There is an ever-pressing need in this muddled and perplexing world of ours for the investigative services of independent journalists like Russ Baker, author of "Family of Secrets". In this study, Baker assesses the role the extended Bush family has played over three generations in influencing and shaping American politics from behind the scenes. As Baker readily admits, this book charts a different course of inquiry as it seeks to look at the little-known, clandestine side of a very powerful family of national politicians dedicated to gaining and wielding power at the highest levels of government over nearly a century. What is so remarkable about this saga is that the Bushes - Prescott, George W.H. and G.W - have duped many Americans into regarding them as legitimate dynasts when all along they been directly and indirectly associated with some of the most contemptible and undemocratic forces in the Union. Motivating them at all times has been the desire to promote and protect the interests of Big Oil and right-wing industrialists in their efforts to expand globally. While this part of the story is hardly revealing, the intricate history of their covert actions to make sure these causes succeeded, through direct involvement in the OSS and the CIA, is the stuff of chilling espionage and political subversion. Read this book and you might end up despising the Bushes even more for the secretive roles they may very well have played in the JFK assassination, the ousting of Nixon, the Iran Contra affair, the Iraq War, and numerous other events. Whichever Bush it was who was calling the shots from positions of authority - CIA director, UN ambassador, VP, President or Senator - this family knows how to close ranks when one of its own comes under public scrutiny. Until recently, the Bushes have succeeded in convincing enough Americans that their personal agenda is purely one of public service when nothing could be further from the truth. While not blessed with an abundance of brains by which to provide critical leadership for the country at large, the Bush family, as Baker candidly points out, is not above running interference for cronies in return for favours. It might be argued that there is a lot that is openly crooked about American politics - rigged elections, assassinations, impeachments, and bribes - with the Bushes and Kennedys being some of its more infamous operators. However, what this book does that others fail to do is supply the evidence that casts enough doubt on their public reputation as American royalty to see them for the rotters they really are, who will stop at nothing to destroy those who get in their way up the ladder. At least we can be somewhat thankful that such familial power grabs usually only last three generations at most before the proverbial torch is dropped. A great read for those interested in filling in the information gaps resulting from ineffective mainstream journalism. This is a conspiracy theory that, for once, makes sense.