George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core

by Curt Smith

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Overview

George H. W. Bush ranks among America’s most distinguished men of the last century. A war hero, businessman, politician, and the forty-first president of the United States, Bush has spent most of his life dedicated to public service.

Curt Smith worked with Bush for more than twenty years, including during his presidency, when Smith wrote more speeches for Bush than anyone else. Smith’s exploration of Bush’s service includes in-depth narratives on the invasion of Panama, the first Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain. He also chronicles the contrasting presidential elections of 1988 and 1992, examining the successes and failures of each. Smith profiles the people germane to Bush’s life and career: his wife, Barbara; mentors such as Ronald Reagan; and political allies such as Margaret Thatcher, and many more.

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core shows how Bush’s courtesy and belief in work, religion, and American exceptionalism helped the patrician connect with Middle America and take his place among the most revered statesmen of his time.

 

Editorial Reviews

William F. Gavin

“Curt Smith was a key member of President George H. W. Bush’s talented speechwriting team, and his account of the Bush Administration has the ring of truth. But the author has something more in mind. Smith, from a small upstate New York town, ignored the stereotypes of a patrician Bush and discovered the decent, caring, compassionate, highly competent man this war hero was (and is). . . . Values matter. Character counts. That is the message at the heart of this excellent book.”—William F. Gavin, speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and author of Speechwright: An Insider’s Take on Political Rhetoric

 

Thomas DeFrank

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core is required reading for anyone seeking to discover the real Bush 41 beneath the hollow stereotype. Masterfully written and meticulously researched by Curt Smith, this book builds a compelling case that 41 may have been the most successful one-term president in American history.”—Thomas DeFrank, former White House correspondent for Newsweek and author of Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford

John Zogby

“Would that we all had Curt Smith write our biography. Truth is told, brutally at times, but always poetically. Smith is a master of the language and we get the story of President Bush 41: a truly fine man from a simpler America; a perfect resume; a virtuoso of foreign policy; too self-effacing to be a great campaigner; surrounded by some pundits not worthy of his character. Elegantly written.”—John Zogby, founder of the Zogby Poll and author of The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream

 

From the Publisher

"Curt Smith was a key member of President George H. W. Bush’s talented speechwriting team, and his account of the Bush Administration has the ring of truth. But the author has something more in mind. Smith, from a small upstate New York town, ignored the stereotypes of a patrician Bush and discovered the decent, caring, compassionate, highly competent man this war hero was (and is). . . . Values matter. Character counts. That is the message at the heart of this excellent book."—William F. Gavin, speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and author of Speechwright: An Insider’s Take on Political Rhetoric

"George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core is required reading for anyone seeking to discover the real Bush 41 beneath the hollow stereotype. Masterfully written and meticulously researched by Curt Smith, this book builds a compelling case that 41 may have been the most successful one-term president in American history."—Thomas DeFrank, former White House correspondent for Newsweek and author of Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford

“Would that we all had Curt Smith write our biography. Truth is told, brutally at times, but always poetically. Smith is a master of the language and we get the story of President Bush 41: a truly fine man from a simpler America; a perfect resume; a virtuoso of foreign policy; too self-effacing to be a great campaigner; surrounded by some pundits not worthy of his character. Elegantly written.”—John Zogby, founder of the Zogby Poll and author of The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream

"[George H. W. Bush is an] endearing look at a president the nation is finally beginning to understand and appreciate."Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews

2014-08-27
A former speechwriter for George H.W. Bush pens a heartfelt appreciation of the president. The last of the Greatest Generation to occupy the Oval Office, Bush was a genuine war hero, who by 1987 had to contend with "the wimp factor" as he ran for the White House. A Yale-educated East Coast patrician, he was also a Texas oilman who loved country music and pork rinds. Elected to two terms in the House, defeated in a Senate race and in the 1980 presidential primary, he was a politician, yes, but one whose most distinguished service came by appointment: envoy to China, CIA director, U.N. ambassador. His candidacy always posed genuine problems for an American electorate not quite sure what to make of him. Today, he's our oldest, and polls say our most-respected, living ex-president, a product of an America barely remembered. In this highly impressionistic, idiosyncratic treatment of Bush, Smith (English/Univ. of Rochester; A Talk in the Park: Nine Decades of Baseball Tales from the Broadcast Booth, 2011, etc.) frequently adverts to that bygone era with passages about cultural markers—the Andy Griffith Show, the Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial, the Polo Grounds—and characters—Bert Parks, Pat Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Glenn Ford, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra—all icons perfectly at home in the pages of the Saturday Evening Post, where the author worked. Smith mixes in a good deal of his own career in journalism, academia and politics, but he devotes the bulk of the narrative to Bush's presidency and retirement when Smith helped to craft speeches for the oratorically challenged president. Little lyricism is attached to Bush's rhetoric, but he had what Smith calls a "poetry of the heart." Up close, the author observed the essential Bush, and in numerous vignettes, he depicts a man of courtesy, sound judgment, uncommon decency, and strict devotion to country, friends and family. An odd but endearing look at a president the nation is finally beginning to understand and appreciate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612346854
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 11/15/2014
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Customer Reviews