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 95: George H.W. weeps during Skull and Bones initiation when describing his World War II heroics.

Page 213; 347: H.W. as Oliver Stone—hours after the Kennedy assassination, Bush phones the FBI and tells them about a 24-year-old Bircher who he says plotted to kill the president. The man is later cleared. As CIA director, for reasons no one quite understands, Bush demands to see many of the agency's assassination files.

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Page 567: A witness recalls that during a CNN interview-turned-family-dinner "the elder Bush was drooling over Paula Zahn's legs, and younger Bush was yammering to get to the dinner table."

Page 578: A retired National Guard officer says he overheard a conversation between a Bush staffer and a guardsman about tidying up W.'s service record.

Page 604: During the 2000 recount controversy, W.'s sister Doro shrouds herself in a scarf and dark glasses and joins GOP protesters outside the Naval Observatory.

Page 566: The Bush family exchanges gleeful e-mails during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. George H.W. sends his sons a missive about Peyronie's disease—an unwelcome curvature of the penis—with the addendum: "And, of course, [Clinton's] Johnson curves to the left."

Page 618: A friend says that during their famous Crawford summit, Bush treated Russia's Vladimir Putin as if he were an unreformed Communist apparatchik: "I told Putin that in this country we own our own homes and because we own them we take great pride in them. … I don't think the son of a bitch knew what the hell I was talking about."

Bryan Curtis is a staff writer for Grantland. Follow him on Twitter.