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Download Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady Audiobook, by Ronald Kessler
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (231 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ronald Kessler Narrator: Susan Denaker Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9781415928998
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When Laura Bush moved into the White House on January 20, 2001, everyone wanted to know what kind of first lady she would be. Would she be like Mamie Eisenhower? Would she follow in Barbara Bush’s footsteps? Would she be another Hillary Clinton?

“I think I’ll just be Laura Bush,” she would say.

On Saturday, April 30, 2005, the world got a glimpse of what that meant when she pushed aside the leader of the free world and stole the show at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Wearing a shimmering lime green Oscar de la Renta gown, Laura wisecracked that she was a “desperate housewife” married to a president who was always asleep at nine.

Replayed constantly on the air, the stand-up routine with its impeccable comedic timing turned the first lady into a glittering star. But while the performance catapulted her to new status, it did not answer the question of who this former teacher and librarian really is and just what role she plays in influencing her husband and shaping his administration. The Bushes are more effective than the FBI or CIA at keeping secret what goes on behind the scenes at the White House, the ranch, or Camp David.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler draws back that curtain in the first biography of Laura Bush to be written with White House cooperation. Based on interviews with her closest friends and confidantes from childhood to the present, as well as family members and administration heavyweights like Condoleezza Rice and Andrew Card, Kessler paints a portrait of a woman who, even as she ascended to the heights of political fortune and power, never lost touch with the bedrock American values she absorbed in her youth.

In this unprecedented account, Kessler reveals:

How Laura’s opinions have brought budget changes to a range of federal agencies and have affected her husband’s policies, appointments, and worldview.
Why Laura told her press secretary in May 2001 she did not want to do any more media interviews.
What President Bush said to Laura at the dinner table after giving the “go” for the invasion of Iraq, and what his father, former President George H. W. Bush, wrote him the next day about the war.
What Laura’s own political opinions are and what her relationship with twin daughters Jenna and Barbara is really like.
What Laura says in private about Hillary Clinton, media attacks on her husband, and his victory in the 2004 election.
And why Laura, at the age of seventeen, missed a stop sign and caused a fatal accident that tragically left one of her best friends dead.

LAURA BUSH offers a remarkable look at the private world of this famously reserved woman, as well as the beliefs and attitudes that shape it. The book will surprise readers whose knowledge of the first lady comes from cautious media interviews and speeches.

Laura Bush’s approval rating stands at 85 percent. Since opinion polls first began asking about them, no first lady has received a higher rating. This moving biography is the first to penetrate the secret world of the president’s stealth counselor who is one of our most admired public figures. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Laura Bush is a remarkable woman—a great mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, and, of course, first lady. The thing that makes this gentle, bright woman dearer than all of the above is that she makes the president, our son, happy. Ron Kessler does a great job of capturing the spirit of Laura Bush.”
  • —Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate Casey | 2/20/2014

    " Just finished this and I can't exactly say it was a page turner. I learned a few interesting things including the fact that she had to pay for her own clothes and hair while she was the first Lady. She talks much of her relationship with other spouses of world leaders, particularly Vladmir Putin's wife. She never really gives you any sense of what keeps her up at night. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/19/2014

    " The writing style is a bit choppy and I found myself sometimes questioning the flow of the book, but it was a decent read. That Laura Bush cooperated with Kessler is clear early in the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hannah | 2/6/2014

    " I did appreciate learning a little more about Mrs. Bush through this book, but was disappointed by the lack of political information and by the occasional slamming of former First Families. I didn't feel like I knew that much more after reading it than I did before because the author seemed to focus completely on her every virtue, with no mention of anything else, so there was no full picture to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 1/27/2014

    " This book truly shows just what a classy person Laura Bush is and how well suited she was for the White House. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/12/2014

    " I sincerely hope that she and George are finding life after the presidency good. I really think her love of books, reading, and the country helped Texas and the United States. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 12/28/2013

    " An interesting peek into the lives of the First Lady & the President. I felt that some of the information was repeated throughout the book, but a good read. An authorized version so there's valid information. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/12/2013

    " A good look at the current First Lady. I was surpised to learn she was a librarian, and thus an avid reader. She is also the impetus behind the "No Child Left Behind" government initiative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy Burger | 12/12/2013

