George W Bush – 41 Portrait of my Father
This book is a “love story”, rather than a biography. George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States wrote the book as a glimpse into the life of the 41st President of the United States, his father, George W H Bush. Not many sons write books about their fathers life, and certainly not presidents about other presidents.
I won’t go into detail reviewing the stories that pertain to certain situations that have a certain political weight to them. Not knowing a lot about the Bush family, outside of the public appearances, I was curious to see how the story can be told through the eyes of one of them. The book doesn’t pretend to be objective and I wasn’t expecting it to be.
The conversational storytelling makes it an easy read, even if the most of the stories you will find in the book have been covered by traditional media outlets. Most importantly, it offers a view of how public life affected the family, even though they have been in the spotlight for so many generations.
One of the first things I realized reading the first chapters was the boundless respect and love George W Bush has for his father. The book is written by a son, in the end, and this is clear, regardless of the events the “characters” in the book are part of. The way a son speaks about his father shows you how good of a father that person is.
Based on the stories told in the book, I got the feeling George W H Bush was humble, loyal and believes people are good regardless of what happens. He never lost trust in the big picture, inspiring people through his leadership qualities. The author does suggest that some of his father’s action could have been more calculated, but not as a critique towards his parent, but as a lessons learned kind of exercise.
The character of his father is contrasted to the one of Nixon, who was an introvert that believed everyone is his enemy. Always skeptical and cynical, he fell into the trap of fighting his enemies but also his friends. Without knowing too much details about them, I can’t judge these assessments.
The book is a good and easy read, if one is passionate about the US Political landscape.