Former President George W. Bush has taken up oil painting since he and the Mrs. moved from the White House back to Texas. But recently, he's also let it be known that he has also been collecting memories of his father as in his newly-released book, "41: A Portrait of My Father."
The younger Bush, America's 43rd President, will be signing copies of his book about his father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush in suburban Naperville Monday afternoon.
The Audible.com version of "41" is read by "43," presenting George W. Bush's memories of his father in a uniquely personal and emotional manner. Bush says he was challenged to write about his father by author David McCulloch's daughter, who said the younger John Quincy Adams didn't record his memories of his presidential father John Adams.
"41" recalls George H.W. Bush's childhood and the years before his eldest George W. was born, and describes the elder Bush's years in the U.S. Navy, working for the oil industry before entering public service and his run for Congress. The book reviews "41's" time as the United States liaison to China, his stint overseeing the Central Intelligence Agency and his years as vice-president under the late President Ronald Reagan. "43" also writes about George H.W. Bush's one-term presidency and the effect his "Read my lips" had on his father's failed re-election attempt in 1992.
The younger Bush's touching admiration for his father is evident throughout the book, and he provides insider insights on several occasions. The younger Bush also publicly admires his parent's relationship to each other and their "unconditional love" for their children.
One of the most touching chapters provides insight into how the Bushes handled their young daughter's death after succumbing to leukemia, a life-altering experience for George H.W. Bush.
George W. Bush does, however, use the book as an opportunity to defend and re-affirm his decision to go after Iraq's Saddam Hussein in contrast to his father's choice to set aside the opportunity to take down the dictator during Desert Storm. Bush says intelligence agencies worldwide were convinced Hussein had and used weapons of mass destruction against his own people that were also a threat to other countries.
The younger Bush briefly expresses disappointment that the current Administration succeeding his own has not been seriously dealing with the threat of radical Islam - and believes that decision could end with dangerous consequences for Americans in the future.
"41" is an excellent read (or listen) - a reminder of the day when respect for American traditions, the family, humulity, loyalty and conservative values were honored among Washington's top circles.
The author, George W. Bush, will be in Naperville Monday afternoon signing "41." The book is available at Amazon.com and on Audible.com.