A Charge to Keep

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Overview

In this political memoir, the governor of Texas and front-runner for president in the year 2000 tells us who he is and what he stands for. The George W. Bush who leaps off these pages has his father's energy, his mother's tart and honest wit, and his own irreverence and impatience. He has prospered as George and Barbara's boy—"How can I deny it?"—but has walked a very fine line between loyalty and independence.

He addresses the questions that may well decide who becomes the next...

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Overview

In this political memoir, the governor of Texas and front-runner for president in the year 2000 tells us who he is and what he stands for. The George W. Bush who leaps off these pages has his father's energy, his mother's tart and honest wit, and his own irreverence and impatience. He has prospered as George and Barbara's boy—"How can I deny it?"—but has walked a very fine line between loyalty and independence.

He addresses the questions that may well decide who becomes the next president: crime, education, abortion, tax and tort reform, and the continuing battle "for the soul" of the Republican Party. He is, by no one's definition, a conventional candidate.

Will George W. Bush become the next president of the United States? A Charge to Keep will help the American public decide.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Despite the subtitle, this book, first published in 1999, does not include any report of the President's 2000 campaign nor the postelection drama of the Florida vote count. Typical of the books that presidential candidates write to introduce themselves to the American public and promote their campaigns, the narrative gives insight into the experiences that shaped Bush's life and his decision to run for president. Co-written with his communications director, Karen Hughes, the book stresses his educational reform successes as governor of Texas and describes faith-based programs supported by the state's agencies as examples of "compassionate conservatism." Bush also offers background and explanations for his decisions on several controversial issues, such as the death penalty and health-care reform. The overall tone of the book projects the "uniter not divider" image. Recommended for public libraries that do not own the 1999 edition. Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613457224
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 253
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

George W. Bush is the two-time governor of Texas, Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces and President of the United States of America.
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Read an Excerpt

Most lives have defining moments. Moments that forever change you. Moments that set you on a different course. Moments of recognition so vivid and so clear that everything later seems different. Renewing my faith, getting married, and having children top my list of those memorable moments. Mine also includes deciding to run for Governor of Texas and listening to Mark Craig's sermon.

I've heard a lot of different sermons in a lot of different churches. I grew up in the Presbyterian church in Midland, served communion as an altar boy at an Episcopal church in Houston, married into the Methodist church. I've attended revivals with Billy Graham, chapel at Camp David, Easter sunrise service in small-town Texas. I've been spellbound by the passionate preaching of Tony Evans and T.D. Jakes in Dallas. I even spoke from a pulpit, when my friend Pastor Ed Young of the Second Baptist Church in Houston invited me to visit his congregation. I've heard powerful sermons, inspiring sermons, and a few too many boring sermons. But this sermon reached out and grabbed me, and changed my life.

"I am going to give each of you a huge sum, $86,400," the minister told the several hundred people gathered in the downtown Austin church. "I'm going to give it to you right now. It's all yours--with just one small catch. You have to spend it all, every bit, today. Use it or lose it. No saving for a rainy day. No placing any of it in the stock market or a retirement account. No time for special orders or comparison shopping: $86,400. Right now. Buy a car or a boat or jewelry or all of the above, but you have to spend it all today."

Imagine the extravaganza of consumption. At what store would you start, how would you begin to spend all that cash? Just as we in the congregation got lost in the possibilities, the pastor called us back to reality. He wasn't talking money, he was talking time. Eighty-six thousand four hundred nonrefundable seconds every day. Use them or lose them.

The sermon was a rousing call to make the most of every moment, discard reservations, throw caution to the wind, rise to the challenge. And it came during the prayer service two hours before I would take the oath of office as Governor of Texas for a second time, pledging to uphold the Constitution and laws of the state of Texas and the United States of America, so help me God.

Most of my family and closest friends were in the church with me. Laura and our twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, Mom, Dad, Laura's mom, and two of my three brothers, their spouses and children, various aunts, uncles, and cousins, all sat shoulder to shoulder, filling the first several rows of upright wooden pews in the First United Methodist Church in Austin. My sister Dorothy was ill, and my brother Jeb was home in Florida, putting together his new administration.

Just two weeks before, the family had gathered in Tallahassee to watch that Governor Bush take his oath of office. The day had been sunny but unusually bitter cold, the temperature in the low twenties, the windchill below ten.

That day had been a long time coming. A treasured picture from my first inauguration shows Mother and Dad and the rest of my family watching as I took the oath of office. Dad was wiping a tear from his face, Jeb was standing behind him in the second row, looking pensive, no doubt thinking of what might have been. He was the brother who was supposed to have won in November of 1994, the Bush brother given the better shot at defeating Florida Governor Lawton Chiles than I had to upset popular incumbent Texas Governor Ann Richards. But it had not worked out that way, and Dad spoke for the whole family on election night when he told the press, "Our heads are in Texas, but our hearts are in Florida."

