Reflections: Life After the White House [NOOK Book]

Overview

"There is a myth in the United States -- you've heard it many times. It says that all American mothers hope that their child will grow up to be President of the United States. In my case that certainly is a myth. I never dreamed that any of ours would; there were days when I hoped they'd just grow up!...But on January 20, 2001...there we were sitting on the west side of the United States Capitol, waiting for our son George W. to be sworn in as the forty-third President of the United States of America." -- from ...
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Reflections: Life After the White House

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Overview

"There is a myth in the United States -- you've heard it many times. It says that all American mothers hope that their child will grow up to be President of the United States. In my case that certainly is a myth. I never dreamed that any of ours would; there were days when I hoped they'd just grow up!...But on January 20, 2001...there we were sitting on the west side of the United States Capitol, waiting for our son George W. to be sworn in as the forty-third President of the United States of America." -- from the Prologue

This inspiring follow-up to Barbara Bush's number one bestselling memoir covers the momentous eight years between President George H. W. Bush's leaving office and President George W. Bush's inauguration.
Not since Abigail Adams has one woman been both the wife and mother to a president. Barbara Bush's prominent place in American history is matched by her extraordinary popularity: Republicans and Democrats alike appreciate her wit, her compassion, and her devotion to her family. Dignified, loyal, and unpretentious, Barbara Bush defied skeptics to become one of the most admired first ladies in history; she remains a beloved public figure today.
Picking up where Barbara Bush: A Memoir left off, Reflections begins with the inauguration of her son, President George W. Bush, in January 2001, and then flashes back eight years to President Clinton's inauguration, when she and her husband President George H. W. Bush were leaving the White House. Drawing on excerpts from her diary, Mrs. Bush chronologically takes us through this time in her life, devoting one chapter to each year. She reveals her and her husband's inner lives through sometimes touching and often hilarious stories about their extensive travels, their hobbies, and their charity work. She discusses her experiences on the campaign trail with her sons, and relates her continuing interactions with VIPs from around the world. Mrs. Bush also touches on more controversial issues, such as her husband's resignation from the NRA, the caning of an American student in Singapore, and the hypocrisy of certain politicians. The extraordinary amount of love she feels for her family and the pride she takes in their many achievements is always clear, particularly when she writes of her relationships with her five children and fourteen grandchildren. In the epilogue, she reflects on the experience of having a president for a son and discusses the family's reactions to September 11, 2001, and its aftermath.
Reflections will delight Barbara Bush's millions of admirers with the former first lady's warmth and wit, as well as with candid revelations and anecdotes from the past decade of a full and fascinating life.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Picking up where her bestselling A Memoir left off, Barbara Bush's Reflections covers the eight years between her husband George H. W. Bush's leaving office and her son George W. Bush's inauguration. The former First Lady shares touching and often amusing stories about her busy life in the post–White House years. Not surprisingly, husband George H. W., her five children (including President George W. and Florida Governor Jeb), and her 14 grandchildren frequently occupy center stage in these anecdotes.
The New York Times
The sharp-witted Mrs. Bush — who is known to play tart cop to her husband's genial cop — tries to settle a few scores in this volume, and she occasionally lets slip a telling political remark. She exults in the fact that her son George W. would be running against Al Gore instead of Bill Bradley in the 2000 election because "Al would be easier to beat. Ha." She recounts that her husband once said Yasir Arafat "was charming." And in describing an event she attended with four other former first ladies, she pointedly says nothing about Hillary Rodham Clinton, while lauding the good works of Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan. — Michiku Kakutani
Library Journal
How listeners respond to this book will probably depend on several factors, including whether or not they were fans of Bush's husband or of her son. Only one other woman in American history has been married to one president and mother to another-Abigail Adams. If one is to believe anecdotal evidence, the two women share a certain feisty attitude. Reflections opens with the inauguration of George W. Bush in January 2001 and flashes back eight years to the defeat of George H.W. Bush. Drawing on excerpts from her diary, the author tells her story chronologically. While her husband was no longer in office, the couple still remained public figures; their speaking and traveling schedules, charitable work, and hobbies kept them busy. Their fundraising activities, in particular, have kept them at the forefront of Republican politics. Bush's work on behalf of literacy has earned praise from both parties. She also discusses her experiences with sons George W. and Jeb (governor of Florida) on the campaign trail. Bush is candid and often humorous in her reading; recommended for public libraries where interest warrants.-Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743262316
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 10/30/2003
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 632,516
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Barbara Bush was born in Rye, New York, and married George H. W. Bush in 1945. She was First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She has five children, including President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and is the founder of The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
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Read an Excerpt

Reflections

Life After the White House
By Barbara Bush

Scribner

Copyright © 2003 Barbara Bush
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7432-5582-8


Prologue

January 20, 2001

There is a myth in the United States - you've heard it many times. It says that all American mothers hope that their child will grow up to be President of the United States. In my case that certainly is a myth. I never dreamed that any of ours would; there were days when I hoped that they'd just grow up!

I did hope for our children to be happy. I also hoped they would be decent, responsible, independent, and caring. Besides that, I hoped they would believe in a greater being, God. All our children have achieved those dreams.

