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41: A Portrait of My Father

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  9,881 ratings  ·  1,062 reviews
George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President.
Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Crown
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George W. Bush writes what he calls a “love story” about his father. The book is folksy and a fun read. The book is obviously not unbiased but the author tried to paint a true picture of his father and family from his own viewpoint. George W. discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his own life.

George W writes of his father’s early success. He writes his father gave him “unconditional love.” He discusses his father’s well-known generosity, his talent for friendship and his willingness
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry, in all the good ways. I loved it from start to finish.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
I do not remember 41's presidency being this eventful! No wonder he was so ill and exhausted at the end of his second campaign. And what a supportive family.

2017 Lenten nonfiction Buddy Reading Challenge book #32

My thoughts are with the Bush family in their time of loss.
Eric Lin
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked. George W. obviously respects his father a lot, and intended to write this as a tribute his father, but the reason I (and I'm sure many others) were excited to read this book is because it promised a glimpse into a president's life from the perspective of his son.

He says things about GHWB like the fact that he never heard harsh words exchanged between him and his mother. And every story he tells about his dad is positive. I'm willing to believe
Rick Theule
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great story written about a father by an adoring son. The fact they were both President of the United States makes it that much more enjoyable. I learned quite a few things about 41, and it is very evident 43 loves his father. Definitely a good read.
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
My reaction when I discovered I won this book:

I even picked up the dog and danced around with him for a while.
This was the book I most wanted this Christmas. It was also the one book I could remain pretty confident no one would get me. Winning it from the Goodreads giveaway?

Anyway, I love this type of book. I love how much George W. Bush expresses his admiration for his Dad. I love the reference to the historical precedence (like the father-son John Adams/John Quincy Adams or pulling a Martin
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
President George W. Bush writes a very personal portrait of President George H.W. Bush. Stories and background about the 41st President are included that only are available to a family member are just part of what makes this a worthwhile read.

Ol' 43 makes certain that the reader will view this in the proper light in the author's introduction. It is meant to be a loving portrait of his father. In that line, he succeeds above expectations. That he tells stories about his family, including his daug
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio and I really enjoyed listening to George W. Bush read his own book about his dad. Some of the stories that he shared were very touching, some funny, and some helped me understand the life and trials that our presidents endure a little better.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With a glimpse into the middle of this book shortly after I bought it in 2017, I saw a brief line about Bill Clinton that led me to believe this would be very politically slanted and biased. It was not. This is a touching family story, one told by a son about his father and of experiences they both shared. The closeness of the author to his subject and the sources he accessed provided a much more intimate look at the character of George Herbert Walker Bush than traditional biographies typically ...more
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-books
I would actually rate this a 4.5. I enjoyed the voice and personality which came out in the writing.My book club read 41: A Portrait of My Father. I have to say that I enjoyed it. I liked the conversational style of the writing, and I thought George W. Bush's writing style came through.

I did enjoy learning some things about our 41st president. I didn't realize how much foreign experience he had before he became president. A couple of stories surprised me, one when Taiwan didn't get the vote for
Brian Eshleman
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
The idea of this book had me expecting a five star performance. George H.W. Bush's reelection was the first that I voted for, although as an 18-year-old selling of the Religious Right, I was convinced that he was too moderate. As the years have gone by, my respect for the elder Bush's modest decency has increased as these qualities seem to be in shorter and shorter supply on the national stage. What better person to indicate these qualities and their source then a son who has also been President ...more
Tim Chavel
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome read. Even though I did not always agree with either of the Bush's policies as Presidents, they are people that I admire. Both Bush families have good hearts and I think they both know Jesus as their Savior. I have a few quotes for you to consider. The first is George W. telling you what made him think to write this book:

A few months after we left (George W. Bush), Laura and I invited Tim Lawson and his wife, Dorie McCullough Lawson, to our ranch in Crawford, Texas. I had comm
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love and affection leap from each page of this book. It's the story of a father's love for his family and a son's love for his father. Sure, it's getting read because George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the USA and George W. Bush was the 43rd President. But most of all, this is a story of how a family molds and supports its members.

There are some interesting political things discussed. And I learned a lot more about 41's numerous jobs in service to our country even before he was President
Will Stewart
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a great story about a father and a son. Fan or no fan of this president or any other I thought the book was honest, sincere, and actually written by the author. It was a short and sweet look into the life of the 41st president.
W. Whalin
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this audio book and the personal insights about the 41st President of the United States as only can be told by his son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president. He called it a love letter to his father and that love shines in these well-told stories. I highly recommend this biography.
Ophelia London
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Now I'm no longer pursuing happiness. I have found happiness. I no longer pursue it, for it is mine." ~George H. W. Bush (August 2001)
Holden Loveless
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Politics aside (though there is obviously some of that on display here), Portrait of My Father is exactly what the title implies. It is a sincere work of love and affection from a son to the man who raised him. While the book covers a number of political subjects, the sum of its parts are more so a reflection and praise for Bush Sr’s character and integrity- not his policies and ideas. In these increasingly partisan times, it’s worth reading as a reminder of a period in history not long ago when ...more
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I have read many books about the Bush family and the stories are repeated it's still an excellent read. George W. Bush's insight into the life of his father adds a different perspective of the person who was 41. I love this family because of their love for each other and their commitment to giving back to others. Their integrity and high moral standards never waver in and out of public life. Reading this story uplifted me and gave me hope for the future.
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
"41, A Portrait of My Father," is written by George W. Bush. He shares a conversation he'd had with author David McCullough's daughter. She said that one of her father's regrets in studying John Adams was that there was no biography of Adams written by his son, John Quincy Adams. "For history's sake, I think that you should write a book about your father," she said, to George W. -- half of history's two Presidential father/son pairs.

