God and George W. Bush: A Spiritual Life

God and George W. Bush: A Spiritual Life

by Paul Kengor
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Paperback(First Paperback Edition)

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God and George W. Bush: A Spiritual Life by Paul Kengor

George W. Bush has brought the question of religion back into American political life in a way that it has not been for decades. From the 2000 election through the challenges America has faced in the wake of September 11, Bush's personal faith -- and his conviction about the importance of religion in our national life -- have won him lasting admiration from the right, while attracting fury and scorn from the left. Now, presidential scholar Paul Kengor, the author of the acclaimed God and Ronald Reagan, reconstructs the spiritual journey that carried George W. Bush to the White House -- from the death of his sister, which shaped his character, through the conversion experience that changed his life. He offers the most thorough and careful reading of President Bush's public statements about God, Jesus Christ, and the sense of confidence, perspective, and mission that his faith has given him. Kengor devotes special attention to Bush's efforts to highlight America's tolerance of all faiths -- especially, in light of potential tensions after 9/11, his extraordinary support for Muslim-Americans. He investigates whether the invasion of Iraq was precipitated by a specific religious mission on the part of the president. And he outlines the most up-to-date account of the role of religion in the 2004 election, from John Kerry's squabbles with the Catholic Church to Bush's own remarks about the "higher father" to whom he looks for guidance in times of trial. Matching detailed new research with thoughtful analysis, God and George W. Bush is the definitive look at the spiritual life of this American president.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060779566
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/20/2005
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,310,227
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Paul Kengor is the author of the New York Times extended-list bestseller God and Ronald Reagan as well as God and George W. Bush and The Crusader. He is a professor of political science and director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College. He lives with his wife and children in Grove City, Pennsylvania.

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God and George W. Bush: A Spiritual Life 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wanted to offer my own personal praise for 'God and George W. Bush'. I just finished reading it and am impressed beyond words. There are so many parallels to 'God and Ronald Reagan', to praise one book is to praise the other. Both works are not only a spiritual biography of both presidents, but uniquely demonstrate how their faith impacted the world--especially in foreign policy. I appreciated how both books discussed the historical events surrounding Reagan and Bush with the Soviet Union and the Middle East, respectively. Dr. Kengor came up with a unique approach no other author dealing with these issues even considered. While the Reagan book had the luxury of analyzing history some time after Reagan finished his second term, Kengor certainly did not have that luxury with this one. But I believe his analysis of George W. Bush and his place in history will be vindicated in the future. With this book, Dr. Kengor did a great job in also making it a current events book in his analysis of the Democrats and John Kerry's own faith just in time for the election. Both books combined history, presidential biography, foreign policy, and spiritual matters to rise above any one particular category. There were just so many different elements in these books, which will make them great works of history future scholars will refer to in seeking understanding of both presidents. I don't think I've ever read two books that appealed to so many different genres. The research was impeccable, and Kengor's writing style is interesting and engaging. I didn't want to put either book down! And here's a compliment that I know will appeal to a professor... I consider myself pretty well-read on both presidents, but both books were filled with unique facts, insights, and analysis that I had not read anywhere else. I learned from every page. And I was challenged spiritually by both works. A person of faith cannot read either book without being encouraged and challenged in their own walk with Christ and how it can change the world. I really appreciated the spiritual sustenance that I personally walked away with. To Paul Kengor, thank you for writing both of these great books. I learned so much from them and enjoyed reading every word. They are books that will stand the test of history, and you should be very proud of both of them. I can't wait to read your next book on Reagan and the Soviet Union!
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
One of the most salient features of George W. Bush's private and public life is his religiosity. He is the most religiously inspired president since Jimmy Carter, and the one whose religiosity has probably been more of an issue in political considerations than perhaps any president in all of US history. In light of that it would be immensely useful to get a better idea of the development and extent of Bush's faith, and this book by renowned author Paul Kengor is up to the task. Kengor is known for the detailed and meticulous research on all of his subjects, and this book is no exception. We follow Bush from his earlier experiences in Midland, Texas, with particular accent on those themes and events that pertain to his spiritual formation. The image of Bush that is often portrayed in the media is of a reckless and fairly wild youth who finds religion right after his fortieth birthday as a part of his effort to rid himself of the blight of alcoholism. However, as this book shows, religion was never too far away from his considerations, but he probably never made much of it in public until a moment of profound personal crisis forced him to reflect deeply on things that really matter in life. Another thing that is often made into a big issue is the supposed overly religious tenor of Bush's political speeches and pronouncements. However, a closer scrutiny of the frequency of the use of religion in those situations reveals that Bush, contrary to the public opining, is no more likely to use the "God card" than other US presidents before him, and is in fact much more subdued and careful not to overplay the importance of religion in public statements. The same holds when it comes to other politicians of both parties - on an average, they are probably more likely to politicize religion than Bush is. One gets impression that it is not really religion per se that offends Bush's detractors, but rather the simplicity and sincerity of his faith. Why this should be an issue is probably better left for other discussions, and Kengor wisely eschews plunging too deeply into that subject. The book ends with the events and issues that were relevant during the 2004 presidential campaign. This is understandable from the point of view of wanting to maximize the impact of the book, but it would have been more appropriate to write and release the book at least until after Bush's public life had ended. This would have provided us with a much more complete picture of the ways that his faith has shaped his presidency.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
You know there is something to read for everyone that is about all that I can say about this book. I will say Kengor has an nice writing style, as for the book overall, I'd call it a foot kisser, and that is a good bit further south than I had intended say. . . But, for those of you who enjoy attribution, and hero stuff Kengor provides plenty of that kind of thing here. All in all, I think the Author achieves what he sets out to do, however I disagree with his premise because if GOD was truly the guiding hand in Bush's life as the President, I just don't think the big guy would've been any part of so many stupid decisions, after all we are talking about God here, so I say no way, the President made those stupid choices ALL ON HIS OWN. God is never part of war or killing, in the book I read that doesn't happen because he doesn't Ever condone that kind of thing under ANY circumstances. Anyway, Kengor's book is a good read and I recommend it to people who enjoyed the Reagan book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lying and preferring the rich to the poor are not part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That so many think that Bush is a man of god shows how little the gospels are actually read. Jesus had only disdain for the rich and endless compassion for the poor and marginalized. Yet Bush's tax cuts are mostly for the rich and his drug program for seniors greatly aids big pharma. And Bush lied us into the war in Iraq and continues to lie every time he says the war there makes this country safer, when our own national intelligence estimates show that it does not. Shame, Mr Bush. Tnat anyone thinks Bush is spiritual shows how little is known about the gospels.