George W. Bush left the White House in January 2009 with a cratered economy and two ongoing, costly Middle East wars. Now, more than 10 years later, PBS’ American Experience will examine his life and career in a two-part biography debuting tonight, May 4, from 9 to 11 pm ET. The two-hour second part will air tomorrow at the same time (check local listings for exact days/times in your area).
George W. Bush, part one, chronicles the unlikely rise of the wild and unexceptional son of a political dynasty. It looks at his victory in the controversial 2000 presidential election, his administration’s response to 9/11, and the emergence of a new American foreign policy.
Part two opens with the steps that led to the Iraq war, and then covers Bush’s second term, including his handling of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and, finally, the events leading to the Great Recession.
The biography features eyewitness insights from such former Bush administration officials as Ari Fleischer, Andy Card, John Bolton, David Frum, Karl Rove, Richard Clarke, and Karen Hughes. Writers and commentators including George Packer, Eugene Robinson, Ron Suskind, Peter Baker, Dana Priest and Lawrence Wright, as well as several historians, provide perspective.
Barak Goodman produced George W. Bush, which is part of American Experience’s “Presidents Collection.” He also co-wrote the biography with Chris Durrance.
“What makes George W. Bush such a fascinating subject is that he was one of the least prepared presidents in our history, yet faced some of the greatest challenges,” said Goodman. “Not since Lincoln has such an inexperienced leader been called upon in a moment of genuine existential crisis.”
That is, perhaps, until now. The normally reticent post-presidency Bush emerged a couple of days ago sounding reassuringly presidential in a video calling for bipartisanship and national unity in the face of the pandemic.
“In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God,” Bush said in a video published on Twitter. “We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.”
Turns out thems was fightin’ words, at least according to the White House’s current volatile occupant. Bush was almost immediately attacked by President Donald Trump for not supporting him during his impeachment trial.
- ‘Mr. Belvedere’ Reunion - May 29, 2020
- ‘Holiday’ Viewing Party - May 29, 2020
- Carol Burnett on Shout! - May 28, 2020
- Animated ‘Central Park’ - May 28, 2020
- ‘Filthy Rich’ Epstein - May 27, 2020
- HBO Max’s Opening Slate - May 26, 2020
- Ultimate Shakespeare Binge - May 22, 2020
- ‘Homecoming’ Returns - May 22, 2020
- Guilty Pleasure Alert - May 21, 2020
- Soviet Gulag Drama - May 21, 2020