The Fart Book

From Holden:

A few tidbits from Kitty Kelley:

The Father, the Mother, and the Son

The first President Bush is presented as a weak yes man, driven not by political vision but a savage preppy spirit of competition instilled in him by his whirlwind of a mother. But it is his wife, Barbara (whom the ex-wife of White House counsel C Boyden Gray calls “bull-dyke tough”), and their eldest son, George, who are the true pieces of work in Kelley’s book, a mother and son team brimming with such spite and ambition they would give the ruthless duo in The Manchurian Candidate the shivers.

In one of the creepier passages of the book, a family gathering from hell at Kennebunkport, Maine, Barbara is shown mercilessly baiting her dry-drunk son, then governor of Texas, as a teetotalling ‘Chosen One’, while he keeps pleading to skip the cocktails and put on the feed bag, and his elderly father “drools over [TV newswoman] Paula Zahn’s legs”.

The Family Hobby

One of the major themes in Kelley’s book is the family’s weakness for liquor and drugs. Alcoholism, she writes, runs deeply in the family and among its victims, according to one Bush family friend, was Prescott, a “major-league alcoholic”, who was in the habit of checking himself into his men’s club and country club to go on benders. And Kelley writes that George W Bush is not the only one in the first family who enjoyed illegal substances. While a student at Southern Methodist University in the 1960s, first lady Laura Bush was known “as a go-to girl for dime bags of marijuana”.

Dubya’s Favorite Book

New Yorker writer Brendan Gill recalls roaming the Kennebunkport compound one night while staying there looking for a book to read – the only title he could find was The Fart Book.

CIA Cleans Up After George

An Austin, Texas political consultant named Peck Young told Kelley that when a woman claiming to have been a call girl from Midland showed up in Austin with “intimate knowledge” of W during his oil wildcatting days, she was approached by what she described as “intelligence types” and left town abruptly. According to Young, the men “made her realise that it was better to turn tricks in Midland than to stop breathing”.

Salon has more.