A League of Bushes

“A politician . . . one that would circumvent God.”

—William Shakespeare

Initially, Kevin Phillips intended his new book, American Dynasty, to be a study of

the Bush-related transformation of the U.S. presidency into an increasingly dynastic office, a change with profound consequences for the American Republic, given the factors of family bias, domestic special interests, and foreign grudges that the Bushes, father and son, brought into the White House.

As his extensive research progressed, the scope of his effort broadened considerably and became a careful study of four generations of the Bush family’s deep and active involvement in “crony capitalism,” the petroleum business, national-security and intelligence organizations and operations, investment banking, influence-wielding and -peddling, and the incestuous relationship between industry and government, particularly as it involves military preparedness and actions.

Old habits die hard, especially where the use of moral terminology is concerned.  In the 1850’s, James Smith Bush, George W.’s great-great-grandfather, graduated from Yale and became an Episcopal minister in New York.  There is limited reference to the Reverend Bush in Phillips’ book, but we have every reason to believe that...

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