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All the Best: My Life in Letters and Other Writings Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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George Bush has an understated sense of humor only rarely seen by the public during his presidency. A few examples:
- He brought in Dana Carvey to "play" him at a White House staff meeting.
- A serious memo to President Reagan ends with the "blind man" joke.
- Awarding a "Scowcroft Award" to anyone who falls asleep in a Cabinet meeting then makes a brilliant recovery upon awakening.
- "Being called dishonest by Bill Clinton is like being called ugly by a frog."
- "Mikhail--I want you to have this first message that I have ever sent to a foreign leader on my new computer..."
George Bush is also a decent man, who values his friends and lives his values. This seems particularly clear as we read about:
- The letters he wrote to the families of soldiers who died fighting for their country
- His deep disappointment in Richard Nixon over Watergate and their continuing friendship afterward
- His restraint when dealing with a press corps "...more hateful than I can ever recall in modern times."
- His sincere efforts to remain friends with those he disagreed with politically
- The value he places on equality and civil rights in the face of extremists from the right and the left
This is a well-written book by a man who made a difference in the world without demanding the spotlight, even as president. We hear about this world as he described and interpreted it for others. Those interested in a more traditional treatment of world events during George Bush's time in the White House may prefer A World Transformed, co-authored with Brent Scowcroft.
The youngest pilot for a time in WWII, shot down in the Pacific Ocean and rescued by submarine, a graduate of Yale University, and a Wildcat Oilman. Add into this already amazing life-- elected member of the U S Congress from the stronghold of Democrat Party Texas, U S Ambassador to the United Nations, National Chairman of the Republican Party, Ambassador to the U S Ligation to People's Republic of China, Vice-President of the United States, and President. What a life!
The thread that runs through the fabic of George H W Bush's life, revealed through his many letters, memos, and personal diary entries is the humanity, love and respect this man had for his family, his friends and all human beings. A son of New England Connecticut, and of course-- his beloved seaside Maine, a region that helped to shape his early values, but not the hard-edged variety-- there is a gentleness and compassion in the man. Make no mistake not the whimpy kind, but gentleness with a ramrod spine demanding personal integrity and high ideals-- strength that withstood WWII, the death of a much loved young daughter, Watergate and other challenges well into the his later years.
Anyone over 50 will be able to relive their lives through many of Mr. Bush's experiences, and possibly rethink some personal perspectives regarding some of the events in the last quarter of the 20TH Century.
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