French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said that "words are loaded pistols". In the hands of Russ Baker, they are hydrogen bombs. Throughout Family of Secrets, he explodes the myths and lies that powerful forces have perpetrated on the American consciousness. He digs beneath the surface in a form of journalistic archeology to reveal the hidden history of one of America's most powerful families, leaving no stone unturned. Moreover, he names all of his sources and documents the materials he relies on to unmask the hypocrisy behind the myth.
From Prescott Bush's ties to Nazi Germany to Poppy Bush's secret role in the Watergate scandal that ousted Richard Nixon, which was, in fact, a "silent coup", to George W. Bush's deceit in launching the war in Iraq, Russ Baker unmasks the truth with a relentless brilliance unmatched by his peers. His publisher, Bloomsbury, is to be congratulated for its confidence in Russ Baker at a time when most publishers are hedging their bets and looking over their shoulders in acts of self-censorship.
Baker's revelations about George W. Bush's private life is worth the price of the audiobook alone. Here is Bush, forcing himself on a Danish beauty, stripping to the nude, while getting another girlfriend he knocks up an abortion, and then later, as president, opposing abortion and cutting funding for organizations that provide information about birth control. How he managed to get the Danish beauty to go on record, as he does with other key players in Watergate and the Kennedy assassination, is nothing short of astonishing.
He traces the true history of Poppy Bush's career, from his early ties to the CIA he pretended never existed, while declaring himself "out of the loop", to his strange phone call from Dallas to the FBI on the day of Kennedy's assassination, pointing a finger at a suspect who was in fact totally innocent, to his manipulation of Watergate to get rid of Nixon. It's a secret story forced out of the shadows by the powerful documentation of Baker in this tour de force, which will keep you listening in astonishment.
What he discloses is America's War of the Roses, as powerful families fight to the death for ultimate power. The history of Lee Harvey Osward in the world of wealth, power, and intelligence that was Dallas at the time is amazing. The anodyne courses in political science and history at American colleges and universities need very much to inject Family of Secrets into the curriculum so young Americans can be more able to understand what America is truly about. It puts the dots together in a way that makes any further naivety among Americans impossible. What he tells us simply cannot be ignored.
Family of Secrets takes to what Cyril Connolly so aptly described as the "blood crossroads of literature and politics". After Family of Secrets, neither will ever be the same.