The Untold Story: My 20 Years Running the National Enquirer by Iain Calder Miramax Books - Hyperion $200 President George W. Bush owes his position in the White House and as leader of the nominally free world to the National Enquirer. The infamous tabloid that brought millions of readers Elvis in his coffin also delivered Donna Rice on the lap of would-be president Gary Hart aboard the good ship Monkey Business. The man who dropped the blonde bombshell on the 1988 Democrat hopeful was Iain Calder, a transplanted Scot who'd cut his teeth on Scottish provincial papers before earning his stripes in the 10-year Glasgow newspaper war of the 1960s. Calder seems almost to have second thoughts about having scuttled the Democrat presidential race. In The Untold Story, he recalls: 'The Democratic nomination went to Michael Dukakis, who really didn't stand a chance against George Bush Snr. I often wonder who would have been our 2001 president if we hadn't found those photos. Certainly not Dubya.' Yet Hart was such an airhead he challenged the paper to 'put a tail' on him if it thought there was anything going on. That was too much to resist. The Enquirer got the photo and splashed it across page one. Hart's campaign sank without trace. The story was the result of persistent digging by a dedicated staff. Calder describes how the Enquirer had built up a team of tenacious bloodhounds who could operate from Monaco to Macau. Their approach was to get the story, get it first and, as in the Glasgow newspaper wars, implement a scorched earth policy to ensure nothing was left behind for the opposition. The 'Elvis in his coffin' photo and the accompanying report were the result of dogged legwork that eventually paid off when one of Presley's cousins was cornered in a bar, made an offer and agreed to get the shot. Calder says the edition jumped off the stands, and there were near riots at some southern supermarkets as the edition arrived. Sales hit 6.7 million - a record for the publication. The paper got off to a shaky start when in 1952 Gene Pope bought the near-bankrupt New York Evening Enquirer, which he renamed the National Enquirer. Calder, out of loyalty, circumspection or both, skirts the issue of the mafia and any direct involvement of 'The Family' in funding Pope's Enquirer, but certainly in the early New York days there were some tough characters helping out. Pope's father, who arrived as a near penniless immigrant boy from Sicily, had boasted of having judges and policemen on his payroll. Calder describes the mercurial Pope, to whom 'impossible was not an option', as a genius who had a strong sense of what the public wanted and lavished generous salaries on journalists willing to produce the goods. It was Pope's idea to put the Enquirer into supermarkets when city population centres drifted to the suburbs. It was a hard sell to win over the chains, but the paper never looked back. The National Enquirer has never won a Pulitzer Prize, but Calder's tour through its corridors make it a must for any journalism 101 course. And for the gossip in all of us, it's a handy snapshot of the rich and infamous.