41 (book review)

41It’s only happened twice in American history: A father and son both serving as President. The first was John Adams and John Quincy Adams, then George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. But only once has the son written a memoir about his father, and that is 41: A Portrait Of My Father.

In the book’s preface, President George W. Bush writes, “Over the years, I suspect there will be many books analyzing George Herbert Walker Bush, the man and his presidency. Some of those works may be objective. This one is not. This book is a love story—a personal portrait of the extraordinary man who I am blessed to call my dad.” What a perfect description of this book, for indeed it is a love story, and a very moving one.

President Bush (the 43rd President) does an amazing job showing the “stuff” that went into making President Bush (the 41st President) the man that he is. It also helps us to then understand the decisions that 41 made throughout his extensive political career. I also appreciated reading how 43 used his personal, eye-witness experience with his Dad as material for his presidential decision-making.

This was a unique way to write a biography, and I found it very engaging and heartwarming. A truly great read!

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