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Destiny and power : the American odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
2015
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
History
Political
Topics
Bush, George Herbert Walker
U.S. presidents
Republican Party
Political leaders
American politics and government
Bush family
American history
Setting
Maine - New England (U.S.)
Texas - South (U.S.)
Washington, D.C. - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
-- 20th-21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Though a stage and screen actor, Michael reads-rather than performs-this biography of the 41st president of the United States. The text is full of quotes from the diaries Bush and his wife, Barbara, kept throughout their lives, and from the books and diaries of numerous political figures. Michael always manages to make it clear who is speaking without trying to create voices for each of these people. Meacham paints a portrait of a man who believes in loyalty, honesty, and necessary political compromise, only on rare occasions allowing his fierce ambition to overcome his code of honor. As a presidential candidate at the 1988 Republican National Convention, he truly believed in his winning line, "Read my lips: no new taxes." While Michael has exhibited his acting acumen in other audiobooks, he's right to read this one in a steady, straightforward voice. A Random House hardcover. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST <br> <br> In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. 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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it.<br> <br> From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first.<br> <br> Praise for Destiny and Power<br> <br> "Altogether fair, insightful . . . a portrait made especially compelling by the author's remarkable access to Bush's private White House diaries. This is a timely, first-rate book!" --David McCullough <br> <br> "What a spectacular and moving portrait this is--not only of a remarkably classy man but of the era that shaped him! It is hard to imagine a biographer more fitted than Jon Meacham to write what will surely be the definitive work on George Herbert Walker Bush." --Doris Kearns Goodwin <br> <br> "This astonishing book is both timely and timeless. . . . A fascinating and insightful portrayal of the life of an exemplary American citizen." --Walter Isaacson <br> <br> "Jon Meacham's timely and intimate biography of George Bush 41 is a welcome reminder of this modest president's call to service, from the cockpits of World War II to the Oval Office and the end of the Cold War." --Tom Brokaw <br> <br> "This riveting biography by the incomparable Jon Meacham gives George H. W. Bush his well-deserved place in history." --Michael Beschloss
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Last Gentlemanp. xv
Part IA Vanished Universe, Beginnings to 1942
1The Land of the Self-Made Manp. 3
2A Real Son of a Bitchp. 14
3He Gets So Intense Over Everythingp. 24
4Not for Selfp. 33
5That's Barbara Piercep. 41
Part IIWar and Marriage, 1942 to 1948
6Off I Zoomedp. 51
7I Wanted to Finish My Missionp. 58
8Life Lay Ahead of Usp. 68
Part IIITexas and Tragedy, 1948 to 1966
9Who Had Ever Heard of Odessa, Texas?p. 83
10I Push It Away, Push It Backp. 91
11I Was Bleeding Insidep. 105
12Goldwater's Policies, Kennedy's Stylep. 112
Part IVThe Wars of Washington, 1966 to 1977
13Without a Moment to Stopp. 129
14A Turn on the World Stagep. 151
15This Job Is No Fun at Allp. 162
16Am I Running Away from Something?p. 180
17George Bush, Super Spookp. 194
Part VThe Age of Reagan, 1977 to 1989
18A President We Won't Have to Trainp. 209
19We Have Done the Unthinkablep. 221
20It Hurt Like Hellp. 227
21Is George Bush There?p. 242
22Well, What Do We Do Now?p. 257
23The Special Relationshipp. 262
24The President Was Struckp. 271
25George Did Itp. 284
26On the Eve of the Runp. 293
27Like You've Been Hit in the Stomachp. 313
28We Came Out of the Deadp. 322
29I'm Stronger and Tougherp. 330
Part VIThe Awesome Responsibility, 1989 to 1993
30The Sun Started Throughp. 355
31If It Weren't for the Deficit...p. 360
32Victory in Europe, Terror in Chinap. 367
33The Fall of the Wallp. 379
34I Want to Do the Most Good I Canp. 390
35A Nation Reunited and a New NATOp. 397
36I've Got to Do What I Think Is Rightp. 409
37This Will Not Standp. 421
38No Blood for Oilp. 434
39Read My Hipsp. 443
40The Threat of Impeachmentp. 450
41Nothing Like It Since Trumanp. 458
42I'm Just Not Sure I Want to Run Againp. 470
43A Coup in Moscowp. 482
44It Was Discouraging as Hellp. 497
45God, It Was Ghastlyp. 514
46The Closing of an Erap. 523
Part VIIIn the Twilight, 1993 to 2016
47I'd Like to See Old George Bushp. 539
48The Proudest Father in the Whole Wide Worldp. 548
49It Is Not Easy to Sit on the Sidelinesp. 560
50The Buck Stops Therep. 580
Epilogue: I Don't Want to Miss Anythingp. 595
Author's Notep. 603
Acknowledgmentsp. 605
Mapp. 612
Notesp. 615
Bibliographyp. 787
Permission Creditsp. 807
Illustration Creditsp. 809
Indexp. 813
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