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Being Poppy

A Portrait of George Herbert Walker Bush


The most intimate portrait of George H.W. Bush ever published.

George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first president of the United States and the patriarch of America’s most powerful political dynasty, never wrote a memoir. But bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Richard Ben Cramer took the full measure of President Bush in his thousand-page epic, What It Takes—one of the most influential and respected works of journalism and biography of the modern era.

Drawn from those pages and edited by Cramer shortly before he died, this book traces how seminal moments in President Bush’s life formed his character and foretold his legacy. The result is a loving portrait that remains as fresh, relevant, and insightful as the day it was first published.

Photo Credit:

Richard Ben Cramer's magazine articles have appeared in ROLLING STONE, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER and ESQUIRE, where he serves as contributing editor, and have been anthologised in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 7, 2013)
  • Length: 192 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476745596

“Truly groundbreaking . . . Still fresh after more than 20 years.”

– Chicago Tribune

"A classic."

– Margalit Fox, The New York Times

"Quite possibly the finest book on presidential politics ever written, combining meticulous reporting and compelling, at times soaringly lyrical, prose."

– Cleveland Plain Dealer

"What It Takes does for politicians what Tom Wolfe did for astronauts in The Right Stuff . . . an epic."

– Time

More books from this author: Richard Ben Cramer