So he did, and this is that book. Bush starts out telling us th
George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st president. This is the first time that a son who was a president told a story about his father who had also been a former president.

First, I would recommend that folks read or listen to this book because you do learn a lot of personal details about the 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush who by all accounts served his country in a variety of capacities incl
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
George H.'s #41's life story. What energy and personality, but moreover what humor and values! Someday they'll make a great movie of his life using a masterly actor. In this book his son illuminates and defines his Father. The chapters about Prescott and Dorothy, George H's parents- they were 5 star. Courage and immense risk tolerance coupled with no excuses. Never brag, and never complain. Such basic common sense to self-identity and achievement is hard to find paired with ability and grace wit ...more
Clint Priest
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book a lot. From the unique perspective of George W. Bush as only the second son of a President to also hold the highest elected office, '43' as he's known gives an intimate portrait of his father, George H.W. Bush. But the book isn't written necessarily about one President from another; it's written from a son about his father, two men that hold a dynamic in America unknown to any other such father-son duo. Poignant. Intimate. Sweet. Heartfelt. Inspiring. And I guess it's one of th ...more
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"He was a great president because he was a great man." President GWB obviously adored his father, and he makes a great case for him as a great man. Learning how he grew up, the values that he learned and followed were well-described and supported the portrait of 41. I have a greater appreciation for GHWB, and I think he is not as noteworthy as other presidents by virtue of his high character- he mother taught him not to brag, he learned compromise and used it well, and was a genuine, honest, pri ...more
Ian Alden
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of your political beliefs (I admittedly don't share many with either President Bush), this book is guaranteed to leave you with heightened respect and admiration for President Bush (41) and a better understanding of the Bush family political dynasty. President Bush (43) does a good job of narrating his own work, making it easy enough to listen through.

The author does take a noticeable detour at some point to explain/defend his rationale for the Iraq War. I didn't knock a star off for
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
I listened to the audio book, read by the author, and loved listening to George W. talk about the love and respect between father and son. With regard to political positions and perspectives, it was not unbiased and the son had strong opinions about the father’s policies and how the work should view his presidency. But the insight into the family and their love for each other was well worth the “read.” I loved all of the hand written notes HW had sent to his kids and grandkids over the years. Wh ...more
Jacinta Carter
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't know much about George H.W. Bush as a man or a president, as his time in office ended when I was a baby. This book provides loving insight to the type of father, grandfather, and politician Bush Sr. was and continues to be. As it's written by his son, it's obviously not an objective portrayal, but that doesn't really affect how you read it. Overall, it was nice to read a book about a president that didn't feel like it carried some greater political agenda.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I enjoyed the glimpses into the Bush family - the humor and warmth with how each member was described. The way George W. writes about H.W. is definitely not objective, so don't expect a historical account of the 41st presidency. This is a book written by a son admiring his father, who shouldered similarly extraordinary responsibilities.
Nov 07, 2014 marked it as maybe
It's a bit of a rip off of Obama's book, which was called 'Dreams From My Father', so that's a bit dodgy. On the other hand, Obama sort of ripped off Bush by becoming president so you know. It's kind of a chicken and egg type situation.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this look at George H.W. Bush by his eldest son, George W. Bush. Only two people in American history have both served as president and have been the son of a president so this is a rare view of the presidency indeed.
Kristie Rust
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book- I really enjoyed reading about 41! It was a great story about love and family. I laughed and shed tears! Loved listening to 43 read it! 2 of my favorite Presidents!
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GEORGE W. BUSH is the 43rd President of the United States, serving from 2001 to 2009. He previously served as Governor of Texas. He and his wife, Laura, now live in Dallas, where they founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University. President Bush is the author of 41: A Portrait of My Father and his previous book, Decision Points, is the bestselling Presidential mem ...more

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    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
53 likes · 16 comments
“Bill Clinton also benefited from a friendly press corps. With their baby boomer background, more liberal views, and Ivy League lawyer credentials, the Clintons fit the mold of many of the baby boomer reporters. In time, of course, the press would turn on Clinton. In the 1992 campaign, however, it seemed to me that some news outlets allowed their zeal for change to undermine their high standards of journalistic objectivity. (The pattern would later repeat with another exciting candidate promising change, Barack Obama.)” 3 likes
“The military was providing him (George H.W. Bush) with an education that was not available at Andover or Yale.” 3 likes
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