Family of Secrets

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Family of Secrets
File:Family of Secrets cover.jpg
Author Russ Baker
Original title Family of Secrets: The Bush dynasty, the powerful forces that put it in the White House, and what their influence means for America
Country United States of America
Language English
Subject Political history
Genre Nonfiction
Publisher Bloomsbury Press
Publication date
Pages viii, 577
ISBN 978-150126397-2
LC Class E904 .B35 2009

Family of Secrets is a book by Russ Baker. Published by Bloomsbury Press in 2008, the book documents what Baker believes to be the longtime association of the Bush family with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Book details

The impetus for Family of Secrets has been reported to be the outcome of the 2000 United States presidential election.[1] Baker was so troubled by George W. Bush's victory that he committed himself to writing a book about it.[1] According to one account, Baker was drawn into "the realm of [John F. Kennedy] assassination theories" after discovering a report that George H. W. Bush could not remember where he was on November 22, 1963.[1]

In Family of Secrets, Baker levels various charges of corruption at the Bush family whom he ties into the entry of the United States into World War II, the formation of the CIA, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Watergate scandal.[2] According to Baker, the first President Bush became an intelligence agent in his teenage years and was later at the center of a plot to assassinate Kennedy that included his father, Prescott Bush, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, CIA Director Allen Dulles, Cuban and Russian exiles and emigrants, and various Texas oilmen.[2] He also names Bob Woodward of The Washington Post as an intelligence agent who conspired with John Dean to remove President Richard Nixon from office for opposing the oil depletion allowance.[2]


Family of Secrets has been reviewed by many print and electronic journals. Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake said that “[w]hether Baker ends up convincing you or not, reading this book should make you question much of what you know about the last half century of US history”.[citation needed] David Kinchen's review concludes "Baker’s book reads like a spy novel, but it's deeply sourced, backed up by hundreds of interviews and access to relevant documents. It should change the way we perceive not only the twelve Bush years ... but how we understand and view the post World War II years and the present — and future."[3]

The book has met with mixed responses and skepticism from the traditional media. Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times dismissed the book, saying that "if the paranoid style can be said to have a canon, his preposterous new book. . . surely deserves a place among its classics."[2] Lev Grossman of Time magazine called him “prodigiously industrious”.[4] In a Washington Post review, Baker was described as "a capable investigator" but accused him of overreaching and having "latched onto the Grand Theory of Bushativity",[5] The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote that "Baker, a solid investigative journalist, works hard to back up his claims… He's a man on a mission, desperate to stop the methods of stealth and manipulation that… reflect a deeper ill: the US public's increasingly tenuous hold upon the levers of its own democracy".[6] Other reviews include reviews from The New York Observer[7] and The Japan Times.[8]

Paperback edition

The paperback, with the subtitle The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years, contains a new foreword by Texas journalist James Moore, author of the book Bush's Brain, about Bush strategist Karl Rove.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Schreckinger, Ben (January 2015). "Boston Isn't Strong. Boston Is Scared Sh*tless". Boston Magazine. Boston. Retrieved May 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Rutten, Tim (January 7, 2009). "'Family of Secrets' by Russ Baker". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. David M. Kinchen, "Book Review: 'Family of Secrets': Everything You Thought You Knew About the Bush Dynasty Is Wrong" Huntington News Aug. 16, 2009].
  4. "Family of Secrets", review by Lev Grossman, Time Magazine, December 17, 2008.
  5. "Behind Every Rock a Bush", review by Jamie Malanowski, Washington Post, Sunday, January 11, 2009,
  6. San Diego Union-Tribune, Sunday, January 25, 2009.
  7. "Baker Blitzes Bush Fam for Bloomsbury, Has Big Bash!", by Leon Neyfakh, The New York Observer, January 6, 2009 Archived June 16, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Dubya biopic in need of conspiracy", by Giovanni Fazio, Japan Times, May 8, 2009. Archived August 19, 2010 at the Wayback Machine