I wasn’t very old when George H.W. Bush was elected President of the United States. I was only in sixth grade. I don’t remember much about his presidency beyond Operation Just Cause in December of 1989 when the United States invaded Panama to depose Manuel Noriega and Operation Desert Storm of 1991. I was very personally affected by Operation Just Cause because my beloved sixth grade teacher was in Panama for her Christmas vacation. I worried about her and prayed for her until the whole thing was over.
Other than those two things I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the political world during George H.W. Bush’s administration. I was a little more concerned with school, boys, zits, and having fun. In fact politics were pretty boring stuff until I hit my later teens. These are my reasons for not really being acquainted with the presidents after Thomas Jefferson and preceding Bill Clinton, with one or two exceptions. Of course, after Bill Clinton came along things got really interesting…
Anyway, before I get really sidetracked!
I am a fan of George W. Bush. I really admire the person he became during his life, even if I don’t always agree with all his policies. However, I do admire his and Laura dedication to this country. I think they are real patriots in a time when being a patriot isn’t always admired. Because of my admiration for the two of them, I have made it a point to read the books they have written.
The latest book by George W. Bush is 41 A Portrait of My Father. He recalls life with his parents, most particularly his father. He details the service his father gave to this country. He talks about the influence and support that his father gave him during his entire life. Through everything that he wrote, the admiration, inspiration, and love that George W. feels for his father shines through.
I laughed quite a bit. I cried several times. George H.W. Bush came to life as I read. I had no idea that he had worked so hard to earn his own way instead of falling into a family job that would have guaranteed financial success. I never knew he had served the United States in so many capacities. I didn’t know that he was so patriotic that he enlisted in the military on his 18th birthday, approximately six months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and after graduating from high school. The more I read the more my admiration grew.
George W. Bush doesn’t spent a lot of time on politics in this book. Because of the nature of his father’s life he does mention a lot political situations, but usually it was done in a way that demonstrated the effect politics had on his father. I was impressed by the sheer amount of personal relationships George H.W. Bush maintained through his life. I would have loved to have been invited to some of those family barbecues his son talks about, where political leaders and Bush neighbors rubbed shoulders. It must have been fascinating! In fact, I am looking forward to reading more about the first President Bush.
I think this is a book that could be enjoyed by anyone, despite their political views. It really is the story of how a son feels about his father.