The most intimate portrait of GEORGE H. W. BUSH ever published George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first president of the United States and the patriarch of Americas most powerful political dynasty, never wrote a memoir. But bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Richard Ben Cramer took the full measure of President Bush in his thousand-page epic, "What It Takes"--one of the most influential and respected works of journalism and biography of the modern era.

Drawn from those pages and edited by Cramer shortly before he died, this book traces how seminal moments in President Bushs life formed his character and foretold his legacy. The result is a loving portrait that remains as fresh, relevant, and insightful as the day it was first published.


Tell the truth, Bush wasnt much for programs, one way or the other. It wasnt that he wanted to do anything . . . except a good job. He wanted to "be "a Senator. . . . Just about the time he was thinking it over, about to announce his big move, there were stories in the paper--front page, it was awful --about this little girl in the Houston public housing, sleeping on the floor, whod got bitten by a rat God, what a shame . . . Bush didnt think about a program for housing, or maybe calling that Councilman he helped to elect--propose a rat eradication plan No, he called home, that afternoon:

"Bar . . . You think we could give that family our baby bed?"

And they did. That very evening, George came home, packed up that bed, and took it right over. --from "Being Poppy"