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Publisher's Summary

Scott McClellan belonged to President Bush's select inner circle of trusted advisers during one of the most challenging, contentious periods of recent history. Over a period of more than seven years, he witnessed, day-to-day, exactly how the presidency veered off course, not only by its decision to topple Saddam Hussein, but by an embrace of confrontational politics in the face of an increasingly partisan Washington and a hostile media. In this refreshingly clear-eyed book, McClellan provides his unique perspective on what happened and why it happened the way it did, including the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, and two hotly contested presidential campaigns. He gives listeners a candid look into who George W. Bush is and what he believes, and explores the lessons this presidency offers the American people as they prepare to elect a new leader.
©2008 Scott McClellan (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"The former press secretary of President Bush (No. 43 version) empties out his notebooks, and all of Washington will be holding its breath." ( Seattle Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Frank J. Regan on 07-24-08

Something is Missing

Scott reads well and his account of his years as the press secretary during a very tumultuous time of war is a wonderfully open glimpse into an extremely closed administration. The reader gets the sense that the former press secretary is trying very hard to get at the crux of what went wrong in the buildup and aftermath of the Iraq War. Scott's answer, which he maniacally holds to, is that recent administrations are always in perpetual election mode. So, one gets caught up in infighting and politics and forgets why one went to Washington in the first place.

To like "What Happened" or not rests on why you would read this book in the first place. If you want to know how the Bush administration worked during the Iraq War from the inside, then it's a pretty good read. But, if you want to know what really did go wrong, and why most American are very suspicious of the way the Bush Administration conducted themselves after 9/11, then you are going to have to read beyond Scott's flurry of words to see into his soul. And, that will be difficult because what you have here is a very clever man who helped in the most public and concrete way to mislead the American people and/or himself into an unnecessary war. What is truly missing in "What Happened" is the answer as to why people like Scott McClellan (and several other key players in the Iraq War) did not resign or go public when they should have.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By stephen on 07-25-08

what happened?

while somewhat simplistic, i found this to paint one of the most sympathetic portraits of a much maligned President. I was at a complete loss to understand why Bush and his allies felt this was an attack. For someone with as dismal a record as the current president, the kind words and sympathetic observations at least humanised Bush. He comes forth as well meaning yet manipulated by Rove, Rumsfield and Cheney, the true axis of evil. After listening to this, I cannot help but feel had Bush been left to his own devises, and not "advised" by such aggressive and self-serving people, this country may well be in a far better place. The narration was somewhat forced and did not flow as well as some, however it was listenable. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a beter idea of how a basically descent man was put in over his head, and made the fool by those with an outdated failed agenda from the past.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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2 out of 5 stars
By JayJay on 05-17-15

Poor performance spoiled an otherwise good story

There are few authors who can read well. McClellan monotone and, for the most part, fast rendition spoils an otherwise good story.
Despite McClellan's obvious affection for Bush, the President comes over as weak and manipulated by his advisors. McClellan's recommendations in the closing are a noble attempt at improving government however, pitched against the users and abusers of Washington I fear it is a lost cause.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. R. D. Cox on 02-14-15

highly revealing

when people believe they are right, they will lie in order to prove it.
This book gives insight into the world of political spin and disfunction

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Customer Reviews

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2 out of 5 stars
By Darcy Conroy on 01-12-17

Another example of why authors should not read their own books.

Whoever directed this should be ashamed. I know some people can be hard to direct but the monotonal, error-filled reading of content that was well worth listening to is inexcusable. If McClellan was so hard to direct, then someone should have had the guts to tell him that a professional would do his words better justice.
Read the text, don't put yourself through listening to this!

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