Pulitzer prize-winning author, Joe Meacham has put out his heart and research in his of biography of the one of the most unappreciated American presidents, George Herbert Walker Bush in his book Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. It took Meacham nine years of extensive research, interviews, access to diaries and journals of both George and Barbara Bush, before he went about actually publishing the book. His prose and balanced journalism is what makes this book about the 41st president of the United States of America a worthy read.
Born to Dorothy and Prescott Bush, he was one of the lucky elites, dignified both in honor and class. Dorothy always believed in pushing her children to pursue education and compassion. Patrician airs and inherited privilege was forbidden in their home. George among all her five children stood out with a competitive streak but he was also empathetic. With the most perfect of resumes, complemented with a desire to win and humane nature, this became his trademark in diplomacy and politics.
At the age of eighteen, he joined the army and served for about two years when he took a bullet in a combat mission and returned home. He then married, raised a family, and entered the audacious world of Texas oil. No one would have even dreamed that over a course of thirty years, he would rise to become a Republican Party congressman, UN ambassador, official representative to China, Republican National Committee’s head, CIA director, Vice President to Reagan, and then finally the president of the United States of America.
This biography of the 41st president sandwiched in-between the compelling and charismatic presidencies of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Bush’s administration has been mostly neglected by the locals. Conservatives called him “too soft” whereas the Liberals labeled him as Reagan’s “Lap Dog”, he was always viewed as a gracious, mere placeholder, but a petty president. The book has been written to prove all such thinkers wrong.
This book on its own is both timely and timeless. No one ever has provides such an insight into the long forgotten president’s world like Meacham. The upshot –an insightful and enthralling portrayal of the life of an extraordinary man.