What Happened?

What Happened is the title of former Bush press secretary, Scott McClellan’s book. Add a question mark and it describes the White House reaction yesterday, as various spokespeople said they were puzzled and saddened by it. All this attention shot the book to #1 on Amazon (and the audio to #184), where it remains today.

If you haven’t already, check your holds to copies ratios for the book. They’re pretty stunning.

White House staff could have gotten a glimpse of what was coming, if they’d checked Public Affairs spring catalog, p 16. The publisher’s assertion that McClellan writes “with unprecedented candor” might have been passed off as hype, but a quote from the book hints that McClellan would indeed be writing candidly:

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

  • Hardcover: $27.95
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (May 28, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1586485563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586485566
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $29.95
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.; (June 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1433214342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433214349
  • Audio Cassette: Unabridged edition, $29.95
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.; (June 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1433214334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433214332

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