xxiv, 836 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
"In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush's personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed. His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics. With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush's candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it. From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first"--Provided by publisher.
"'He was the last of a kind, and his rise, his fall, and his rebirth in the twilight of his life offers a window on a great deal of American history.' Meacham creates an intimate and detailed life story of a man whom many know only through his politics, or from a distance. From interviews and exclusive access to Bush's presidential diaries, Meacham brings Bush and the great American family he came from, vividly to life, beginning with the family's story working in a tool company in the Midwest in the late 1800's and on through George H.W. Bush's childhood in Connecticut, his heroic service in World War II, his decision to strike out on his own and try to create an oil business in Texas, to his political rise to be congressman, ambassador to the U.N., head of the CIA, vice president, then president, and the only man since John Adams to see his son become president. Written with Meacham's trademark compelling narration and historical depth and contemporary insight, this stunning biography reveals the unusual self-reflections, as well as the distinctive American life of a man from the Greatest Generation who pursued a life of service as a guardian of America in the way of Eisenhower, and was one of the last gentlemen in our political world"--Provided by publisher.
"Advance praise for Destiny and Power: 'Altogether fair, insightful. A portrait made especially compelling by the author's remarkable access to Bush's private White House diaries. This is a timely, first-rate book!'--David McCullough; 'What a spectacular and moving portrait this is--not only of a remarkably classy man but of the era that shaped him! It is hard to imagine a biographer more fitted than Jon Meacham to write what will surely be the definitive work on George Herbert Walker Bush'--Doris Kearns Goodwin; 'This astonishing book is both timely and timeless. A fascinating and insightful portrayal of the life of an exemplary American citizen'--Walter Isaacson; 'Jon Meacham's timely and intimate biography of George Bush 41 is a welcome reminder of this modest president's call to service, from the cockpits of World War II to the Oval Office and the end of the Cold War'--Tom Brokaw; 'This riveting biography by the incomparable Jon Meacham gives George H.W. Bush his well-deserved place in history. Destiny and Power is full of surprises, revealing 41's important role in scene after crucial historical scene of the past seven decades'--Michael Beschloss"--Provided by publisher.