George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core

George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core

George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core

George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core


George H. W. Bush ranks among America's most distinguished men of the last century. A war hero, businessman, politician, and the forty-first president of the United States, Bush has spent most of his life dedicated to public service.

Curt Smith worked with Bush for more than twenty years, including during his presidency, when Smith wrote more speeches for Bush than anyone else. Smith's exploration of Bush's service includes in-depth narratives on the invasion of Panama, the first Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain. He also chronicles the contrasting presidential elections of 1988 and 1992, examining the successes and failures of each. Smith profiles the people germane to Bush's life and career: his wife, Barbara; mentors such as Ronald Reagan; and political allies such as Margaret Thatcher, and many more.

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core shows how Bush's courtesy and belief in work, religion, and American exceptionalism helped the patrician connect with Middle America and take his place among the most revered statesmen of his time.


George Bush was born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, into the cloistered network of Eastern commerce. the second of Prescott Sheldon and Dorothy (Walker) Bush’s five children was shy and more complex than is commonly grasped, less Babe Ruth than Lou Gehrig. He was taught that wealth did not enrich your worth. “George, you forget any La-Dee-Lahs,” his mother quaintly said of patrician pretense. Later, George would say, “I hope I care when someone else is hurt, and I suspect that comes from my mother.”

Lean and trim like her future son and husband, Dorothy Bush was runner-up in the 1918 national girls’ tennis tournament. You had to hear this from others. “Dorothy Bush was of another era,” Time’s Hugh Sidey wrote, “and her sense of propriety and modesty and self-control was cast in iron.” It forged her son’s firm foundation, to reference another hymn George could sing by rote. Remembering mother, Bush later shrank in speeches from even using the word I. “[It] hindered him, too,” mused Sidey, “in a fuzzy and formless era of national debate.” the effect was a giving and forgiving dna, a term not present until 1953. To use an older term, George was taught to be a gentleman.

Bush’s father was the son of an Ohio steel company president, six foot four, stern, stately, a tenacious competitor, an affluent investment banker, and 1952– 63 U.S. senator. “Big guy, tough,” Bush fils told television host David Frost in a 1988 U.S. News & World Report . . .

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