The latest installment in the American Experience Presidents Collection features Preston Hollow neighbor and former President George W. Bush in a two-part, four-hour film that airs in Dallas on KERA. Part 1 is Monday, April 4, at 8 p.m. and Part 2 airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. The documentary is written by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance. In an interview with NPR’s Scott Simon, here’s what Goodman said:

  • About September 11: “It was totally defining of his presidency. I mean, I think it would’ve been hard for any president to rise to that challenge. But frankly, Bush was unprepared to be president in general. He was certainly unprepared for a foreign policy crisis like this one. And it became the linchpin of his entire presidency, both for good and mostly for bad. But we have to appraise his presidency in light of that extraordinary moment, which was unprecedented, really, in American history.”
  • How Bush may have felt about September 11: “I think it did plague him. He had been warned. There were warnings in his briefings all through the summer. And no one took them particularly seriously. So there was a part of George W. Bush that did feel guilty.”
  • Goodman’s impressions of him: “He’s a very bright man. He’s a man who does delegate and isn’t very interested in policy details. But he’s certainly not alone in that as president. But he was not someone who was pushed around by the people around him, a puppet on a string, which is, I think, what a lot of people have decided about him. And I think that needs to be reappraised.”


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