Great President, Even Better Father…”41: A Portrait of My Father” by George W. Bush

by Emily Roberts on December 14, 2018

41Only twice in history have a father and a son both served as President of the United States. As an admirer suggested to “W”…….. You and John Quincy are the only sons of former Presidents to become President…..I think you should write a book about your father.

It is in this vein that the 43rd President wrote a very personal biography of his father, the 41st President in his book, 41: A Portrait of My Father. It should be stressed that it is a personal account of family stories and experiences, not any type of foot noted biography. “W” had one purpose in writing, and that was to show the love, respect, and admiration that he had for his father.

There will be many books analyzing the professional aspect of President George H. W. Bush, from his life events to his political policies. But, it is very special to have a book written by your son, who walked in your same shoes in the most powerful job in the world. According to “W”, “this book is a personal portrait of the extraordinary man who I am blessed to call my dad”. His purpose was to show why George H. W. was a great President, and an even better father.

There were several rare circumstances where this father/son were connected. One being that the father and mother were present when their son was sworn into office as President. The only other instance of that occurring was when Joseph and Rose Kennedy were present at the oath ceremony of President John F. Kennedy. A truly special occasion for both the Kennedy’s and Bush’s. And then there was the record set by the elder Bush’s of surpassing John and Abigail Adams once they passed their 54th anniversary. Another milestone in Presidential history came when the elder Bush’s were still living as Bush ’43 left office. The only time that has happened in history.

As George W. would explain, this book by a prominent political figure is in no way political. He also adds some humble self- deprecation, and tells some hilarious stories about his first visit to the White House and other anecdotes. He relates how his father influenced his life from childhood, to campaign trips, to his decision to go into politics resulting in a two-term Presidency. John Quincy quote might have influenced the writing of this book…….

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