But on January 20, 2001, even without having wished that one of our children would grow up to be president, there we were sitting on the west side of the United States Capitol, waiting for our son, George W., be sworn in as the forty-third president of the United States of America. Can anyone understand how we felt? I'm not sure we did. Afterward, I wrote down my thoughts during the Inauguration:

In a few moments our son will walk down the steps, take a seat and at noon will be sworn in surrounded by family, friends, the [Supreme] Court, the incoming Cabinet, the Congress, the outgoing president and Vice President, and many others. We are thrilled to see former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter sitting on the platform. Rosalynn had written me such a nice card:

Dear Barbara,

Congratulations! How proud you must be.

As a mother, I can feel the exhilaration you are experiencing having a son become president of the United States. Jimmy and I will be thinking of you and George and be in prayer, too, for George W. as he assumes this most powerful position.

We are happy for you and know our country is in good hands.

Merry Christmas to all your family,

Sincerely, Rosalynn Carter We received hundreds of cards and letters after that very painful election finally ended. These messages came from Democrats and Republicans alike. I believe that this card meant more to me than all the others we received about the election and the final results. I thought that was most generous of her and meant a lot coming from someone who knew exactly what the job entailed ...

I know I should be thinking marvelous deep and lofty thoughts, but I find myself thinking of Al Gore and what he must be feeling. He walked down the steps with a broad smile on his face and I saw him shaking hands with Coretta Scott King and other friends. His step faltered a little when he came to Jim Baker. He shook his hand and moved on. Jim Baker, a longtime Bush family friend and distinguished former Secretary of State, was George W.'s lead lawyer in Florida. Jim certainly acted as a statesman throughout the whole hideous vote recount debacle. He is credited by many of us, along with 50-plus lawyers, with seeing that the recounts were honest. The V.P. walked down the steps and took his seat one over from the Supreme Court. I'm sure that Al Gore has no love for them after their vote to stop the recount. And, if one can believe many of the speculative stories about why Al Gore lost the election, he is sitting next to the man who he believes lost the election for him, Bill Clinton. I'm sure he thinks he won the race, and although I don't, I do feel sorry for him. He is gracious, and a minute ago came over to shake our hands and to meet Jenna and Barbara, George and Laura's twin daughters. We've lost and losing is not easy.

This all took me back eight years ago to January 20, 1993, when many of the same cast of characters were on the same Capitol steps - the difference being that my George and Dan Quayle were sitting in the seats where Bill Clinton and Al Gore were sitting that day, and where George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would sit in a few moments. What an incredible eight years it had been ...

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Reflections by Barbara Bush Copyright © 2003 by Barbara Bush. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2004

    Enjoyed it!

    I read this book, and I thought at first it was going to be boring, but I found it to be very interesting! I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed all the 'memories' that Mrs. Bush shared with us about her family. It gave us a more intimate look into the Bush family life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2004

    A book in need of an editor

    There are lots of interesting anectdotes here in Barbara Bush's memoir from 1993 to 2001. Unfortunately they are completely overwhelmed by listings of meetings, names of hundreds of people who attended, food served, and the same descriptions - great, beautiful, best friend, etc. over and over again. The word 'adorable' is applied to men, women, children, dogs, as well as inanimate objects repeatedly. The text is based on Barbara's journals during this period. A good editor could have weeded out all the excess to produce a very interesting book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    How can you not love this lady?

    When George Bush was first running for President, I thought he looked entirely too boyish to have this wife who looked like his mother! But Barbara Bush endeared herself to me forever one day when she was being interviewed by an early morning news personality, in the wake of that ridiculous flack over Nancy Reagan borrowing a gown from a designer. Kathleen asked the future first lady what she thought about borrowing clothes, so which Barbara Bush replied, 'Well, for one thing, I don't know anybody my size...' I immediately loved this lady who was and is so self-depracating, and whose delightful sense of humor must make her a joy to be around. I imagine she DOES have a friend in everyone she has ever met, because she accepts people unconditionally as they are. I feel like she's one of my best friends, and I've never met her. I devoured her first book, one of the main themes of which seemed to be how much she adored George Bush. Nancy Reagan and her Ronnie have nothing on these two! I so admire any spouse who is so openly crazy about his/hers. It isn't fashionable in a lot of circles. The only thing I can say about this latest book, full of non-stop travel, speaking, fund-raising, and fun is that I don't know where they get the energy at their age to keep up the hectic schedule! Anyone with that kind of life and with the myriad of experiences they have had all over the world are of interest to me. Of COURSE it is non-political (mostly). If you are looking for bitterness and/or controversy, stick with Nancy Reagan or Hillary Clinton. Reading Barbara Bush's words at at once exhilerating and relaxing. I love her and her books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2004

    A proud Bush supporter

    I admit that I am a loyalist when it comes to the Bushes. I love this family for their faith in God, their love for the family and country, their candid honesty, and their compassion. Mrs. Bush has portrayed all these qualities in her book. I admire her very much for her tireless effort to be of service in every way that she can. She is a wonderful role model for all with a fantastic sense of humor. May God continue to bless the Bush family!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Don't buy

