Guest Review of All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings
By Barbara Bush
George has always been known for his prodigious letter-writing – whether they are funny, sad, whimsical, serious – they all tell a story. Through his letters, you will see what I have seen for the past 68 years – George H.W. Bush is the most decent, dearest man; the most loving father; a friend to all.
Even though George went on to become a congressman, ambassador, Director of the CIA, Vice President and President, he never thought his work was finished. In recent years George partnered with President Clinton – the Odd Couple – to raise funds to aid in the relief efforts following the catastrophic tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike in the Gulf Coast states. You can read all about the Odd Couple and more in this new edition of All the Best.
I have just reread the book for about the 5th time. The new letters are just wonderful, but I loved rereading the old ones as well. I remember when the book first came out 15 years ago, a number of book reviews said these letters were an amazing way to tell one’s life story – much more honest and revealing than an autobiography. (Which is good since we could not talk George into writing one.) I could not agree more. These letters really are a window into George Bush’s soul.
There are letters from World War II, when he wrote his mother just about every thought he had, including the day after he was shot down; there is a letter about our dear Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3; there are letters about Watergate, living in China, and meeting Mikhail Gorbachev for the first time. There are letters about what it means to win – and lose – the Presidency. And what it means to see a son become President. There are letters about 9-11 and Katrina and the death of John Paul II.
His letters to his children and grandchildren about aging are especially dear and poignant and honest.
And, yes, there are some funny and even silly letters – about broken toilets and the Aflac duck. There’s even one admonishing his college-aged granddaughters not to become “girls gone wild” on Spring Break.
I was reminded again of how lucky I am to have married this amazing man, and what a great adventure life with George Bush has been.
So I hope you enjoy reading this compilation of letters as much as I did… and may it show you all the best in life!