Bantam, Nov 203, 11.95, 352 pp.
By 2055, Bill Clinton, known as BC, remains healthy though he is over a hundred years old and has outlived Hilary and Chelsea. However, history has devastated BC's two terms in office as the beginning of the end of the American dynasty. Surprisingly two particular acts that not only had nothing to do with the zipper, but also seemed reasonable and valid in the last decade of the previous century have haunted the United States and BC's standing in the halls of history. The expansion of NATO into the former Eastern Bloc and the signing of the Anti-Tobacco accord did not turn out as expected. Instead the world has been devastated by World War III, commonly known as the Cigarette Wars and a lack of privacy led by the intrusive government.
BC wants a second chance to rewrite history so he hires biographer Sal Hayden to spin his definitive biography. Instead his former crew (James, George and the Virginia National Security Team) abduct Sal. The group takes a trip first back to 1963 and then to 1995 to revise history at it source.
Though the ending seems too vague, THE X PRESIDENT is a great political science fiction satire. The story line works on several levels but mostly because of how cleverly Philip E. Baruth releases tidbits that hook the audience into wanting more. The key players Bill, James and George are captured brilliantly so that they seem to have rolled off the TV screen into the crossfire of the story line. Sal is the perfect acerbic companion whom rounds out a powerful tale. Perhaps next up could be in the year 2525 the Bush Dynasty is still alive.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner