The Bush Years
Sunday November 7 at 10 pm ET/PT & Saturday November 13 at 7 pm ET on CBC News Network
As George W. Bush releases his memoir (Nov. 9), CBC Documentary producer Terence McKenna takes a retrospective look at the former U.S. President , arguably one of the most controversial public figures of recent memory.See more photos of George W. Bush.
Credit: George Bush Presidential Library
The Bush Years opens with a look at the seminal moments of his life before the Presidency, his struggles with alcohol, finding faith, and his many attempts to prove himself to his famous father. It examines his apprenticeship with Lee Atwater, the Republican master of attack-dog politics, the lessons Bush learned there, and the ways they were applied to his own rise to power. It's an insider's look at how he won the Republican nomination, and the groundbreaking strategies that beat out his opponents in two Presidential elections. Former Bush political advisors Doug Wead and Mark MacKinnon describe some of Bush's key private moments before becoming President. Evangelist Arthur Blessit recounts the private moment Bush became "Born Again." Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention says Bush personally told him "God wants me to be President."Credit: David Woo
The Bush Years goes behind the scenes with George W Bush to detail decisive moments and critical decisions that affected his country and the world. Former members of the administration, players in the intelligence community, and analysts discuss these events and their ultimate consequences. Interviews include former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former CIA Agents Valerie Plame-Wilson and Gary Schroen, and the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy. Analysts include Ron Suskind of the Wall Street Journal, Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News, Bush biographer Robert Draper and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
In debating the legacy of George W Bush, Douglas Feith claims he prevented any further major terrorist attacks after September 11th, 2001. "The main thought the President had after 9/11 was not retaliation, it was preventing the next major attack and the President adopted a strategy of initiative and offense to do a major disruption of international terrorist networks to try to prevent the next attack, and here we are six and a half years later and we have not had a 9/11 scale attack in the United States and I think that that owes something, at least, to the President's strategy."Credit: Corbis
To Joseph Stiglitz, he was the worst President ever. "People say that Herbert Hoover was the worst President in America's economic history in terms of economic management because of his failure to take strong actions to help America get out of the problems of the Great Depression. After analyzing the data very carefully, I come to the conclusion that George Bush wins the contest. He is the worst president in America's history, particularly in light of the legacy that he will leave to future generations -- the long-term legacy of a weak economy."
George W Bush always said that he wanted to be a "consequential" President. Both his supporters and detractors agree that he was certainly that.