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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

President Bush shares stories of his father

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
George Bush describes his new book,“41: A Portrait of My Father,” as a story reflecting his life and the legacy of his father’s presidency. 
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION George Bush describes his new book,“41: A Portrait of My Father,” as a story reflecting his life and the legacy of his father’s presidency. 

Cracking jokes about his golfing skills, his father’s age and the possibility of his brother continuing the Bush political dynasty, former President George W. Bush came to Texas A&M Tuesday to discuss his new book, “41: A Portrait of my Father.”
With former President George H.W. Bush on the front row of the Hagler Auditorium in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, George W. Bush discussed how his book was a reflection not only of his parents but also of himself.
George W. Bush said the book is not a critical analysis of his father’s work or presidency and instead said it is a “love story.”
“This is a story about an extraordinary man who, in my judgment, is the finest one-term president our country has ever had,” George W. Bush said.
George W. Bush said people are only now beginning to understand the impact of George H.W. Bush’s presidency.
“People are beginning to reassess the presidency of 41 and I want to be a part of that process and I wanted him to know that the process was going to take place,” George W. Bush said. “He was a great president, and this is the beginning of people understanding that.”
Forum moderator Andrew Card, acting dean of the Bush School and Chief of Staff for George W. Bush during his presidency, said the book looks at more than just the bonds in the Bush family — it also looks at its trials.
“This book is a biography of your dad, a little bit of biography of your mother, it’s an autobiography of you, but it is also a unique story about how to carry burdens, how to deal with failure, how to be humble in success and your parents, they had a lot of failure, they had a lot of struggle and that had an impact on you growing up,” Card said to George W. Bush.
George W. Bush said the trials are a vital part of the book because they show how struggle can lend strength.
“Defeat didn’t define George [H.W.] Bush. There was something greater than chalking up political victories or losses,” George W. Bush said. “It taught me, and I’m confident it taught Jeb, that you don’t need to fear failure. If you fear failure, probably keep you from making decisions that allow you to live life to the fullest. George [H.W.] Bush is a great risk taker.”
The inspiration for the book came after talking to biography writer David McCullough’s daughter, Dorie McCullough Lawson, George W. Bush said.
“She told me one time at the ranch, ‘You know, my dad always wished he could’ve read a book by John Q. Adams about his father John Adams.’ I said, ‘I can do that.’ And so that’s why I wrote it,” George W. Bush said.
George W. Bush said the book talks about how his father influenced him during his own presidency by being a calming force rather than by being an advisor.
“This book I think will bring to life the presidency from a father-and-son perspective to you in a story that only one person can tell,” George W. Bush said.

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