Laura Bush's Memoir: Highlights Reel

The car crash, "poisoning," and tension with George W. over gay marriage

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The New York Times has managed to get a hold of Laura Bush's memoir Spoken from the Heart weeks before its release. With the "embargo" on reviewing the book broken, commentators are focusing on different details and debating what, exactly, the very private First Lady reveals. Here are the three details that seem to be drawing the most chatter:

  • Car Accident  Many are focusing on the former First Lady's discussion of the car accident when she was seventeen, which killed the other driver involved. Most are struck by what a transformative experience this must have been. "There's a weird feint at the Ralph Nader defense (her victim was driving a Chevy Corvair, the model pilloried by Nader in Unsafe at Any Speed)," says Alex Balk at The Awl, "and the admission that she neither attended the funeral or attempted to make contact with the dead boy's parents." But The Atlantic's Eleanor Barkhorn pulls out a particularly "poignant" section in which Mrs. Bush recalls begging God for the boy's life.
  • Gay Marriage's Michael Jones reviews a section in which Laura Bush appears to reveal much more moderate views on gay marriage than those of her husband. "Before the election season had unfolded, I had talked to George about not making gay marriage a significant issue. We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are gay or whose children are gay. But at that moment I could never have imagined what path this issue would take and where it would lead."
  • Poisoning?  That's the story both Gawker and Newser highlight. Apparently the presidential couple and some staff members took ill during a visit to Germany, doctors finally deciding that they had contracted a virus. But Mrs. Bush points out that there had been several cases of high-profile poisonings at that time--to which Gawker's Glen Runciter responds, "Hmmm."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.