Laura Bush  has finally opened up publicly about the mysterious car accident she had when she was 17, a crash that claimed the life of a high school friend on a dark country road in Midland, Tex.

In her new book, “Spoken From the Heart,” Mrs. Bush describes in vivid detail the circumstances surrounding the crash, which has haunted her for most of her adult life and which became the subject of questions and speculation when it was revealed during her husband’s first presidential run. A copy of the book, scheduled for release in early May, was obtained by The New York Times at a bookstore.

On several occasions in the book, Mrs. Bush admonishes her husband’s political adversaries for “calling him names,” and she pointedly rebuts criticism of some of his key decisions. She suggested that his highly criticized fly-over of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was in the best interests of the victims and aid workers on the ground.

“He did not want one single life to be lost because someone was catering to the logistical requirements of a president,” she says about the Katrina fly-over. “He did not want his convoy of vehicles to block trucks delivering water or food or medical supplies, or to impede National Guardsmen from around the nation who were arriving to help.”

Mrs. Bush also suggests, apparently for the first time, that she, Mr. Bush, and several members of their staff may have been poisoned during a visit to Germany for a G8 Summit. They all became mysteriously sick, and the president was bedridden for part of the trip. The Secret Service investigated the possibility they were poisoned, she writes, but doctors could only conclude that they all contracted a virus. After noting several high-profile poisonings, she wrote, “we never learned if any other delegations became ill, or if ours, mysteriously, was the only one.”

Later, Mrs. Bush takes on Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat who is speaker of the House of Representatives, for calling Mr. Bush “an incompetent leader” and for saying he lacked judgment, knowledge and experience. She also bristles at the insults thrown at Mr. Bush by the Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, quoting him as calling her husband a “loser” and a “liar.”

“The comments were uncalled for and graceless,” she writes. “While a president’s political opponents, as well as his supporters, are entitled to make what they see as legitimate criticisms, and while our national debates should be spirited, these particular worlds revealed the petty and parochial nature of some who serve in Congress.”

[Read more from the NY Times HERE]

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