    This is one of the worst books I've ever read!! Mrs. Bush has nothing to say and I believe her only purpose in writing this book was for money. Who cares what her and her family schedual was-NO ONE!!!! This is a woman who has been around the world and met people who have shaped our world yet all she has to say is where she and George were at a given time. Her idea of a friend seems to be anyone she has ever met. Being a multi millionair her telling of not spending to much during trips and shopping is really rediculous, just as is writing this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2003

    Misinterpreted: 'Easier to beat Al Gore'

    I enjoyed this book,as I have enjoyed many of the books written by First Ladies. I respect Mrs. Bush's right to interpret the history which she observed first-hand in any manner which she wishes. Some of the review that I have read above criticize her for not being forthright enough - and then turn around and criticize her for being too plainspoken. I thought she hit a good balance. Mrs. Bush could have said ugly things about the Clintons. She did not choose to do so. She praised where she felt praise, and seldom really dished on anyone. Read Rosalyn Carter's book if you want to see dishing - or Nancy Reagan's. I have not read Hillary Clinton's book - I wonder if she is as generous to her enemies as Mrs. Bush has been? Additionally, I can't believe how her diary statement about Al Gore being easier to beat has been misread. I don't pretend to know the mind of Mrs. Bush, but when I read that diary entry, I read it as meaning that AT THE TIME that Al Gore began to triumph in primaries, she felt glad because she she thought Al Gore would be easier to beat. The 'Ha!' which followed that statement was not mean-natured, but was intended to highlight the irony of how HARD it turned out to be for George W. Bush to beat Vice President Gore. [Anyone remember Florida's shenanigans?]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2003

    Disappointing

    This book had great potential to be both an informative and entertaining look inside one of our nation's most visible and influencial families. Too much is lost in bitterness and pettiness. Such a shame because Barbara Bush is such a charming and witty woman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2004

    An enjoyable read- even for non-Rebuplicans

    This is a book that I happened to pick up and could not put down once I started. It gives new insight into Mrs. Bush and her life and love for those around her. It is not a book full of political discussion (although she does make comments and observations throughout), so anyone can enjoy it. This book has given me a newfound respect for the entire Bush family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2003

    Reflections: Life After the White House

    I am so very sorry that I purchased and stuck to the bitter end reading Mrs. Bush's book. Over and above the fact that it a fairly dry read, I wondered how her children and grandchildren were reacting to the book. It felt to me that Laura is the favorite daughter in law, and I felt bad reading about the Russian trip with Noelle. There were no antidotes about the trip and Noelle. Maybe I, the reader, am off about this book, but I really disliked it.

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

    Posted November 11, 2003

    A Bush Family Supporter

    I throughly enjoyed this honest insight. How refreshing to have a 'tell it like it is' former First Lady vs. a 'tell them what they want to hear' cameleon that we had to live with for 8 years. By the way, George W. was not given the presidency. Seems to me Al Gore couldn't even win in his home state of TN. Being the incumbent VP, he should have won by a landslide. Clearly, the best man won in 2000 and will again in 2004.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    Reflections: Life After the White House

    This book is a terrible read. It is long on travel details and not very interesting. I am sorry that I bought the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2003

    Here We Go Again

    The title of the review may appear suprising at first, but the truth is, the title speaks the truth in love concerning the memoirs of one of our Country's most beloved First Ladies, Barbara Bush. Anyone who reads this writing will be pleased with the content, character, and most of all, enduring 'wittiness.' Her way with words and phrases breeds an atmosphere of respect - an atmosphere of reality, for through the remarks, we see the struggles and victories of a wife, mother, grandmother, and Stateswoman. However, though one will enjoy the writing, one will find themselves struggling with the 'bitterness' between the Bushs' and Clintons '. This is the most disappointing, for this battle overshadows the true heart of the person, and adds more tension to a Country deeply divided over an election which was decided via the Courts. To win doesn't always mean to 'win.' She is like any Mother, any wife, protective of whom they love. But there should come a time when being 'protective' is turned into being 'overprotective.' THe writing at first is 'cute,' but then it turns sour.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2003

    a truly great lady

    after reading this fine book 'reflections' it is easy for anyone to see how barbara bush earned the title of first lady.she is such a caring person. this wonderful book follows the election of president george w.bush and she takes you on her many travels with her grandchildren and this is so well writtion that you feel like you are really there. this book makes the perfect present for anyone of your friends and family during the holidays. shop online and avoid the malls and crowds

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2003

    WACH GRASS GROW

    REALLY, WATCHING THE GRASS GROW IS BETTER THAN READING THE BOOK. I HAVE TO BE HONEST, I DIDN'T READ THE WHOLE BOOK.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2003

    Interesting, funny, great!

    This book is wonderfully written and fun to read. You find yourself so close to Mrs. Bush and her family...it is so sad when you come to that last page! Highly recommended...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2003

    Her comment , 'Al Gore would be easier to beat than Bill Bradley'

    Her son didn't beat Al Gore, George W. was given the presidency.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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