Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America
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The long-hidden story of a family we thought we knew—and of a power-making apparatus that we have barely begun to comprehend.

After eight disastrous years, George W. Bush leaves office as one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Russ Baker asks the question that lingers even as this benighted administration winds down: Who really wanted this man at the helm of the country, and why did his backers promote him despite his obvious liabilities and limitations? This book goes deep behind the scenes to deliver an arresting new look at George W. Bush, his father George H. W. Bush, their family, and the network of figures in intelligence, the military, finance, and oil who enabled the family’s rise to power.
Baker’s exhaustive investigation reveals a remarkable clan whose hermetic secrecy and code of absolute loyalty have concealed a far-reaching role in recent history that transcends the Bush presidencies. Baker offers new insights into lingering mysteries—from the death of John F. Kennedy to Richard Nixon’s downfall in Watergate. Here, too, are insider accounts of the backroom strategizing, and outright deception, that resulted in George W. Bush’s electoral success.
Throughout, Baker helps us understand why we have not known these things before. Family of Secrets combines compelling narrative with eye-opening revelations. It offers the untold history of the machinations that have shaped American politics over much of the last century.

Customer Reviews:

  • Family of Secrets - Reads like a Novel - Suspenseful in places
    I recently finished this long but very fast moving account of the Bush Dynasty from one mans perspective. For the Bush fans, this may be a bit much to take, but what I like is that he attempts to be factual and rarely if ever has any animus expressed.

    Baker seems to attempt to lay out facts without a lot of haranguing. Although, some of his facts are not quite as backed up as all that. There are a few where you are left dangling and needing to go on a search yourself. The Bushes seem to be behind everything that has happened in the world since before the second world war. The Bush family definately has been involved and influenced by the world of finance and seemingly closely involved with those who started the intelligence community.

    He gets you thinking about Prescott Bush's influence on things in the world of politics, Nixon, for one. And his animus for the Kennedys. I wonder myself if GHW Bush moved to TX because the Kennedys were so powerful and gaining in power when he was rising in status.

    But, Baker really attempts to hit both President Bushes in their soft spots. At least he does a compare and contrast between father and son and does seem to admit that Bush 41 was a little more judicious although somewhat distant from the people.

    One thing he mentions surrounding the JFK assassination, is George deMorenshild. He says that George, who was one who took Oswald under his wing because of Marina (this is verified even in Warren). Well, he states that de Morenshild knew Jackie Bouvier and her family when he came to Connecticut from Russia/Poland. There is no source material used for this, and so far, I have check three other sources who say either the same thing or similar which do not have any sources quoted. I could not find it in the older Warren report, at least where I had read. And Bugliosi in his long book about the assassination does not mention it.

    At least, if the above were true, what a very sad irony if Oswald were the one to do it. At least Bugiosi thinks so. Yet, there are so many things that Baker and others bring up as to make you wonder.

    One thing about Family of Secrets, it seems like a well thought out book. It focuses mostly on Bush 41 and then 43 for the last few chapters. Sadly, it ends abrubtly a little after the katrina disaster. Thankfully, he salts the earlier chapters with more current history, so you do have some more current issues he deals with.

    Family of Secrets is well written and keeps you wanting to reach for more. He leaves a lot of room for you to make your own conclusion, but leaves you with a short bit to think about at the end. ...more info
  • Down the rabbit hole.
    I often wondered how W got selected in the first place. There was a lot of smoke and mirrors which goes without saying in powerful political families, but I had no idea.

    If you really want to know read this book. He did his research and it shows. My favorite repeated (talking point) complaint about this book is the color of W's uniform in the bar. Quoted from a non-military woman 20 yrs after the incident after seeing Top Gun which she compared it to. What about the other 500 pages and multiple sources.

    This is Pulitzer quality work for it's explanation of the intersection of power, money, and intelligence. The truly powerful grasp all three. For me the Bush dynasty is a secondary concern. Disturbing but secondary. The origination of off shore tax schemes are a good read and I think explains the hatred of Clinton some of these powerful people had regarding his haven closure attempts.

    We do live in a selfish dirty world sometimes.