I was so proud of my younger brother. Jeb hadn't let defeat deter him; in fact, he said it had made him a better man. He displayed no hint of bitterness, despite allegations that campaign shenanigans had unfairly cost him votes. He was that hardest thing to be, gracious in defeat. After the election, he had taken stock of his life, spent more time with his family, converted to Catholicism, started a charter school in inner-city Miami, and kept working, reaching out, preparing for next time.

I could identify on a smaller scale, having come in second in a two-man race for Congress in 1978. Defeat humbles you. You work, you dream, you hope the people see it your way, then suddenly it's over and they did not. It's hard not to take a political loss personally; after all, it's your own name spelled out there on the ballot. Yet if you believe in the wisdom of the voters, as I do, you get over the disappointment, accept the verdict, and move on. My father and mother, who taught us so many of life's most important lessons, modeled that for us, too, in 1992.

Nineteen ninety-two was a tough year for our family. I watched as my dad's approval ratings plummeted from a record-shattering high of 92 percent just after Operation Desert Storm to only 38 percent when the American people voted in November. I had watched during that long year from my North Dallas office window as cars pulled in and out of Ross Perot's headquarters across the street, picking up signs for yards that should have been home to Republican voters. I had watched as Bill Clinton's catchphrase--"It's the economy, stupid"--became the defining message of the campaign, even though the economists said and the economy showed (although too late to make any difference) that recovery was under way.

Our family had gathered for election day at The Houstonian Hotel, in Mom and Dad's hometown of Houston, Texas. The day before, I had traveled with Dad on what would be his last campaign journey. He campaigned hard, always optimistic about his chances. Just before our last stop, Dad, Mary Matalin (ever the loyal soldier), the Oak Ridge Boys and I gathered in Dad's cabin on Air Force One. At Dad's request, the Oaks sang "Amazing Grace." It was a touching moment; Mary and I wiped tears from our eyes as we both sensed the impending defeat.

Copyright © 1999 by George W. Bush
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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Reflections xi
Acknowledgments xv
1 A Charge to Keep 1
2 Midland Values 14
3 "What Texans Can Dream, Texans Can Do" 23
4 Yale and the National Guard 46
5 Harvard and Moving Home 56
6 Reading: The New Civil Right 67
7 The Best Decision I Ever Made 79
8 Naming the Team 95
9 Working Together 110
10 The Big 4-0 132
11 Karla Faye Tucker and Henry Lee Lucas 140
12 Tides 167
13 The Veto 187
14 Baseball 197
15 A Time to Build 209
16 A Compassionate Conservative 226
Index 245
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 1999

    Bush, uhhh... writes a book.

    Srangely reminiscent of both the spice girls and the Oprah autobiographies. He offers a simple solutions to extremely complex issues, like a human roll of duct tape, but the actual parts of the book about him are enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2005

    proud to be a supporter of president bush and a republican

    This book is awesome! Bush is the best president America has ever seen! He is honest and trustworthy. Great Biography! Tells the truth about George W. Bush, not what the media has you believe!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2004

    George W. Bush

    Excellent biography! I enjoyed reading about our President... the life he has lead and the choices he has made, which have brought him to the position he is in today. I appreciate George W's desire to serve others and am thankful that he has been re-elected to a second term.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    president beorge w bush

    president george w bush is clearly our greatest president since ronald wilson reagan. president bush does not hesitate to destroy the evil of the islamofascist terrorists, thus opening up more of the world to ever increasing democracy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2004

    A Whitewash

    I found this book pure fiction. It was boring...and simply showing the 'born rich' never will get it!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    Keep The Charge

    This little tome reminds me of the 'I Love Lucy' episode in which Lucy decides to write a book. A publisher offers to publish parts of it in an upcoming textbook on writing. It will head up the chapter entitled 'Don't Let This Happen To You'. But, we did. Good Grief!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    The President speaks for himself!

    I learned from the President himself that he is not like his father. He grew up in Texas and worked in business himself. I appreciated reading his testimony of how he became a Christian at age 40 and says Jesus Christ helped him (not AA) stop drinking beer, and he never had a drink again! AMEN!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2002

    MUST READ

    This is a must read book detailing the man-within-a-man of George W. Bush including how he looks at the world around him. Conservatives, liberals, and moderates alike will take note of what the U.S. President says.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2002

    An insight to a truly great man

    This book was informative, honest, and spellbinding. The reader learns about the family values and wonderful moral character of the President. I feel this is an autobiography of our greatest leader. It further proves I have voted for the right man.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2002

    G.B - A Charge To Keep

    Read the book. What a self serving book of bull. This book wasn't worth wasting the paper it was printed on. I would give this book zero stars but the lowest you can go is one star.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2002

    A great book abput a Great president! (Sw Engineer San Diego)

    I'll keep it short. The book really reveals the essence of who our President Bush really is. It is to the point and it is real, not a poitical spin so often see from other less respectable representatives. I have seen his charactor come through when our Nation needed him so desperatly. He displayed courage and strength and trust and you see why in this book. This man is the greatest president I have ever known and you really need to read the book to understand why I respect him and admire his leadership. Observe these charactoristics in his actions as he leads America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2002

    God fearing man

    God bless George W. Finally a president in office with some morals. Not like the druggie, adulterer we had for the last eight years. FINALLY! Someone to fight the baby-killers and sodomites that have overrun our once great nation! GOD & COUNTRY!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2001

    HOW? HOW? HOW?

