The first highbrow assessment of former President George W. Bush by those not associated with 43's administration is about done, and project boss Julian Zelizer of Princeton University promises that it's not a hit job. Discussing how his writers talked about Bush, he says, "I wanted them to get out of the arguments that he destroyed the world and that he was incompetent."
In The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment, due out this fall, Bush's policies on issues like immigration, war, federal spending, and oil are dissected. "This is anything but a portrait of a 'lightweight executive,' " Zelizer told our Suzi Parker. But it's not all hugs and kisses for Bush. The chapter on his energy policy points to his ties to the oil industry. Bush's unique "compassionate conservatism" campaign is called a "missed opportunity." But his impact is noted, especially on spending and homeland defense.