Although it lasted only a single term, the presidency of George H. W. Bush was an unusually eventful one, encompassing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the invasion of Panama, the Persian Gulf War, and contentious confirmation hearings over Clarence Thomas and John Tower. Bush has said that to understand the history of his presidency, while "the documentary record is vital," interviews with members of his administration "add the human side that those papers can never capture."This book draws on interviews with senior White House and Cabinet officials conducted under the auspices of the Bush Oral History Project (a cooperative effort of the University of Virginia's Miller Center and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation) to provide a multidimensional portrait of the first President Bush and his administration. Typically, interviews explored officials' memories of their service with President Bush and their careers prior to joining the administration. Interviewees also offered political and leadership lessons they had gleaned as eyewitnesses to and shapers of history.The contributors to 41all seasoned observers of American politics, foreign policy, and government institutionsexamine how George H. W. Bush organized and staffed his administration, operated on the international stage, followed his own brand of Republican conservatism, handled legislative affairs, and made judicial appointments. A scrupulously objective analysis of oral history, primary documents, and previous studies, 41 deepens the historical record of the forty-first president and offers fresh insights into the rise of the "new world order" and its challenges.Contributors: Henry J. Abraham, University of Virginia; Jeffrey A. Engel, Southern Methodist University; Hugh Heclo, George Mason University; Sidney M. Milkis, University of Virginia; Michael Nelson, Rhodes College and University of Virginia; Barbara A. Perry, University of Virginia; Russell L. Riley, University of Virginia; Barbara Sinclair, University of California, Los Angeles; Bartholomew Sparrow, University of Texas at Austin; Robert A. Strong, Washington and Lee University; Philip Zelikow, University of Virginia.
About the Author
Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. He is the author or editor of many books, including Governing at Home: The White House and Domestic Policymaking, How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation, and The Presidency and the Political System.
Barbara A. Perry is a Senior Fellow in the Miller Center’s Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch, The Michigan Affirmative Action Cases, and Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier.
Table of Contents
Foreword Philip Zelikow
Preface Michael Nelson and Barbara Perry
George H. W. Bush's Road to the White House
Introduction: History and George Bush Russell L. Riley
Part I AMERICAN CONSERVATISM
1. George Bush: Texan, Conservative Michael Nelson
2. George Bush and American Conservatism Hugh Heclo
Part II WAR AND STATECRAFT
3. Organizing Security: How the Bush Presidency Made Decisions on War and Peace Bartholomew Sparrow
4. When George Bush Believed the Cold War Ended and Why That Mattered Jeffrey A. Engel
5. Character and Consequence: The John Tower Confirmation Battle Robert A. Strong
Part III DOMESTIC POLITICS AND POLICY
6. The Offered Hand and the Veto Fist: George Bush, Congress, and Domestic Policy Making Barbara Sinclair
7. From Oral History to Oral Argument: George Bush's Supreme Court Appointments Barbara A. Perry and Henry J. Abraham
Conclusion: Navigating the Crosswinds of Modern Politics and Policy Sidney M. Milkis
Appendix 1: Interviewees for the George H. W. Bush Oral History Project
Appendix 2: Interviewers for the George H. W. Bush Oral History Project