Read an Excerpt
Growing Up Bush
1. What was not a favorite pastime of George W. Bush as a young boy?
A. Playing baseball
B. Reading books
C. Collecting baseball cards
D. Blowing up frogs with firecrackers
ANSWER: B. He very much enjoyed each of the other activities.
2. What was George W. Bush's response when, during a campaign photo opportunity at a South Carolina elementary school, a student asked him what his favorite book was as a child?
A. "We're just takin' pictures now, we're not takin' questions."
B. "The one about that little monkey George. You know, some people think I look a little chimpy."
C. "I can't remember any specific books."
D. "Lord of the Flies. And my favorite part was when they killed the fat kid."
ANSWER: C. He couldn't remember a single book.
3. What happened when his mother took thirteen-year-old George W. Bush and his friend Doug Hannah to play golf at her Houston country club?
A. Young George W. got caught sneaking a beer.
B. The boys drove a golf cart into a water trap.
C. Young George W. got upset when he failed to tee off well and started screaming, "Fuck this," after which his mother told him to go sit in the car.
D. The boys got caught killing frogs.
ANSWER: C. This happened more than once, and Dough Hannah recalls Bush as quite teh sore loser. "If you were playing basketball and you were playing to eleven and he was down, you went to fifteen," Hannah told Vanity Fair's Gail Sheehy. "If he wasn't winning, he would quit. HE woudl just walk off. It's what we called Bush Effort: If I don't like the game, I take my ball and go home." On one occasion Barbara Bush told Hannah his friend George W. was going to have "optical rectosis."
4. According to Barbara Bush, what did "optical rectosis" mean?
A. "A nervous eye tic that shows up when you're angry, which George is all the time."
B. "A bad eye smell."
C. "An inability to see things clearly."
D. "A shitty outlook on life."
5. Much of George W. Bush's life has been spent following in his father's footsteps but having trouble filling them, a tradition that began at the exclusive Phillips Academy at Andover. Bush's father was captain of the school's baseball team. How did George W. underachieve him?
A. He was merely a better than average player and never made captain.
B. He was so determined to excel that he injured himself in the tryouts and never made the team.
C. He became captain of the badminton team.
D. Instead of actually playing a sport, he became captain of the cheerleading team.
6. How did George W. Bush recall the experience of going to Yale during a time of antiwar protest, urban riots, and general social upheaval?
A. "For me it was really four years of nonstop booze and sports."
B. "The sixties--what a lousy time to be in college."
C. "I don't remember any kind of heaviness ruining my time at Yale."
D. "Protest, shmotest. Riots, shmiots. Upheaval, shmupheaval. I didn't give a damn about any of that."
ANSWER: C. No heaviness and no academic excellence--in four years, not a single A.
7. When did George W. Bush say he stopped liking the Beatles?
A. When they "kicked out Pete Best."
B. When they "went through kind of a weird psychedelic period, which I didn't particularly care for."
C. When John Lennon "stood there naked on that album cover next to that ugly Japanese chick Yono."
D. "When Paul died."
8. When George W. Bush pledged to the super-secret ultra-elite Yale club Skull & Bones, this now-compulsive giver of nicknames was unable to come up with a secret name for himself. TRUE OR FALSE?
ANSWER: True. They dubbed him "Temporary" and he never bothered to change the name.
9. What did George W. Bush resent about Yale?
A. That it waited until 1991 to give his father an honorary degree.
B. The decision by left-leaning documentary filmmaker Helen Whitney, the wife of its president, Benno C. Schmidt Jr., not to attend the overdue reception for his father.
C. Its chaplain, William Sloane Coffin Jr., having said to him at the time of his father's loss to Ralph Yarborough in a 1964 Texas Senate race, "I know your father. Frankly, he was beaten by a better man."
D. All of the above.
ANSWER: D. He also hated how so many of the students seemed to feel guilty about being rich.
10. Scott Armstrong, a Yale classmate, recalls George W. Bush as "the hailest fellow you'd ever well meet, just a prince of a guy." TRUE OR FALSE?
ANSWER: False. Armstrong described Bush as "someone who looked like he had an inside joke that no one gets or cares about.
11. For what was George W. Bush first arrested?
A. Pulling down the goalposts after a Yale-Princeton football game
B. Stealing a Christmas wreath from a New Haven hotel
C. Dancing naked atop a bar at Yale
D. Possession of cocaine
ANSWER: B. He was not arrested for his part in the football melee (but was told to waste not time getting out of Princeton). Rumors persist that a photo exists of a nude bar dance, but if so it has yet to surface -- as does any corroboration of rumors of a 1972 coke bust.
12. Not only was George W. Bush an enthusiastic participant in the branding of new pledges to his jock frat, Deke, with a hot coat hanger, but he actually defended the practice in his earliest appearance in the national press, an article in The New York Times in which he explained that the resulting injury was no worse than "a cigarette burn" that left "no scarring mark physically or mentally." TRUE OR FALSE?
The Extended Adolescence
Getting Out of 'Nam
1. What was George W. Bush's response to a reporter's query as to whether he had joined the Texas Air National Guard in order to stay out of Vietnam?
A. "It wasn't about not going to Vietnam per se so much as it was not wanting to get killed or lose any limbs. It wouldn't have mattered where the war was."
B. "Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. What's the relevance?"
C. "Hell, no. Do you think I'm going to admit that?"
D. "Did you volunteer? Show me your war wounds."
ANSWER: C. "Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. What's the relevance?" was his answer to the question of whether he'd ever used illegal drugs.
2. Though former Guard officials clearly recall a long waiting list at the time, George W. Bush maintains that "they were having trouble getting people to volunteer to go to pilot school" and that no strings needed to be pulled to get him out of the draft and into the National Guard. TRUE OR FALSE?
From the Trade Paperback edition.