Best Books, Best US President Books, Biography & Memoir, History, Nonfiction

The Best Books To Learn About President George H. W. Bush

(You can view the rest of our presidential Best Book lists by going to our Best US President Books page, or for a more in-depth look at how we found and ranked the books you can visit our Best Book About Every United States President article.)

 

George H. W. Bush Quick Facts

President Number41
Terms In Office1
Years1989-1993
Political PartyRepublican
Vice PresidentDan Quayle
Home StateTexas
Presidential Pet Dogs (Millie & Ranger)
Campaign Slogan“Kinder, Gentler Nation”
Articles Used in Ranking12
Number of Unique Books29

 



The Best Book About George H. W. Bush
(Appears on 5 Lists)



Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham

Destiny and Power- The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
Lists It Appears On:

  • Best Presidential Bios
  • Mashable
  • Presidential History
  • Presidents USA
  • The Tailored Man

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.

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#2
(Appears on 4 Lists)



George H.W. Bush (The American Presidents Series) by Timothy Naftali

George H. W. Bush (The American Presidents #41) by Timothy Naftali, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (Editor), Sean Wilentz (Editor)
Lists It Appears On:

  • All The Presidents Books
  • Mandi Lindner
  • PBS
  • The Washington Post

George Bush was a throwback to a different era. A patrician figure not known for eloquence, Bush dismissed ideology as “the vision thing.” Yet, as Timothy Naftali argues, no one of his generation was better prepared for the challenges facing the United States as the Cold War ended. Bush wisely encouraged the liberalization of the Soviet system and skillfully orchestrated the reunification of Germany. And following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he united the global community to defeat Saddam Hussein. At home, Bush reasserted fiscal discipline after the excesses of the Reagan years.

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#3
(Appears on 3 Lists)



George Bush: Life of a Lone Star Yankee by Herbert Parmet

George Bush by Herbert S. Parmet
Lists It Appears On:

  • Best Presidential Bios
  • PBS
  • Presidents USA

A Connecticut senator’s son, George Bush parlayed an aristocratic upbringing and heroic service in World War II into a successful entrepreneurship in Texas oil and a political career that took him all the way to the White House. This comprehensive biography of our 41st president by a noted historian presents stunning insights into a complex politician. of photos.

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#4-7
(Appear on 2 Lists)



41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush

41- A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush
Lists It Appears On:

  • Presidential History
  • Presidents USA

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 words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career, including his service in the Pacific during World War II, his pioneering work in the Texas oil business, and his political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President. The book shines new light on both the accomplished statesman and the warm, decent man known best by his family. In addition, George W. Bush discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his own life, from his childhood in West Texas to his early campaign trips with his father, and from his decision to go into politics to his own two-term Presidency.

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A World Transformed by George Bush and Brent Scowcroft

A World Transformed by George H.W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft
Lists It Appears On:

  • PBS
  • Presidents USA

In A World Transformed, Mr. Bush and his national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft, provide a fascinating account of a president and an administration faced with unprecedented obstacles and unrivaled opportunities as they forged a foreign policy at the end of the Cold War. Solidarity comes to power in Poland. East and West Germans dance on the wall that separated them for half a century. And on Christmas Day, 1991, the hammer-and-sickle flag descends from the Kremlin for the last time.

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Barbara Bush: A Memoir by Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush- A Memoir by Barbara Bush
Lists It Appears On:

  • PBS
  • Presidents USA

Politics aside, people worldwide have come to admire Barbara Bush’s wit, candor and compassion, as well as her unswerving devotion to her husband and children. Now, she gives listeners a very private look at a life she lived in the public eye for more than 25 years. With the contemporary American history as the backdrop, Mrs. Bush remembers the experiences that led to the White House, from growing up in Rye, New York and meeting George Bush, through life as a young bride and mother and the almost unbearable pain of losing a child. She talks candidly about her years in public life in Washington, New York and China, and describes her role as the wife of the Vice President, culminating in the climactic White House years. Drawing upon excerpts from the diary she has compiled for more than 30 years, Mrs. Bush takes us behind the scenes of the Persian Gulf conflict and the end of the Cold War, and introduces us to the world leaders and their spouses with whom she has developed friendships over the years. She also talks about both the Bushes’ struggle to overcome Graves Disease, the disappointment of the 1992 Presidential campaign and the joys of rediscovering private life, and tells us why she threw so much of her energy and compassion behind the important cause of making America more literate. Filled with the funny, often self-deprecating and occasionally touching anecdotes for which she is well-known, Mrs. Bush’s memoir will charm her millions of admirers and earn her many more.

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The Presidency of George Bush by John Robert Greene

The Presidency of George Bush (American Presidency Series) by John Robert Greene
Lists It Appears On:

  • PBS
  • Presidents USA

Shortly after George H. W. Bush lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton in 1989, John Robert Greene’s verdict on the 41st president of the United States was that he “brought no discredit to the office” and “Bush was both patient and prudent. . . mak [ing] few mistakes.” In the years since the release of Greene’s profile of the senior Bush, deemed by Publishers Weekly, “the essential introduction to Bush’s abbreviated, but still consequential, tenure in office,” a wealth of materials about Bush’s presidency has become available, even as distance has sharpened our perspective on the Bush years. In this significantly expanded second edition ofThe Presidency of George H. W. Bush, Greene takes full advantage of newly released documents to revisit Bush’s term, to consider his post-presidency accomplishment, and to enhance and clarify our understanding of his place in history.