    P.S. at times you might need a shower break for the creepy crawly feelings, I did. A study in misdirection. ...more info
  • How about 9/11?
    The author spends hundreds of tantalizing pages developing facts concerning the Bush's involvement in so many intelligence operations for so many years; he makes "Poppy" Bush out to be a sort of cloak and dagger Zellog who seems to be on the fringes of not only the Kennedy Assassination--which he considers, correctly, to have been a conspiracy involving the CIA, big oil, etc-- but Watergate too--to mention only the biggest; he shows us how in bed the Bush's were with the Saudis--especially the bin Laden Family; he lays the case that there is a state within the state that runs the show comprised of the Pentagon, the CIA, Wall Street and big Business. He thoroughly convinces us what a moral and mental cipher "W." is and what equally repugnant scum he surrounded himself with; and then 9/11 rolls around and--!!!!!-- he falls back almost unquestioningly on the official government story about 19 hijackers and a grudge. Mind boggling....more info
  • Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for Amer
    This is not a consperacy theory book. Russ Baker is an investigative journalist that wanted to understand what was happaning to US policies post 9/11.
    Investigated like a doctorial thesis but written with the intensity of a true crime novel. The book will clarify the last 80 years of American policies and the roots of the CIA in global coporations prior to the 40's; why Nixon was set up to take the fall for Watergate, and much moreFamily of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America.
    ...more info
  • Shocking
    A federal prosecutor should review this book. Either Russ Baker should go to jail for libel or George H.W. Bush and son should be indicted and tried by a jury....more info
  • Outstanding journalism - A MUST READ
    Russ Baker's writing is corageous and on point. As one of many of the sources for this thoroughly documented and exhastively researched book, I can attest to the accuracy and veracity of the material relating to covert Saudi funding of the Bush family's political and business ventures. If anything, Baker is guilty of UNDERSTATING the malfeasance of the Bushes and their tag-team lawyer proxies.

    When I became a threat to expose these illegal and traitorous secret "business" dealings orchestrated through the BinLaden Family and my former business partner James R. Bath, I was completely wiped out including the loss of my income, savings, business interests, home, medical insurance, personal property, and military retirement. The Houston courts and the "justice system" were literally turned on end in an attempt to compel an innocent person to commit a felony crime! Bush political operatives squashed law enforcement agency investigations of the matter by invoking "national security" as a rationale.

    My squadron mates and I risked our lives flying off our nation's aircraft carriers during time of war in defense of the Constituion and the rights bestowed on "we the people" by it. The Bush family displayed its utter disregard and contempt for both the Constitution and my right to due process under law by orchestrating the frivilous litigation campaign that wiped out me and my family. Dubya followed up by bankrupting the middle class and most of the Nation. His tenure as President is characterized by the largest single transfer of wealth in the history of our Country; the beneficiaries of which are his patrons - the Saudis, Wall Street and its revolving door intelligence operatives, oil industry insiders, and the Mob [working for decades now in concert with U.S. intelligence operatives]. Don't believe it - all you have to do is follow the money. Kudos to Russ Baker for his tenacity, literary integrity and dogged determination. The Country needs to read, digest and act upon the information provided in Family of Secrets if our Country is to survives as a Constitutional Republic. ...more info
  • I'm Literally Falling Out Of My Chair, Laughing Hysterically!!!!!!!!
    When a person reaches a certain age, they tend to believe that they have seen it all, and done most of it. Well upon completing my read of Russ Bakers, "Family of Secrets", I can now literally say, that I have READ IT ALL! LOL! Is this guy kidding me? Or is Mr. Baker actually, seriously trying to convince me that the Bushies can be linked so far back, as to having been linked to both the JFK Assassination and the Watergate Cover-up Scandal? I don't know whether to laugh or cry at such nonsense. I mean...this is what I sincerely call...FICTION WRITING at it's apex! But what I find so frightening is, is that I don't know who is more nuerotic? Russ Baker (then again, who can blame a man for trying to cash in on some change), or the minions and minions of mentally disturbed reviewers who seem to buy into this hot air, hook, line, and sinker? Is there a substance that everyone is indulging in here, that I do not know about? If there is, please! Please, someone let me in on what it is, so I can too partake in on this long and whimsical, deluded drive! This book is what I can only call, PARANOIA at it's zenith!...more info
  • Dumb
    Really, really dumb.

