Bushes have had with the giants of the century, Eisenhower, Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, Kissinger, Reagan, and Clinton, as well as the often ruthless methods used to realize their goals.
Perhaps most impressive, and surprising, is the way the book delves behind the obsessively protected public image into the family's intimate private lives: the matriarchs, the mistresses, the marriages, the divorces, the jealousies, the hypocrisies, the golden children, and the black sheep.
At a crucial point in American history, Kitty Kelley is the one person to finally tell all about the family that has, perhaps more than any other, defined our role in the modern world. This is the book the Bushes don't want you to read. This is The Family.