Barbara Bush by Pamela Kilian
Matriarch of a Dynasty

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Few First Ladies matched Barbara Bush's remarkable popularity. Even her husband's detractors often spoke glowingly of the "Silver Fox," whose warmth and generosity have won her friends and admirers across the country. Pamela Kilian, a reporter for Scripps Howard News Service, has known George and Barbara Bush for over twenty years. Here, she paints an unforgettable portrait of the woman who quietly became an American icon.

Her dark side: She occasionally uses her sharp wit to skewer critics, particularly anyone who has maligned her husband or children.

Her eccentricities: She hated being called "First Lady," cringed at the idea of being more popular than her husband, and is closer to her husband's family than her own.

Her tragedies: The death from leukemia of Robin Bush at age three turned Barbara's hair white, and she suffered heavily when son Neil was under fire in the savings and loan scandal. The attacks on her son, George W. Bush's character in the 2000 presidential campaign, and the ensuing months of debate after the election tore at her heart.

Her philosophy: Make the most of life and don't complain. If it's at all possible, do what your husband asks of you.

Pamela Kilian tells Barbara's life story, from her protected childhood, to her early marriage and motherhood, to her adventures as a young wife, to her journey to the White House and beyond. She includes Barbara's feelings about George W. Bush's Texas governorship, Jeb Bush's Florida governorship, and George W.'s later presidential election. This riveting and well-respected biography gives a new perspective on the woman who was married to one President, and gave birth to our current President.

About Pamela Kilian

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Pamela Kilian, the author of What Was Watergate? (SMP 1990) is a journalist and news editor for Scripps Howard News Service. Originally from Chicago, she lives in McLean, Virginia.
Published September 17, 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Those with warm feelings for, say, Pat Nixon or Mabel Kling Harding may question Kilian’s assessment, and even she has to allow that “while Barbara Bush is warm and funny, she is also frosty, imperious, and snobbish, and she carries a grudge.” All true: throughout her political life, Bush has sho...

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and ``to make her family and friends paramount, to cherish the human connections.'' The First Lady is also quick to point out the rewards of public life: ``I feel like I have had the best, the most exciting, thrilling life anyone could ever have.'' Barbara Bush is good copy, and Kilian has ...

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