Best-selling biographer Kitty Kelley's latest book, The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, is due to be published next Tuesday, but it's already generating controversy about its claims – most notably an allegation that President George W. Bush used drugs during his father's term in office.
White House communications director Dan Bartlett has already labeled the volume "garbage," and a Republican National Committee spokeswoman said journalists should look upon the book as "fiction."
Though the contents of the book are wrapped in tight secrecy – magazine editors considering excerpting the work were required to sign confidentiality agreements, The Washington Post reports – the book promises (according to its inside jacket copy) to uncover "the obsessively protected public image into the family's intimate private lives: the matriarchs, the mistresses, the marriages, the divorces, the jealousies, the hypocrisies, the golden children and the black sheep."
London's the Mail on Sunday, which earlier this week began reporting Kelley's findings, says the book delves into the past of both George W. Bush and First Lady Laura. (Random House has called the Mail stories accurate, according to The Post.)
The book alleges that while Bush served in the National Guard he "liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine." It also alleges from a source related to the president – revealed to be Sharon Bush, who had a bitter divorce from the president's brother Neil Bush – that "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was president, and not just once either."
The White House's Bartlett, however, dismissed the reports, saying, "Kitty Kelley's allegations make Michael Moore look like factual documentation."
Random House insists its legal department has carefully vetted the manuscript.