    For example, Baker takes at face value the testimony of one Inge Honneus, who claims to have briefly dated Bush. Honneus describes at some length Bush in his "officer's whites" at the O-club. The problem is that AF and TANG wear blues.

    The sub-moronic Kennedy assassination stuff is pretty much what you'd expect from a book like this. Baker seems to have become just another nut....more info
  • A real page turner...
    I was happy to have this book around when I came down with a bad cold recently -- it kept me completely occupied for a few days. WHile the webs and entanglements that the Bush family weave are complicated and sometimes hard to fathom, Baker makes a point of summarizing and clarifying complicated points - so that I never had to go back and figure it out again. He also brings to light a number of little discussed facts that help fill out the scary puzzle of power, privilege and politics in the US....more info
  • A book we dare not ignore
    Russ Baker's book gives creedence to many of the suspicions I have long had about the Bushes. Having lived most of my adult life in either Texas or Florida and seen firsthand how this family operates, I am not surprised at much he reveals here. I have always suspected, for example, that the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK might have been connected someway to George H. W. Bush's service to the CIA. Ditto the overthrowal of numerous governments in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East where the Bushes and their fellow travelers have seen an opportunity to make a buck at the expense of the citizens of those regions.

    This book is a very timely reminder of what can happen if the citizens of this country do not take this pack of jackals very seriously. Our new President had better watch his back and make sure of his security at all times, as I'm sure this criminal family is already plotting some way to bring the Obama Presidency down. Let us not forget that Jeb Bush is still out there awaiting his turn. We must not let him or any of his father's and brother's associates have their way.

    Bravo, Russ!...more info
  • Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
    Essential reading in order to understand that the Bush Family has been basically used as a CIA front for the shadow government that over the past 60 years has slowly strangled the American Democratic Republic. From the creation of the National Security State in 1947, to the assassination of JFK in 1963, to the coups and overthrow of democratically elected leaders in foreign nations, this shadow government has destroyed the core of our Federal Government. Russ Baker makes clear that the Bushes have been deeply involved in these deceptions and manipulations every step of the way. Prescott Bush paved the way with his business dealings with the Nazis and George HW Bush has been CIA since day one and was directly involved behind the scenes from JFK to Nixon to Iran-Contra. When the Supreme Court stole the 2000 presidential election for "the decider", the wheels were put in motion for the 9/11 New Pearl Harbor, the illegal invasion of Iraq, and the creation of the Global Terror State. 60 years of lies and defamation of the Constitution have brought us to the threshold of Fascism and the New World Order. The creation of the bumbling self-effacing Bushes from Yale and the self-made Bush oil family from Texas was the greatest con ever played on the American People....more info
  • Bush family history is not pretty
    Some of the information in this book has appeared in other books and articles. But there is a lot here that is new. Baker does an excellent job of putting it all together in a very readable book. The Bush family fingerprints are all over the JFK murder and Watergate. The assassination of Kennedy can still be solved, 45 years after the fact. Just arrest George H. W. Bush and grill the hell out of him. He's still a primary suspect in this murder.

    ...more info
  • Baker doesn't beat around the Bush
    I was thinking I already knew what there was to know about the Bush family. Then I picked up Baker's book. Wow. I don't think there's a rock he didn't turn over in pursuit of the truth. But this is not a book about conspiracies; it's a book about facts. Check it out -- you'll see what I mean. ...more info
  • Right is still right, even when nobody's doing it. Wrong is still wrong, even when everybody's doing it.

