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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review | Time | NPR | St. Louis Post-Dispatch 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. 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. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it. 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. Praise for Destiny and Power “Should be required reading—if not for every presidential candidate, then for every president-elect.”—The Washington Post “Reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer: judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.”—The New York Times Book Review “A fascinating biography of the forty-first president.”—The Dallas Morning News “When we rank, reconsider, laud, or denounce past Presidents, living or dead, we are taking stock of our own times. In that sense, the vindication of George H. W. Bush is a reflection of what we know we’ve lost. Jon Meacham’s new biography of Bush, Destiny and Power, makes that plain from its very first pages.”—The New Yorker “The story of the forty-first man to hold the office sheds light not only on the country we were, but the one we’ve become.”—Los Angeles Times From the Hardcover edition.
#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 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. 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. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it. 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. Praise for Destiny and Power "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 "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 "This astonishing book is both timely and timeless. . . . A fascinating and insightful portrayal of the life of an exemplary American citizen."--Walter Isaacson "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 "This riveting biography by the incomparable Jon Meacham gives George H. W. Bush his well-deserved place in history."--Michael Beschloss
Former President George H.W. Bush, revealed through his letters and writings from 1941 to 2010, is “worth its weight in gold…a valuable update of the life of an honorable American leader” (The Washington Post). “Who knew that beneath George Bush’s buttoned-up propriety pulsed the warm heart of a prolific and occasionally poetic writer with a wacky sense of humor?” (People) Though reticent in public, George Bush openly shared his private thoughts in correspondence throughout his life. This collection of letters, diary entries, and memos is the closest we’ll ever get to his autobiography. Organized chronologically, readers will gain insights into Bush’s career highlights—the oil business, his two terms in Congress, his ambassadorship to the UN, his service as an envoy to China, his tenure with the Central Intelligence Agency, and of course, the vice presidency, the presidency, and the post-presidency. They will also observe a devoted husband, father, and American. Ranging from a love letter to Barbara and a letter to his mother about missing his daughter, Robin, after her death from leukemia to a letter to his children written just before the beginning of Desert Storm, this collection is remarkable for Bush’s candor, humor, and poignancy. “An unusual glimpse of the private thoughts of a public figure” (Newsweek), this revised edition includes new letters and photographs that highlight the Bush family’s enduring legacy, including letters that cover George W. Bush’s presidency, 9/11, Bush senior’s work with President Clinton to help the victims of natural disasters, and the meaning of friendship and family. All the Best, George Bush “will shed more light on the man’s personal character and public persona than any memoir or biography could” (Publishers Weekly).
The 43rd president offers an intimate biography of his father, who went from being a World War II fighter pilot to become the director of the CIA, vice president under Ronald Reagan and president of the United States himself.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward. Praise for American Gospel “In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776 “Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
The judicious statesman who won victories abroad but suffered defeat at home, whose wisdom and demeanor served America well at a critical time George Bush was a throwback to a different era. A patrician figure not known for eloquence, Bush dismissed ideology as "the vision thing." Yet, as Timothy Naftali argues, no one of his generation was better prepared for the challenges facing the United States as the Cold War ended. Bush wisely encouraged the liberalization of the Soviet system and skillfully orchestrated the reunification of Germany. And following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he united the global community to defeat Saddam Hussein. At home, Bush reasserted fiscal discipline after the excesses of the Reagan years. It was ultimately his political awkwardness that cost Bush a second term. His toughest decisions widened fractures in the Republican Party, and with his party divided, Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992. In a final irony, the conservatives who scorned him would return to power eight years later, under his son and namesake, with the result that the elder George Bush would see his reputation soar.
No one is more qualified to give a fully rounded, objective portrait of our forty-first president than Tom Wicker. A political correspondent for The New York Times for more than thirty years, Wicker was a first-hand witness to and reporter of George H. W. Bush’s political rise and presidential reign. In George Herbert Walker Bush, Wicker provides a richly drawn and succinct overview of Bush from his New England roots, his decorated service in World War II, and his successful oil businesses to his shift to politics and rapid rise within the Republican party. As he describes changes within the Republican party in recent decades, Wicker charts Bush’s career, including in-depth analysis of his campaign tactics and his gift for creating friendships and inspiring loyalty which, Wicker argues, has been the key to Bush’s success. The result is a fascinating, timely glimpse into one of the most powerful families in America today, complete with insights into the current reign of George W. Bush, the continued legacy of the Bush family, and contemporary American politics.

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