In light of the recent midterm elections, I found it plausible to compose a politically- themed blog post. Despite voter turnout diminishing in recent years, politics remain an enormous influence on the average American. Now before you begin tearing your hair out in a threatening rage, allow me to explain. I am neither promoting nor discouraging any political affiliation, but providing insight to a read that I found particularly engaging and thought-provoking.
I found myself in the Rice Library’s American History section (second floor) when I came across this peculiar publication: “Family of Secrets” by Russ Baker, a rather cryptic title for the generally straightforward genre. Interest piqued, I seized the book from its place on the shelf as my eyes slid down the length of the book’s spine, arriving at a short description of the book that read: “The Bush dynasty, the powerful forces that put it in the White House, and what their influence means for America.” I re-shelved the book, picturing this Russ Baker as a crazy loon, driven mad by theories of conspiracy. A transparent attempt at fear-mongering, the Bushes were as clean-cut as they come!
That night the book remained in the Rice Library but its description remained in my head. What were the “powerful forces” that lead to a man gaining the most powerful position in the world? Are they still around years after Bush’s presidency? Should I, as an American, be informed about these “forces”? To the questions that were choking my slumber, I had no absolute answer, only the speculation that was becoming increasingly absurd as the night dragged on.
For those who watch the ABC show “Scandal” or the Netflix original series “House of Cards”, you are aware of the idea that what Americans see, and what really occurs in government, are two completely different entities. This can be a scary but fascinating thought: To suggest that the vast American public is unknowingly being governed by some private force. The next morning I quenched my thirst for answers by checking out the book.
Baker rather extensively traces the “Bush Dynasty” back quite a few years in order to answer his own question: How did the “under qualified” George W. Bush become the most powerful man in the world for two consecutive terms? His findings are so shocking and outlandish that even I had to do some fact checking. Baker proves that the people who are really in power in the United States do not have a government title.
I know there are those of you who are already questioning Russ Baker’s reliability. I must admit that I was highly skeptical at first, but Baker quickly squelched the fire of skepticism by establishing his credibility through citing his sources early on, a smart move for anyone who wants to be taken seriously after making such a bold claim. Republican or Democrat, I highly recommend this book to those who have a craving for a deeper understanding of the inner-most workings of the federal government.
Russ Baker’s “Family of Secrets” is currently available for checkout at the Rice Library! Prepare yourself for the onslaught of allegations and shocking “coincidences.” A great read! :)