By ASHLEY COLLMAN
By the time he left office in January 2009, George W Bush was not the most liked president in history. But many would agree that his was one of the most historically important White House tenures.
Eight months after assuming office in January 2001, 9/11 happened which would set the course for the rest of his presidency
New book ‘Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W Bush’provides a never before seen look into the life of the controversial president during his eight years in office.
Over his two terms as leader of the free world, Mr Bush would take the nation into two conflicts in the Middle East, while dealing with a financial crisis at home and natural disasterslike Hurricane Katrina.
‘Front Row Seat’ was edited down to 240 pages of images from White House photographer Eric Draper’s more than one million photographs from the Bush II years.
The pictures taken by Draper, the longest-serving White House photographer, show Mr Bush both at work with his inner circle of advisers and also in his private downtime with wife Laura and at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Russian relations: President Bush on a phone call in the Oval Office with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 24, 2003
Vantage point: ‘Front Row Seat’ offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Bush II president as documented by White House photographer Eric Draper
Sense of humor: Mr Bush proves he can laugh at himself as he watches a Saturday Night Live video on an aide’s computer in the Outer Oval Office with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (left) and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (right)
Legacy: President Bush sits on the Resolute Desk while chatting with his father, former President George HW Bush, during a visit on May 2, 2001
Going home: President Bush rests on his mother and former first-lady Barbara Bush’s shoulder as he travels back to Texas at the end of his presidency on January 20, 2009
Power couples: President Bush and first lady Laura meet with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh
Letting loose: Bush family matron Barbara is the third in a celebratory conga line held after her son won re-election in 2004. Pictured with Doro Koch (left), Marvin Bush (second left) and Sam LeBlond (right)
Dark times: President Bush is pictured walking back to the White House after addressing the nation from the West Wing on the fifth year anniversary of the September 11 attacks
Perks of the job: Rock star Bono, frontman of U2, joins the president for lunch on October 19, 2005
Hug of relief: Mr and Mrs Bush embrace as he’s re-elected president on election night, November 3, 2004
Who’s taller? President Bush and Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stand back to back to compare heights at a dinner on January 9, 2008
Sad day: First lady Laura Bush listens as her husband discusses the terrorist attacks with advisers on September 11, 2001
Great minds dress alike: President Bush slings an arm around Legislative Affairs Assistant Nick Calio after addressing the Democratic Caucus at the Capitol on December 19, 2001
Cheney chat: Mr Bush speaks with his vice president in the back of the presidential limousine on a ride to the Pentagon on August 1, 2001
Competitive: President Bush looks like he just lost this round of bowling, held with family members on Christmas Day at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland
Alone time: Mr Bush quietly reads the day’s papers while on vacation at his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas
Monumental: A crowd in Albania rushes to touch Mr Bush during the first visit to the country by an American president
Call to war: President Bush addresses the nation on October 7, 2001 as the U.S. military conducts airstrikes in Afghanistan
Cowboy president: The presidential seal adorns Mr Bush’s chainsaw as he clears brush at the family ranch in Crawford, Texas
Quick reaction: Mr Bush discusses flying back to Washington from Florida aboard Air Force One after hearing of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001
Secret mission: President Bush boards Air Force One bound for a secret trip to Iraq on June 12, 2006
One last look: Mr Bush gazes out the helicopter window flying over the U.S. Capitol as he leaves Washington following the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009