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Barbara Bush: A Memoir
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Barbara Bush: A Memoir

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,213 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Known for her wit, honesty, and compassion, Barbara Bush has won admirers the world over. Now, in this fascinating autobiography, the former First Lady talks candidly about:

-Growing up privileged and meeting George Bush
-Life as a young bride and mother in West Texas
-How she got through the tragedy of her little girl's death
-Her years in public life in Washington, New York
...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published November 15th 1995 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

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Naomi
Jun 11, 2010 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and have repeatedly recommended it. I believe this book is 600 pages long and I read it in less than 3 days because I could not put it down. Hands down, BB is my favorite first lady of all time. She never ceases to crack me up with her unpretentious, sarcastic wit that even has me blushing on occasions and asking if she really just said that! I was not as crazy with the follow-up to this book so make sure to get the right book as the covers are very similiar.
Bobbie
Apr 13, 2008 Bobbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun, rollicking read. Barbara Bush was very well-suited to the job of first lady. She is blessed with charm, fortitude, the ability to enjoy (or at least pretend to enjoy) attending one function after another, and a seemingly cast-iron stomach. She also has a wonderful sense of humor, which makes the book a joy to read. Looking for the inside story? Barbara Bush tells it like it is, and doesn't clean up her stories to protect the sensibilities of anyone, whether they be a former head o ...more
Verona
Mar 26, 2012 Verona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Barbara Bush, her style, her personality, her mothering, her stand on things she believes in, her love of family and her husband, her loyalty, and more! I supported her husband as our president, and later her son as our president. I believe she had great influence on these men in her life and helped them to be the great leaders and great in personal values that they were. I enjoyed reading about her in this book. It just helped me admire her more.
Kendra Fletcher
Jul 04, 2012 Kendra Fletcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a remarkable woman.
Jep Gurch
It's in my house. on my mantle

in my fire.place
Patriciadubray
Jan 07, 2014 Patriciadubray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with this woman and love who she is and what she represents. A great read.
Russell Sanders
First off, I want to make it clear I think Barbara Bush and her husband George are genuinely good and nice people. I don’t agree with their politics, but with all we contend with in Washington these days, their politics look extremely moderate. Motivated by recent health scares for both these nonagenarians, I decided I wanted to know more about them both. I picked up Barbara’s 1994 memoir, Barbara Bush: A Memoir, and began reading. At first, I found it fascinating, learning about them both in th ...more
Sahickman
Mar 04, 2017 Sahickman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book written by one of our finest First Ladies. Excellent read.
Christopher Wensley
Mar 14, 2011 Christopher Wensley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I only have a few memories of Barbara Bush, all of them good, but it is funny how someone who once so dominated the headlines can disappear with nary a word later in life. Having found the time to read her memoir, it was a fun experience to step into the Bush 41 White House for a few days and meet a real terrific woman.
Barbara Bush: A Memoir is one of the best edited political autobiographies, it avoids the usually pratfalls that doom many a reader. The auto-bio always seems to start off page 1
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Benjamin Thomas
Generally speaking, I don’t spend a lot of my reading time reading political memoires, and especially not autobiographies. I feel certain they are edited to present the best possible light on the subject. However, it is December, and I often round out the year by reading books that I might not otherwise pick up in an effort to expand my horizons. This book came to me via my parents’ bookshelves and I thought since both Barbara and George Bush are nearing the end of fascinating lives I would take ...more
Margaret
Jun 21, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I picked up this book, it was like kicking off my shoes, curling up in an armchair with a cup of tea and chatting with Mrs. Bush just as if she were in my living room. I found her to be honest, witty, caring, and "real".

Faith, family, friends. That's what Mrs. Bush believes in and that comes across in every incident that she relates from her times as Vice Presidents' wife and then First Lady. Her diary entries were fascinating and kept my head spinning with all the events she attended
...more
Michelle
I had a very hard time getting through this book and yet there were parts of it that I thoroughly enjoyed reading; in particular the behind the scenes personal relationships with all the foreign ambassadors, pranks and private jokes, real life in the White House etc. The e-version of my book was chocked full of errors so that in itself was hard to ignore. How does this happen? Doesn't someone check these things? My expectations for the book were to "get the know" the former First Lady and that w ...more
Craig Adamson
Barbara Bush seems to be one of the nicest people on earth. The funniest and most heart-warming part about this book is that she genuinely likes everyone and can't compliment people enough. You just don't find that in America, let along someone who was involved in state, federal, and international politics all her life via her husband. She shows it is both good and honorable to treat people with respect, and she really values friendships and loyalty. And therefore she is quite a devoted wife and ...more
Leanna
Feb 17, 2017 Leanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barbara started her preface by stating that she had led a life of privilege and no one has ever had a better life. Seriously, it made me want to gag and I thought about not even reading the book.
Jenny Savage
loved reading her memories and thoughts about so much of the history that I remember. She is a remarkable woman who clearly loved and served with all she has
Connie
Nov 25, 2009 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara started her preface by stating that she had led a life of privilege and no one has ever had a better life. Seriously, it made me want to gag and I thought about not even reading the book. But I am so glad I decided to continue on. She truly made the best of everything that life dealt to her and made her own life of privilege.

I loved reading about her and George in their early years of marriage, and wish there would have been more of it.

