How to read Kitty Kelley.

How to read juicy books.
Sept. 15 2004 7:01 PM

Burning Bushes

A reader's guide to Kitty Kelley's The Family.

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Page 577; 618: On party invitations, Laura Bush insists on being listed as "Mrs. Laura Bush," not the traditional "Mrs. George W. Bush." An intimate describes her as a "very nice woman who's got a lot of problems and smokes constantly."

Black Sheep

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Page 183: Prescott Bush's eldest son, Prescott Jr.—known to the family as "P2"—sabotages his 1982 Senate campaign when he tells a women's club, "I'm sure there are people in Greenwich who are glad [the immigrants] are here, because they wouldn't have someone to help in the house without them."

Page 337-39: Prescott Bush III—"P3"—abandons his wife shortly after their wedding and, according to various accounts, is diagnosed with schizophrenia and moves in with members of the Weather Underground.

Page 186: H.W.'s brother Jonathan, an aspiring actor, announces plans for an off-Broadway minstrel show that Variety says includes "some Negro talent along with the blackface components." The production is quickly scuttled, and Bush settles for a part in Oklahoma! before giving up show business.

Page 491-92: Barbara Bush is upset that her daughter Doro, a divorcee, is getting nowhere with Rep. David Deier after a year of dating. "Never laid a hand on her," Bar says.

Compassionate Conservatism

Page 227: George H.W., who runs hard against civil rights legislation in his 1964 Senate campaign, makes amends by sponsoring a black softball team in Houston called the "George Bush All-Stars." As he puts it, "Organized athletics is a wonderful answer to juvenile delinquency."

Page 247: H.W. campaigns hard to be Nixon's running mate in 1968. Nixon goes with Spiro Agnew, a Greek-American, whom Bush derides as "Zorba, the Veep."

Page 252: George W. hangs a Confederate flag in his dorm room at Andover.

Page 268: W. on Yale's decision to admit women: "That's when Yale really started going downhill."