All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings
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All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  376 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Though reticent in public, George Bush has openly shared his private thoughts in correspondence throughout his life. Fortunately, since the former president does not plan to write his autobiography, this collection of letters, diary entries, and memos, with his accompanying commentary, will fill that void. As he writes in his preface, "So what we have here are letters from...more
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Scribner (first published October 1st 1999)
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Chris Aylott
Last book of the year, and a good one. The first President Bush is a thoughtful and witty letter writer, and the fifty years of letters collected here are a good tour of his life.

I didn't think much of him when he was President, but like most of the country I think I misjudged him. Some of that's his fault -- a rather private man, he never showed the candor and humor that comes through in these letters. But in retrospect, it's a little embarrassing that so many of us thought of a decorated veter...more
Katrina
Former President George Bush (#41) is a prolific letter writer and this wonderful book is a collection of his letters, emails and journal entries. Spanning a letter to his mother as an 18 year old ready to fight for his country in WWII to a present day note to President Obama thanking him for the bestowment of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this is an insightful look into his remarkable life. Letters and commentary in reaction to major events in history that he was witness to, including Wate...more
Rich
A good look at the man from a lot of different perspectives. His prolific letter writing has led to a volume that says much about himself personally and professionally. A good read. Very little partisan politics discussed, and really highlights the wonderful relationships the president had with many people who held very different political views than himself. All in all a really enjoyable read if you are into presidential politics at all.
Douglas Graney
Letter writing is a lost art. From prior to WW II to the present, you'll read letters from the gentleman that Bush is.
Kelly
I enjoyed this book, although I thought he could have pared it down to at least 400 pages. That of course was when I was struggling at about that point to keep reading. It was 573 pages on my Sony Pocket Reader.
Great insight into the man, his experiences, his perspective, his humor and his integrity. Once again, as with Decision Points, gives understanding to the changing dynamics and sometimes not so clear lines a President actually faces with the decisions they have to make.
I remember many...more
Benjamin Thomas
This book is a collection of letters and personal diary entries from George H. W. Bush throughout his life. The book is divided into major sections that align with what he was doing at the time. It includes letters to his mom back when he voluntered to enter the US Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and goes all the way up until the date of publication of the book, just prior to his son's campaign for president. It includes sections during his time as an oil man in Texas, as a congressman, a...more
Michael Harris
I enjoyed this book very much which I purchased used last week. I was and still am a fan of Bush the Senior. This book was a compilation of letters he wrote from prep school to his parents, as a Navy Pilot in WWII to both his family and Barbara, and then to friends, family associates and others throughout his adult life from Princeton after the war until after his presidency. The book shows his strong love of family, sensitivity to others, a great sense of humor, commitment to serve his country...more
Anthony Bergen
This is an interesting collection of letters written by George Herbert Walker Bush during his long life and career. Since Bush 41 has not written an autobiography, this is about the closest that we will get to him telling his story, which is unfortunate because his life has been a full and unique one. One interesting aspect of the book is to see the letters that Bush wrote his son, George W., who was not yet President at the writing of this book. Reading Bush's correspondence is a fascinating wa...more
Nicole
This gave me a whole new image of George H.W. Bush. It's so very personal and poignant. I couldn't put it down. It's a testament to how the media can create an image of someone that isn't remotely true (the whole grocery scanner debacle). If you've admired him more since he left office you will love this book. And if you are not a Republican this book will be a pleasant surprise. I highly reccomend!
Shel
I didn't agree with everything this president did, but as a man, this man is great man, one of the few left that believe in honor and doing the right thing. Politics is hard, this man struggled with many things, but always stood up for what is good and right. We as citizens don't always see the whole picture and maybe never will. Loved this book!
Nate
I really liked the stories and wisdom in this book, and it moved George HW Bush much further up in my list of leaders. I listened to the audio book read by the author and that added so much to the story. Having been involved in so many important events in history, Bush is someone that we should be thankful to for writing his memoires. Highly recommend.
Phillip
This was a surprisingly good and engaging book. The reason I was surprised is that it isn't a memoir but rather a collection of President Bush (Sr)'s letters that he sent. The beginning was a bit dubious, I worried, because it was him during WWII with his parents. But I think once he ran and won his seat in Congress, the book got interesting, and I remained engaged throughout the end. I think Bush Sr. is an interesting public figure -- I think he has the best resume of any presidential candidate...more
Marge
George H wasn't much of a speaker, however he is an eloquent writer. The art of the letter is luscious in this collection of personal letters.
It is a wonderful insight into one of our most highly qualified Presidents.
Kelseymwalker
A precious insight into a wonderful man's life growing up as a child, a soldier, a son, a husband, a stateman, a father, and a President. Amazing.
John Preston
"All the Best" was the 4th book in my Presidential writings project. President G.H.W. Bush has not written a memoir or policy book so I was stuck withe a collection of letters and diaries. I didn't not fare well with this format and only made it through half the book in two months before taking it back to the library. The letters, though somewhat interesting, did keep my attention. President Bush is an excellent writer and would read something by him with more continuity and content.

