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oHe was the last of a kind, and his rise, his fall, and his rebirth in the twilight of his life offers a window on a great deal of American history.o An intimate and detailed life story of a man known only through his politics, or from a distance. From interviews and unprecedented access to Bush's presidential diaries, Meacham brings Bush and the great American family vividly to life, beginning in the Midwest in the late 1800's and on to George H. W. Bush's childhood, his heroic service in World War II, Texas, his political rise. With Meacham's trademark compelling narration, historical depth, and contemporary insight, this stunning biography reveals the unusual self-reflections and distinctive American life of a man from the Greatest Generation who pursued a life of service as a guardian of America in the way of Eisenhower, and was one of the last gentleman in our political world.
#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.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'American Lion' draws on exclusive sources to provide a portrait of the 41st president that traces the Bush family's humble 19th-century origins, his Connecticut childhood, his military service, his business achievements and his political accomplishments
"Updated with new letters and photos"--Dust jacket.
Through the lens of more than forty speeches from his presidency, George H. W. Bush takes a special look back on the momentous global events of 1989-1992 -- the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the liberation of Kuwait, to name a few -- and reminisces about what it was like to be president through such unprecedented times. Choosing from among the hundreds of speeches he gave while in office, former president Bush selects those that meant the most to him and introduces each one with candid comments recalling the circumstances and events leading up to it. "Although now in hindsight it seems that the end results were almost preordained, at the time no one knew what would happen next. Nothing was 'inevitable' at all. We learned quickly that words mattered," he writes in the opening pages of Speaking of Freedom. Selections throughout the book bring back the fascinating times of Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Václav Havel, and even Saddam Hussein -- when we watched as the idea of freedom seemed to spread all over the world. It was a stunning time in world history, and in these speeches the forty-first president observes it from his perspective as commander in chief, diplomat, politician, navy pilot, and grandfather. While many of the speeches deal with foreign affairs, others cover freedom's spread within the United States, including the signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and the historic Clean Air Act of 1990. President Bush's voice comes across perhaps most clearly when he is calling young people to lead a life of meaning and adventure that results only from serving others. Showcasing President Bush's usual charm, self-deprecating wit, and sharp perception, these speeches mark the moments -- large and small -- that defined his presidency. Through his words that motivated people all around the world to become involved in ideas that were bigger than themselves, George H. W. Bush shows us what it means to be "speaking of freedom."
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

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