Continued from page 1

Barney appears in eight shots — the same number as Vice President Dick Cheney.

Between them, Barney, Miss Beasley and Spot, the three family dogs, grace 12 photos — two more than Condoleezza Rice, his national security adviser and secretary of state, and equivalent to those featuring Mr. Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.

First lady Laura Bush leads the pack by appearing in 22 of the photos.

The book peers deeply into the Bush family life, with one particularly intriguing photo of Mr. Bush descending a staircase at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dacha. Ms. Rice plays the piano in the foreground, and Mrs. Bush is sitting in the background.

Like most portrait collections, the book is a hagiography. The former president and first lady approved the project and gave their input on the photos that Mr. Draper included.

Mr. Draper manages to capture many of Mr. Bush’s human foils from his eight years, including close ally British Prime Minister Tony Blair, close friend Mr. Koizumi, unreliable partner Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the disappointing Mr. Putin.

Mr. Putin once bragged to Mr. Bush that his own black lab, Koni, was “bigger, tougher, stronger, faster, meaner” than Barney — displaying apparently a bit of machismo that was part of the relationship between the two men. But Mr. Draper thinks Mr. Putin was a bit rosy-eyed.

“I was there. I was there in Russia when he told him that. And his dog really wasn’t that much bigger,” he said. “I think Barney could have taken him.”

The photographer wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how history will see Mr. Bush.

“To be honest, I have no clue,” Mr. Draper said. “I’m not a historian. I guess I’m a photo historian to a degree. I let the pictures be the judge, but I don’t know.”

For him, one of the most striking photographs is that of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., visiting in 2002 with children Martin Luther King III and Bernice King. The daughter is kneeling and holding the hands of the seated president, and the entire group is deep in prayer.

Mr. Draper makes the most of the windows on Marine One, the helicopter that often ferried Mr. Bush on short flights, and through which he saw much of the country close-up.

The photographer frames one shot of the smoking World Trade Center at night as the exhausted president jets for home on Sept. 14, 2001, rubbing his eyes after a day of comforting families and rallying first responders with the famous vow that “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

In another photo, he frames the Capitol receding as Mr. Bush leaves Washington on Jan. 20, 2009 — the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as president.

Mr. Draper said he was as fascinated as everyone else when he learned that Mr. Bush had taken up painting.

Story Continues →