A hint from the publishing world: Anyone but Bush

By Stephen W. Stromberg
Published August 9, 2004 10:05PM (EDT)

It looks like the DVD version of Fahrenheit 9/11 will hit stores on October 5, conveniently just a month before the November presidential election. But the anti-Bush documentary will be in crowded company. Fahrenheit will be joined by a cornucopia of Bush-bashing books coming out in the months before November, the AFP reported.

"The avalanche of prose dedicated to dissecting his performance inspired this recent quip from the president: 'It really gets me when the critics say I haven't done enough for the economy. Look what I've done for the book publishing industry.'

"Already, in the first six months of 2004, several books about Bush hit US bestseller lists. One of the most talked about was 'The Price of Loyalty,' a tell-all by former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill that described Bush 'like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people' at White House cabinet meetings.

"'Against All Enemies' by former White House anti-terrorism chief Richard Clarke accused the Bush administration of neglecting terrorist threats prior to September 11. It too became a bestseller shortly after publication.

"Due in bookstores this week is 'All the President's Spin,' which describes the president's communications team as 'the most aggressive White House PR team ever assembled.' 'Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants,' scheduled to debut on August 25, skewers conservative pundits on Fox News Network as 'watchdogs for George Bush, tail-waggers for war.'

"A book certain to fly off shelves is 'Chain of Command, The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib,' expected September 21, by journalist Seymour Hersh. It was Hersh who broke the story of the abuses committed by US soldiers at the Iraqi prison.

"Another eagerly anticipated title is 'What We've Lost: America Under the Bush Administration,' due out September 8, by the editor in chief of glossy Vanity Fair magazine, Graydon Carter. Then there's 'Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk,' out August 6, by acerbic New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

"A biography critical of Bush called 'The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty' will be available in bookstores September 14.

"In 25 years of publishing, 'I've never seen anything like this, in terms of the volume and energy of books attacking a sitting president in an election year,' Jeff Zaleski, editor in chief of the industry magazine Publishers Weekly, told USA Today."

Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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