She is such a devoted wife and mother. I had no ide
...more
Laura
Aug 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am sure that Michael is so done with me reading this book because I keep wanting to talk about it. I have every reason not to like this book: it is like 600 pages, full of name-dropping, and sometimes it digresses into the ramblings of an old lady...yet I really enjoyed it. The book is 20 years old, rather than make the book less interesting, it made it more so. She was writing it just as she was leaving the White House and the Clinton's were beginning their terms. One of the reasons I picked ...more
Elijah Christopher
Mar 25, 2014 Elijah Christopher rated it did not like it
The only reason I picked up this book was because I liked the unusual shade of blue it portrays, I didn't care to read the title. Bush is good at documenting, but she can't write. This book was painful to get through, mostly because I could care less about hearing about an average life. I gave this book two stars because I found a quote in it that I liked. Also, Bush appears to be a moral person who cares for her husband and family. That is an essential aspect that is being thrown away in this d ...more
Kim
Jul 14, 2007 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Barbara Bush is a fun, engaging, interesting, poignant, self-effacing writer. I learned a lot about the Bush dynasty through her book; which is an intriguing subject by itself. It was fun to read about their lives as seen through her eyes. After reading this I ended up listening to it as an audio book, which is read by the author. I think I enjoyed it more! It was wonderful to listen to her tell her own stories. Whether you are Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, most can agree that ...more
Gophergirl58
Nov 17, 2014 Gophergirl58 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where hasn't this lady been? What has surprised me most in reading former First Lady Barbara Bush's memoir is how extensively she traveled, both with and without her husband during their political years. I did end up with a slightly different view of Mrs. Bush after reading this, and really tired of her editor still allowing so many times of the words "marvelous," "lovely," and "glorious" as it was tiring and I do not wish to hear these words for awhile now, LOL. But talk about President George ...more
Janis Knecht
Apr 27, 2015 Janis Knecht rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite her privileged background, Barbara Bush came across as an ordinary woman with extraordinary qualities of wisdom and compassion. Both she and her husband were raised to make their lives useful and to do good. Throughout the book, Barbara's dedication to these Puritan ideals shines through.

She is never pompous or ostentatious. You feel as though if you sat next to her on a three hour flight and you could talk with her, and depart with your mood lifted. This memoir is the graceful written a
...more
Elizabeth
Nov 24, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Mrs Bush is an engaging and charming author. She describes a fascinating life and I felt that she displayed grace and depth of character throughout many of the challenges that she faced, while still remaining a human-ness. I think this book would have been even more interesting if I had a clearer recollection of the world events it talked about. I might read another one of her books, but I think at this point I would be even more interested in reading books about othe ...more
Maureen
Apr 12, 2010 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-biography
A statement Barbara Bush makes in the beginning of her memoir is "you can like it or not. I have chosen to like it". A credo she developed observing her mother, who apparently, was not a content woman. That credo resonates throughout the book. Barbara appears to take any situation and make the best out of it.

I found this to be interesting, particularly George and Barbara's early years together. They lived in some very modest places; in some sharing a bath or kitchen with other couples!
Clara
Apr 01, 2008 Clara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember watching my mom read this book when I was five or six. I remember watching my sister read it when I was 11 or 12. When we picked it up at Goodwill this month, I decided that it was finally my turn to read it. It was an extremely enjoyable book and it was very good for me to read it during this election year, because it reminds me that every person involved in politics is just that...a person. A very timely reminder. I also appreciated how much Mrs. Bush expressed her deep love and res ...more
E
May 27, 2015 E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet friend gave this book to me a couple years ago and I'm ashamed it has taken me this long to read it. It's a VERY interesting travel-log/biography. It made me think that I need to be more politically literate, and makes me distrust the press even more. Mrs. Bush seems like a very genuine, hard-working, down to earth, lovable lady. I loved hearing about behind the scenes and the 'normal' family type stuff. But I heard that the audio book is read by Mrs. Bush herself and is wonderful. Maybe ...more
Elissa
Jun 18, 2013 Elissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read. I came away with an understanding of how much she has been through and how she was able to bear it all with such grace. It is no wonder that this woman has a spine of steel, unmatched common sense, a super sense of humor and a heart of gold. You will love her more after reading this...It is so well written that you will laugh, ponder, be angry and maybe even cry in the course of reading it.
Jeff
Apr 25, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's an excellent writer and included a good mix of information about her own life along with her husband and family. that was a relief as I wondered if it would be all about George Bush, but she included a lot of commentary from her perspective as well.

especially informative was the behind the scenes info about life as a VP or President.

With this book, she confirmed her status as the best First Lady of the last 40 years (or longer).
Tabitha
I found a copy of this book at our favorite used book store signed by her and G. Bush senior and we went at the presidential election rally for GWB and could have has it signed but of course I did not bring it. So really I bought it b/c it was double signed and I could have had it triple signed being in Austin at the time and all...

After I read the book, she's an interesting lady with trials most have not had. I'm glad I read it and will possibly re-read it in the next 5 years.
Christy
Mar 07, 2010 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Look for the best, forget the rest." (in others) Loved the stories she told about raising her family and being in a political family.

Especially about her daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at 2 and GWB asking why all the women in the building wore their nightgowns during the daytime. (His dad was going to Yale after WWII and the only housing they could afford happened to be an apt. building of ill repute.) Good read that has stuck with me.
Kelly
Nov 13, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Bush turned out to be different than I had imagined her. She really seemed to be the opposite in many ways than her husband. An extrovert, social and down to earth person who experienced some extraordinary events and people mostly in stride.
I'd recommend this book for anyone who is wanting a peek into the times and people from a mostly non-political view. If you're looking for political history, facts and data, this isn't for you.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, making her First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Preceding that, she was the Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989 while her husband was Vice President to Ronald Reagan. She is the mother of U
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