George Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee

Overview

In the first full account of the former president, award-winning historian and biographer Herbert S. Parmet draws from George Bush's personal papers to look at the man who led America through the end of the Cold War. Enriched by access to Bush's private diaries, the book provides an intimate portrait of the forty-first president, and corrects many long-held misconceptions about him.
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Overview

In the first full account of the former president, award-winning historian and biographer Herbert S. Parmet draws from George Bush's personal papers to look at the man who led America through the end of the Cold War. Enriched by access to Bush's private diaries, the book provides an intimate portrait of the forty-first president, and corrects many long-held misconceptions about him.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This comprehensive biography of our 41st president, authored by a noted historian, presents stunning insights into a complex politician, from his early years as the son of a Connecticut senator to his military service during World War II and his rise to the White House.
Library Journal
CUNY professor Parmet had exclusive access to Bush's personal letters and journals for this biography.
NY Times Book Review
The first full-scale biography raises the question (which remains unresolved) of whether its subject ever followed his convictions rather than his interests.
Kirkus Reviews
Bred in New England reticence and transplanted to rambunctious Texas, acclaimed as a war hero and scorned as a political wimp, George Bush remains the walking contradiction who puzzled Americans, in this dispassionate biography by Parmet (History/City Univ. of New York; JFK: The Presidency of John F. Kennedy, 1983, etc.).

Not unlike JFK, Bush came from wealth, served with distinction in WW II's Pacific theater, and became the all-important link in a political dynasty (father Prescott was US senator from Connecticut; son George W. is now governor of Texas). But the differences between the two men loom even larger. Bush's career was shaped by gale-force changes within the Republican Party. He made his way in Texas by allying himself with three new strains of conservatives: oil plutocrats who longed for laissez-faire economics, evangelical Protestants (many suspicious of civil-rights initiatives), and anti-communist zealots of the John Birch variety. Nationally, he made his first run for the presidency just as the New Right became ascendant with the election of Ronald Reagan. As a result, this fiercely driven politician had to wait until he was 64 to achieve the presidency, and to endure humiliations and act in ways he would not ordinarily have desired. Described as decent and loyal by most who knew him well, Bush also felt compelled sometimes to campaign with few scruples (he confessed to his minister that he regretted taking far-right positions in a failed run against Senator Ralph Yarborough in 1964). Parmet uses Bush's diaries and interviews with him and his GOP associates to flesh out this story. Still, he unearths few revelations, other than the Bushes' suspicion that a jealous Nancy Reagan spread false rumors of George's affair with the widow of a congressman.

Unlike Parmet's two-volume JFK biography, this suffers from lack of greater access to still-secret materials and to aides with enough distance from the political wars to speak with unbuttoned candor about their boss.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684194523
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 10/7/1997
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition 9
Prologue 13
1 Down East 17
2 Poppy as Preppy 28
3 Poppy at War 42
4 In Search of Black Gold 62
5 On the Permian Basin 72
6 Harris County 87
7 The Bush Circle 98
8 "Labels Are For Cans" 115
9 "Rubbers" 123
10 Good-bye to Texas 137
11 Nixon and China 155
12 "Head Spook" 184
13 The Man in the Brooks Brothers Suit 207
14 The Rise of the Lone Star Yankee 238
15 The Haunting of the Vice Presidency 255
16 Casey's Kind of Guy 290
17 "With a Wink and a Nod" 310
18 "A Flag Too Far" 334
19 "Reagan Doesn't Work Here Anymore" 357
20 "It's Six P.M. and We Don't Know Where Noriega Is" 392
21 "Kind of Drifting" 420
22 "Give Me the Strength to Do What Is Right" 442
23 "With High Fidelity" 477
Notes 513
Index 555
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