53. 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush
Topic/Theme: political memoir
Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career, including his service in the Pacific during World War II, his pioneering work in the Texas oil business, and his political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President. The book shines new light on both the accomplished statesman and the warm, decent man known best by his family. In addition, George W. Bush discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his own life, from his childhood in West Texas to his early campaign trips with his father, and from his decision to go into politics to his own two-term Presidency.
First, I just need to clarify that I kind of cheated by choosing this book for the above topic. Technically, it's not a memoir since George W. Bush wrote this about his father, but it's his viewpoints and a little bit is about how his father's decisions in office influenced his own decisions as President.
Second, my review is not going to be based on what my political party is or my own political beliefs. I'm not someone who would read a political based book in general. Regardless of my registered party, I don't classify myself as a Democrat or Republican as there are issues that I agree with and don't agree with on both sides.
Since I was really young during George H. W. Bush's presidency, I don't remember his four years in office. From that perspective, I enjoyed learning about his political years. I did like how George Bush wrote about his father's life as a whole. So much of the choices and decisions that we make as an adult are influenced by our upbringing or how we were raised. And that extends to any of the Presidents, past, present, and future, except that they have an entire country who are affected by those choices. It was interesting to get to know more about both of the Bushs' lives, whether that be politically, family life, and everything else in between (well at least when it pertains to #41).
While I can say that I enjoyed reading this book, I can't necessarily say that I liked every decision George H. W. Bush made. No matter the President or a person in general, there's always going to be things I like about what they do and things I don't like. No one is perfect and mistakes do happen. And there are times when the decisions we make don't work out the way that we wanted them to or how we thought they would turn out.
Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!