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A Presidency Unveiled
This vivid, unfolding narrative is like no other book that has been written about the Bush presidency — or any that is likely to be written soon. At its core are the candid assessments of former US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, for two years the administration's top economic official, a principal member of the National Security Council, and a tutor to the new President. He is the only member of Bush's innermost circle to leave and then to agree to speak frankly about what has really been happening inside the White House. O'Neill's account is supported by Suskind's interviews with many participants in the administration, by transcripts of meetings, and by voluminous documents that cover most areas of domestic and foreign policy. The result is a disclosure of breadth and depth unparalleled for an ongoing presidency. As readers are taken to the very epicenter of government, this news-making volume offers a definitive view of the character and conduct of Bush and his closest advisers as they manage crucial domestic policies and global strategies at a time of life-and-death crises. Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Christine Todd Whitman, and many of their aides are seen in an intimate, "unmanaged" way, as is Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, O'Neill's close friend and ally. Along the way, the central conflicts of the administration's governance — between politics and policy, ideology and analysis — are starkly visible through the lens of recent events and the revelation of the often concealed intentions that underlie actions. In this book, Suskind draws on unique access to present an astonishing account of a President so carefully managed in his public posture that he is unknown to most Americans. Now, he will be known.