George W. Bush (Hardcover)

The American Presidents Series: The 43rd President, 2001-2009

By James Mann, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (Editor), Sean Wilentz (Editor)

Times Books, 9780805093971, 208pp.

Publication Date: February 3, 2015

List Price: 35.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The controversial president whose time in office was defined by the September 11 attacks and the war on terror

George W. Bush stirred powerful feelings on both sides of the aisle. Republicans viewed him as a resolute leader who guided America through the September 11 attacks and retaliated in Afghanistan and Iraq, while Democrats saw him as an overmatched president who led America into two inconclusive wars that sapped the nation's resources and diminished its stature. When Bush left office amid a growing financial crisis, both parties were eager to move on.

In this assessment of the nation's forty-third president, James Mann sheds light on why George W. Bush made the decisions that shaped his presidency, what went wrong, and how the internal debates and fissures within his administration played out in such a charged atmosphere. He shows how and why Bush became such a polarizing figure in both domestic and foreign affairs, and he examines the origins and enduring impact of Bush's most consequential actions-including Iraq, the tax cuts, and the war on terror. In this way, Mann points the way to a more complete understanding of George W. Bush and his times.

About the Author

James Mann is the author of several books on American politics and national security issues, including Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet and The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power. A longtime correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, he is currently a fellow in residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., (1917-2007) was the preeminent political historian of our time. For more than half a century, he was a cornerstone figure in the intellectual life of the nation and a fixture on the political scene. He won two Pulitzer prizes for The Age of Jackson (1946) and A Thousand Days (1966), and in 1988 received the National Humanities Medal. He published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in the Twentieth Century, in 2000.

Sean Wilentz, a professor of history at Princeton University, is the author or editor of several books, including Chants Democratic and The Rise of American Democracy. He has also written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and other publications. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Praise For George W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 43rd President, 2001-2009

“[Mann weaves] extensive interviewing and archival research to produce insightful analyses and fresh perspectives on our own times.… George W. Bush is also the relatively rare book about our 43rd president that could be read appreciatively by both supporters and detractors.… Mann adopts an almost studied neutrality, adhering for the most part to the unbiased tone of the newspaper reporter.” —The Washington Post

“[The American Presidents Series] offers brisk biographies of each president in crisp, straightforward prose, a formula Mann follows with precision.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“The latest volume in the American Presidents series meets its goal of providing a concise yet thorough biography of the 43rd president. Mann's claim that Bush's tenure ‘was, by any standard, one of the most consequential presidencies in American history' is made from a balanced assessment of the facts.” —Publishers Weekly

“An insightful biography” —Kirkus Reviews

“[Bush's tenure] occurred ‘at a critical juncture in American history'…. As president, that critical juncture overtook him, first and foremost on 9/11 but as fatefully later with Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 financial crash…A sober overview.” —Booklist