Friday, June 19, 2009

Book Review Showdown

What Actually Happened- By: Scott McClellan 

Although former Press Secretary Scott McClellan used to work for the Bush White House, the book is anything but kind to the administration. However, McClellan is very fair in his assessment. The main thesis of the book is, although it began with hope and optimism and a bright future, the Bush White House fell into the same lull of the "permanent campaign" like many administrations before it. McClellan never attacks any of Bush or any of his advisors personally, but underlines their mistakes (as well as his own) as the reasons for causing the permanent campaign. It's a great book to read and gives an insider's look into the Bush White House, bringing interesting stories and bringing the Bush advisors, such as Karl Rove, Karen Hughes and Andy Card, to life. 

Verdict: Read. 

A Matter of Character- Ronald Kessler 

A matter of character brings the positive side of things to the Bush White House. While lavishing praise on Bush and his staffers, it also attacks the Clinton's, as well as many other past presidents such as LBJ, for their character, or lack thereof. It highlights the way Bush never felt like he was above anyone, including the maids and cooks, and was a down to earth guy who never got the inflated head so common from the office. The book really shows how Bush restored character to the office after the mockery the Clinton's made of it. Interesting read, but really doesn't tell you more than you probably already knew- Clinton was a jerk, but Bush is the kind of guy you'd want to be friends with. 

Verdict: Skim 

Rankings (10 being best, 1 being worst)


What Actually Happened- 9.5
A Matter of Character- 6 

The Writing

What Actually Happened- 7
A Matter of Character- 8.5


What Actually Happened- 10
A Matter of Character- 9.5

Ease of Reading

What Actually Happened- 8
A Matter of Character- 9

Interesting Content

What Actually Happened- 9
A Matter of Character- 5.5


What Actually Happened- 9
A Matter of Character- 7.5


What Actually Happened- 52.5
A Matter of Character- 46

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