    In ofice for not even a year and here come the books. Can't be very well written, and its not.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2001

    Idealizing G.W.

    George W. Bush is a moron, that is clear. This book successfully side steps all the less than desirable events of G.W. 's life, rather it employs rhetoric and a glossy finish to enhance the life of a coke snorting, drunken, womanizing, election stealing, mouthpiece, baffoon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2001

    A great look into the life of our 43rd President

    This autobiography is one of the best I have readin a while. He goes into his personal life and displays it with out hesitation. Our President has done a great job and I would recomend this book to anyone who asked.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2001

    A revealing look into the life of our new President!

    'A Charge To Keep' is a revealing look into the personal stories and public life of one of America's most intriguing political leaders. I also found it to be inspirational and optimistic. I enjoyed seeing the fifteen pages of pictures in the center of the book. At the end of the book you will find an Index so you can look up his views on anything from baseball to social security. I have been following the news for a while now and found it enlightening to finally get the other side of the story on many issues. You will so enjoy reading the other side of so many stories the media distorted for their own use. I have always believed that it is best to go to the source and learn the truth. In this book, you will finally hear George W.'s side of the story and also hear the truth about how he has successfully worked with Republicans and Democrats to enact Texas' two largest tax cuts. This is a book filled with personal and political experiences which have shaped his values and led him to his decision to become a candidate for President. You will read about everything from his experiences as Governor to his love of baseball. His wit, intelligence and down-to-earth personality will also never fail to impress you. I found it interesting to read about his inspiration for his philosophy of 'leave no child behind.' This actually came from his working for an inner-city poverty program. You will fully understand how this man developed his compassionate conservative philosophy. You will truly see the heart of a man who I know will make a great President. There are qualities we all want to see in a President: Honesty, discipline, leadership, a proven track record of success, the ability to solve problems, a love for America, a love for the people of America, a can do attitude, moral values, a man who gives of himself, an insightful leader, someone who can keep the peace and knows that to do this means keeping our military strong, a man who can propose creative solutions and a man with a proved record of serving his country. I love the fact that he served in the Air National Guard, that he and his wife Laura have a love of reading and want to help every child learn to read, and that he knows that he is responsible to a higher power. He lives his faith, but does not flaunt it. 'America is a great country because of our religious freedoms.' --George W. Bush 'Reading is to the mind what food is to the body.' --George W. Bush For anyone who thinks that George W. Bush is cashing in on his father's good name...they have not read this book! This is a self-made man. I noticed that his values have not changed over the years. You will see this by reading the information on his past political campaigns. You will also see why reporters should read his book to get the real story. Through his life, he has also seen America's culture change dramatically and knows it is time to usher in an era of personal responsibility. He is a student of history and has studied the events that shaped America's political story. Men will love the story of his first solo flight in an F-102 on page 53, and the story about 'the cuff links' given to him by his father, on page 42. Women will love how he finally was introduced to Laura and how much he loves her and their daughters. 'Unconditional love is the greatest gift a parent can give a child.' --George W. Bush George W. Bush makes me want to stand up and say I am proud to be an American. He believes in the American people and wants us to seize the moment. He inspires HOPE! 'I am optimistic our children's lives will continue to improve in material terms. The risk is that their moral and spiritual lives will not improve. You see the strength of a society should not be measured only in the wealth it accumulates or the technology it develops. The strength of a society should be measured in the values its people share.' --George W. Bush What do I like most

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    Knowing George W. Bush

    This book is a positive and uplifting journey through the life of then Texas govenor George W. Bush. Very well written this book serves as sort of an introduction to the man who is to become the 43rd president of the United States of America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2000

    THE MEMOIRS OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W.BUSH

    EVERY AMERICAN MUST READ THE MEMOIRS OF OUR 43 PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES GEORGE W.BUSH.PRESIDENT BUSH WILL GIVE THE READER A HISTORY OF HIS LIFE AND TIMES.ON OCTOBER 14,2000 PRESIDENT BUSH SENT ME A AUTOGRAPHED NAME FOR HIS BOOK 'TO JEFFREY BEST WISHES'-G.W.BUSH

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2000

    Great insight into the person behind the politics...

    This book gives delightful insight into the man behind the president-elect. After reading this book, I totally respect the man and feel he will do good from our country. He gets alot of bad press for giving simple answers to difficult problems, but he makes it clear that solutions are only as complicated as you make them. I think George W. is a brilliant man that understands the beauty of simplicity and applies it to his career and personal life. Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2000

    THE MEMOIRS OF G.W.BUSH

    THE MEMOIRS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH SHOULD BE READ BY EVERY AMERICAN.GEORGE W.BUSH OFFERS THE AMERICAN READER A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE OF HIS LIFE.ON OCTOBER 14,2000 GOVERNOR BUSH SENT ME A NAME PLATE FOR HIS BOOK:'TO JEFFREY BEST WISHES -G.W.BUSH

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