Destiny and Power

Destiny and Power

The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

Book - 2015
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Drawing on President Bush's personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed. His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics. With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush's candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781400067657
Characteristics: xxiv, 836 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 25 cm


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Feb 02, 2018

As noted by Meacham, the opinion of George H. W. Bush's presidency has vastly improved since he left office. While this might be due in part to comparisons with his son George W. Bush's polarizing two terms, after reading this comprehensive sweep of Bush 41's life, I would say that what people really miss about the period was his lack of partisanship and "hot rhetoric", which was antithetical to his character. George H. W. Bush was not a man with a vision, but the country- and the world- benefited from someone who was able to maintain calm and patience while dramatic, historic events were unfolding all around him.

May 03, 2016

George H. W. Bushes life

Jan 26, 2016

Ah, a real bio would have been most welcome: on the Walker side, their money came from being slave traders - - on the Bush side, they were favored by the Rockefeller family, which owned Buckeye Steel Castings [Frank Rockefeller], where a senior Bush was successful [wonder if they had anything to do with blowing up those competitors' refineries for the Rockefellers?] - - George H.W. Bush's grandfather was the first president, and one of the founding members of the most anti-worker organization ever, the National Association of Manufacturers [NAM].
There has always been either a Walker or Bush at Goldman Sachs? Most interesting. Prescott Bush was important in covering up Bush's desertion of his fellow aircrew, bailing out and leaving them to die while in WWII. Also at the beginning of WWII, the Union Banking Corporation, of which Prescott Bush was a senior executive and director, would have ALL their assets confiscated by the government under the Trading With the Enemies Act - - they transferred gold and other assets for the Nazis!

Dec 25, 2015

It was interesting to be reminded of events in the past and Bush 41's part in it. I think he sometimes looked through rose-colored glasses--especially where Bush 43 was concerned. Of course, he is the father and it's hard to judge one's child objectively. The first chapter about earlier generations was a little "gagging". All the nicknames, like Bucky, and Pressy. I expected to hear someone was called Buffy or Muffy. Their's was a well-to-do family with servants and expectations and entitlements due. Most women could play several sets of tennis and still play with their children if someone else cooked, cleaned, etc. Parenting skills were a little amiss, as well. We have had enough Presidents Bush.


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