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Paper Monitor

12:51 UK time, Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

First Keith Richards, now George W Bush. Never let it be said that the Times doesn't offer variety when it comes to serialising memoirs.

Or does it? Both, after all, are of the same generation, born just three years apart. Both were famously hell-raisers in their younger days.

And both were staunch supporters of the invasion of Iraq, who extended their warmest praise to Tony Blair for backing the move (Richards told the paper that he wrote to the then-prime minister insisting that "he had to stick to his guns" [subscription required]).

Either way, the latest series of extracts - this time from the USA's 43rd commander-in-chief - is clearly a major scoop, judging on the fact that spoilers adorn the front pages of so many of the papers' rivals.

The Daily Telegraph focuses on Bush's claim that the waterboarding of terrorist suspects prevented attacks on London, a line also followed up by the Daily Mail.

Conversely, the Guardian splashes on his revelation that he ordered the Pentagon to plan an attack on Iran. The Independent, equally conforming to type, leads with a book review of the tome by the literary critic Michiko Kakutani (although it does not do so on its website).

But it is the Times, of course, that carries the most Bush for one's buck, splurging 12 pages on extracts, photographs and an interview with him carried out by no less an authority than the editor, James Harding.

WMDs, Afghanistan, the battle with alcohol, his status within the Bush clan - all is contained herein. And, we are promised, in subsequent editions of the paper, until the book is shaken dry.

Whatever one thinks of Dubbya - and the Times certainly suggests that "posterity may be kinder to Mr Bush than his critics are inclined to be today" [subscription required] - the comprehensiveness of the exercise cannot be faulted.

The only thing missing is a soundtrack from Keef himself.

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