    " I don't think I have ever read a biography before, but was intrigued by The American Wife, which is supposed to be loosely based on Laura Bush. I enjoyed this book, but felt that, at times, it was more about George than Laura. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenne | 11/17/2013

    " I read this for a challenge and also I needed a switch from my usual genre. I have always liked LB so the book was interesting especially her and The presidents early history. The author kind if overdid it on some of the topics but not a major issue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 9/30/2013

    " This is a mediocre book about a first class lady! The cloud of her husband's low popularity may impact her historical significance. Nevertheless, she is a woman of character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elisha (lishie) | 9/21/2013

    " I read/skimmed most of this book at my SIL's house on Christmas Day. I wanted some insight on the First Lady but I found I knew most of what the book had to offer. I like Laura Bush but not all of her ummm "choices," LOL! It was obviously a quick, OK read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Deena Scintilla | 5/16/2013

    " In all fairness I only read about 7 chapters but it was strong on fluff and little "meat". The writing was very disjointed and didn't flow but jumped from one scene to another. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiffany | 4/6/2013

    " Read this after reading American Wife- wanted to see similarities between fiction/nonfiction. What I learned is that nonfiction is a dull, choppy timeline. None of the juicy storylines of the novel...oh well! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/22/2012

    " This book was an excellent overview of Laura Bush's life. It had funny stories as well as serious commentary about her life before and after her marriage to George W. Bush. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vic | 9/21/2012

    " Broadened my understanding of who Laura Bush is. It confirmed the impressions that I already had of her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte Kelly | 9/2/2012

    " Enjoyable reading. She is an admirable lady. You can hear her voice as your read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 3/30/2012

    " I liked getting to know the First Lady, but the more I read, the more I felt there were several people writing the book and it almost became discombulated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 2/28/2012

    " I liked learning about Laura Bush. I am not much into politics, and yes this book was written a little scrambled, but I enjoyed it. She was quite a lady, whether you're a republican (like the author I'm sure) or not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri | 12/27/2011

    " A very inspiring woman. Quietly strong, confident and loving, the ultimate southern lady (except that she doesn't cook). :) I'd like to be like her. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eileen | 6/15/2011

    " Ugh...love her, this bio, not so much.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 4/12/2011

    " Enjoyable reading. She is an admirable lady. You can hear her voice as your read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tmorlok | 6/1/2010

    " Had to read this after reading American Wife to get the facts straight!!! I love Laura Bush - this book was okay but I look foward to reading her own words...... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 beth anne | 5/15/2010

    " what can i say-i love laura bush.
    even my liberal sister in law loves her.
    great book.
    great lady.
    i wish i could be more like her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vic | 4/25/2010

    " Broadened my understanding of who Laura Bush is. It confirmed the impressions that I already had of her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/5/2010

    " A good biography. I esteem both Laura and George W as great Americans who have been demonized by the media. A nice, informative read as well as fun to get some inside scoop on these famous,good people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie | 1/4/2010

    " I enjoyed learning more about Laura Bush's life. She is definitely a role model for me and someone I hope my daughters can aspire to become more like.

    It was very apparent that the author did not think too highly of the Clintons and the Kerrys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 12/31/2009

    " I don't think I have ever read a biography before, but was intrigued by The American Wife, which is supposed to be loosely based on Laura Bush. I enjoyed this book, but felt that, at times, it was more about George than Laura. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/24/2009

    " The writing style is a bit choppy and I found myself sometimes questioning the flow of the book, but it was a decent read. That Laura Bush cooperated with Kessler is clear early in the book. "

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About the Author

Ronald Kessler is the bestselling author of The FBI, Inside the CIA, Moscow Station, Escape from the CIA, Spy vs. Spy, The Spy in the Russian Club, and The Richest Man in the World. He is an award-winning former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and his articles appear in leading periodicals. Mr. Kessler lives in Potomac, Maryland.

About the Narrator

Susan Denaker is an actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator. Her extensive theater credits include numerous plays in the West End of London, national tours, many English rep companies, including a season with Alan Ayckbourn’s company in Scarborough. In the US, she has appeared in Our Town and Sweet Bird of Youth at the La Jolla Playhouse and Breaking Legs at the Westport Playhouse.