As I said,...more
Aaron Million
Revealing portrait of President George H.W. Bush as told through numerous letters, diary entries, and a speech here and there. The "book" spans almost his whole life up to that point (1999), starting with him enlisting in the Navy in WWII. Really, truly a remarkable and honest man. Family, friends, and his faith/values were, and certainly still are, the most important things to him and one can see this coming through in every page.

The letters span the entire range of motions: life, births, deat...more
Jenny Wheelbarrow
This book provides an intimate look at G.W.H Bush's life through the letters and notes he has written. In between letters he provides brief notes on what was going on historically or personally. I especially loved the early letters about his love for his girlfriend and now wife, Barbara. In a recent interview I heard Bill Clinton comment on how much he likes G.W.H Bush and based on this book I would agree that he is someone I would like, too.
Cordell
I really enjoyed this book even though its not the type of book you pick up and read from one end to the other. You can easily read part of this book, put it down and then, pick it up and read it a year later and not have missed anything. Its a collection of his writings used to tell his story. But I still really enjoyed it, in part because I live writing to other people and I think that letters tell maybe a different story than what you might write about yourself if you were asked to sit down a...more
Bill Flavin
When you think of the greatest generation and all they did it is the life story of George H W Bush. I read this gem twice and each time I found something new.
Andrew
An interesting book to dip into from time to time to obtain a better sense of how an important man conducts himself in his correspondence. Those who know him say he can be genuinely considerate in an old-school, genteel manner. Those qualities are reflected in this book. However, this sample leaves anyone with much knowledge of current affairs hungry for what the late newscaster Paul Harvey used to call "the rest of the story." Hence just two stars for my review.
I should add also that I did not...more
Sean Pfile
Another book that shows we should still put thought into handwriting letters...
Doloresfritz
A bit slow, but he was a great letter writer and what treasures for his family and friends to have such personal letters.
Amy Wolf
Even though I am diametrically opposed to his politics, I have to say that George Bush (SR)The Man seems like a pretty decent guy. Reading about his tenure as the youngest pilot in WWII & his rescue after being shot down was really interesting. Ditto his family life, and his experiences while serving in China. I didn't like him when he was President, but compared to his son, he looks like Thomas Jefferson.
Jen
I read this book when the first edition was published in 1999 and really enjoyed it. I'm excited that it's updated and I'm looking forward to reading it again. I don't agree with Bush's politics, but I really like the view of him as a son, father, husband and friend. The letters are more effective at painting a portrait that an autobiography would ever be.
Suzanne
Listend to this on CD and was enjoying it-- just before I visited the George Bush Presidential Library and museum. Learned a lot about Bush's background, personality and family. There was some language which bothered me-- if I'd been reading it in print, might have skipped over the words, but to hear them, I couldn't finish it.
Jen
I read this when it was first released but I enjoyed this just as much the second time around. Bush is a prolific letter writer and I enjoyed the mix of letters between those to heads of state and those to his family and friends. It's fun to see the President as a normal father and friend. It's worth a read.
LaVenna
This was a great book. The love letters between George H. W. Bush and Barbra were endearing:) This book also address the death of his 3 year old daughter Robin. He wrote a letter to his Mother that was heartwrenching. If you have the chance to read the book, read this particular letter.
Kyle
A fascinating collection of George Bush's letters, memos, and diary entries. It's a humanizing (and often humorous) look at a life well lived. Bush truly gets at what is important: friends, family, time spent doing the things you love.
Frederick
Insight into what the real man would have you believe of himself. Somewhat surprised at the warmth & humanity within. Still, it's hard to suppress my cynicism long enough to finish all the letters.
Margaret
Not a book to be read quickly. I returned it to the library with the intention of listening to the audio book at a later date. Totally a book I want to have simmer thoughtfully in my mind.
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579816
George Herbert Walker Bush, was the 41st President of the United States (1989–1993). Before his presidency, Bush held a multitude of political positions, including being the 43rd Vice President of the United States in the administration of Ronald Reagan (1981–1989).

Bush was born in Massachusetts to Senator Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, at the...more
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