    "All great accomplishments are the products of discipline and the force of will. To write a lasting and important book, a journalist must be relentless in pursuing detail that others have misunderstood or even ignored. The commitment to discerning the facts can never waver, regardless of the obstacles placed before the reporter. We see such non-fiction narratives too infrequently in American publishing but we have a great one before us now in Russ Baker's phenomenal `Family of Secrets.' As an investigator and as a writer of compelling narrative, Baker has created, in my estimation, an almost unequalled standard in political reportage. He has refused to accept conventional wisdom regarding the Bush family and the failed son they made president. There is no way any reasonable person can reject what Baker reports and the conclusions are profoundly disturbing. The reader becomes convinced, page after page, footnote after footnote, quote after quote, that everything we thought we knew about American history in the past 50 years was wrong. I confess that I was prepared to be dismissive. When Baker first approached me about an interview and to offer what little insight I had on years of covering the Bushes in Texas, my reaction was that he was too late and that the public had been worn out by the publishing deluge prompted by George W's incompetence and lying. Why did we need another book on the Bushes? After reading `Family of Secrets' that answer is abundantly obvious: we did not know the truth. I think we do now and Russ Baker has given it to us in a brilliant book that that will be impossible for any sensible American to ignore. I considered myself well informed on both Presidents Bush but Baker has proved that even those of us close to the subject need to reconsider the facts and to do otherwise is to jeopardize the value and purpose of our democracy. As Karl Rove, Joe Allbaugh, Karen Hughes, Mark McKinnon, Dan Bartlett, Condoleeza Rice and the rest of the outgoing administration go about their immoral task of trying to spin a more positive Bush legacy, let them confront the truths as revealed in `Family of Secrets." History will not abide any further distortions of the Bush record and when researchers seek to understand what happened to our country under the Bush family regime, let's hope they find their way to the epic work of Russ Baker. `Family of Secrets' is much more than a non-fiction narrative of political history; Baker has created an historical document that is an act of patriotism for a nation in need of self-examination and the truth."

    James C. Moore - Author: "Bush's Brain," "Bush's War for Reelection," and "The Architect."
    ...more info
  • Devastating. Devastating. Like Harlot's Ghost come to life.
    Hard to imagine a direct hit of this magnitude coming at a more appropriate time. Nothing left to do but contemplate the smoldering crater. Mind bending.

    There is so much to consider, and the consequences of revisting the closed chapters of American postwar history so potentially threatening to various power bases within the American system, that one boggles at the connections and codependencies, subornings, manipulations, and creative distortions that constitute the modus operandi where true power and massive wealth intersect.

    One could open any part of this book at random and find oneself muttering, oh that, do you mean it was connected to a larger, more ornate process after all ?

    Among the many dramae that Baker writes of, which concerns us in the present era, is the rise of radical Islam and Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi's (hence Wahhabism) brand of extremist thought, which took root in what was to become Saudi Arabia when Arabia was finally consolidated under the aegis of the Saud clan in 1922. This bit of background, BTW, is not included in the book and only offered by way of clarification.

    Wahhabism might have remained a background element in Arabian culture save for its' "discovery" in the 1970s as a covert foreign policy tool for destabilizing the former Soviet Union at its Islamic periphery (where, unsurprisingly, there are significant petroleum resources).

    Here Baker helps us put matters into perspective. According to his account, The CIA, Saudia (which isn't exactly Arabia), and the Bush family hit on the idea of having the Saud family covertly finance a global Wahhabist movement in return from providing the Saudis with the training and materiel for an internal security force that could keep those same Wahhabis in check locally while they ran amok globally.

    In other words, to put not too fine a point on it, American interests fomented worldwide Islamic extremism as a sort of paramilitary proxy organ, and the next-in-sequence rise of Al Qaeda, via a covert security agreement between the Saudi family and the CIA and CIA related entities, and brokered by the Bush family and Bush related banking operations...

    At least, that is Baker's line of reasoning, and should it be shown true on close investigation, America would have to totally rethink the nature of it's culpability in the rise of religio-military extremism worldwide.

    Given Baker's understanding of the nuances of misdirection in the world of covert operations, it would also appear that the book's early focus on the Kennedy assassination serves as a kind of slight of hand device.

    He must realize that any unorthodox discussion of the assassination is inevitable flypaper for a certain psychological type, primarily those who use the term "liberal" as an expletive...

    The Kennedy issue appears to have served its' purpose, as every criticism of this book that one encounters remains fixated, almost mesemerized by the need to latch on to Kennedy conspiracy with blood engorged anti-conspiracies.

    Giving them a meaty bone to gnaw allows Baker to proceed with his real business, the financial structures that knit together the CIA, the energy industry, third world dicatorial governments, bizarre crackpot organizations like the World Anti-Communist League, media talking heads,
    Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church, and who knows what else bubbling up in the fetid swill that was finally to overflow its septic tank with the Iraq project.....more info