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#8-29
(Appear on 1 List)



41: Inside the Presidency of George H. W. Bush by Michael Nelson

41- Inside the Presidency of George H.W. Bush by Michael Nelson
Lists It Appears On:

    • Presidents USA

This book draws on interviews with senior White House and Cabinet officials conducted under the auspices of the Bush Oral History Project (a cooperative effort of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation) to provide a multidimensional portrait of the first President Bush and his administration. Typically, interviews explored officials’ memories of their service with President Bush and their careers prior to joining the administration. Interviewees also offered political and leadership lessons they had gleaned as eyewitnesses to and shapers of history.

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A Noble Calling: Character and the George H.W. Bush Presidency by William Levantrosser and Rosanna Perotti

A Noble Calling- Character and the George H.W. Bush Presidency Levantrosser, William and Rosanna Perotti
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

In many ways, the presidency of George H. W. Bush was a transitional presidency. The end of the Cold War ushered in a new world with the United States as the dominant power. While many might credit his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, as the one who brought an end to the conflict with the former Soviet Union, George H. W. Bush was an associate president, serving as Vice President during Reagan’s two terms. While supporting the work of the Reagan administration and, therefore, providing some continuity with it, President Bush had a different style of leadership and new priorities to establish.

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All The Best, George Bush: My Life and Other Writings by George H. W. Bush

All The Best, George Bush- My Life and Other Writings by George H.W. Bush
Lists It Appears On:

    • Presidents USA

Though reticent in public, George Bush openly shared his private thoughts in correspondence throughout his life. This collection of letters, diary entries, and memos is the closest we’ll ever get to an autobiography.

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American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush by Kevin Phillips

American Dynasty- Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush by Kevin Phillips
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

In this devastating book, onetime Republican strategist Phillips reveals how four generations of Bushes have ascended the ladder of national power since World War One, becoming entrenched within the American establishment—Yale, Wall Street, the Senate, the CIA, the vice presidency, and the presidency—through a recurrent flair for old-boy networking, national security involvement, and political deception. By uncovering relationships and connecting facts with new clarity, Phillips comes to a stunning conclusion: The Bush family has systematically used its financial and social empire—its “aristocracy”—to gain the White House, thereby subverting the very core of American democracy. In their ambition, the Bushes ultimately reinvented themselves with brilliant timing, twisting and turning from silver spoon Yankees to born-again evangelical Texans. As America—and the world—holds its breath for the 2004 presidential election, American Dynasty explains how it happened and what it all means.

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At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War by Michael R. Beschloss and Strobe Talbott

At the Highest Levels- The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War by Michael R. Beschloss, Strobe Talbott
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

When US President George Bush met with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1989, the Berlin Wall had fallen and the twin policies of perestroika and glasnost were bringing new freedoms to millions of people across the Eastern Bloc. But the peaceful end of the Cold War was far from assured. It would require the leaders of rival superpowers to develop a partnership strong enough to look beyond the deep-seeded animosities of the past and embrace an uncertain future.

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Being Poppy: A Portrait of George Herbert Walker Bush by Richard Ben Cramer

Being Poppy- A Portrait of George Herbert Walker Bush by Richard Ben Cramer
Lists It Appears On:

    • Presidents USA

The most intimate portrait of GEORGE H. W. BUSH ever published George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first president of the United States and the patriarch of America’s most powerful political dynasty, never wrote a memoir. But bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Richard Ben Cramer took the full measure of President Bush in his thousand-page epic, What It Takes—one of the most influential and respected works of journalism and biography of the modern era.

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First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty by Bill Minutaglio

First Son- George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty by Bill Minutaglio
Lists It Appears On:

    • Presidents USA

In one of the most unprecedented developments in the history of national politics, George W. Bush abruptly emerged to lead all presidential aspirants in the national polls for the 2000 election. Yet voters know very little about the man, beyond his famous name and his place in one of the nation’s most powerful political dynasties.

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Flight of the Avenger: George Bush at War by Joe Hyams

Flight Of Avenger by Joe Hyams
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

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Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley

Flyboys- A True Story of Courage by James D. Bradley
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculously rescued. What happened to the other eight remained a secret for almost 60 years.

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George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core by Curt Smith

George H. W. Bush- Character at the Core by Curt Smith
Lists It Appears On:

    • Presidential History

Curt Smith worked with Bush for more than twenty years, including during his presidency, when Smith wrote more speeches for Bush than anyone else. Smith’s exploration of Bush’s service includes in-depth narratives on the invasion of Panama, the first Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain. He also chronicles the contrasting presidential elections of 1988 and 1992, examining the successes and failures of each. Smith profiles the people germane to Bush’s life and career: his wife, Barbara; mentors such as Ronald Reagan; and political allies such as Margaret Thatcher, and many more.

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Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft by Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Ric

Germany Unified and Europe Transformed- A Study in Statecraft by Philip D. Zelikow, Condoleezza Rice
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

Officials mingled in the lobby of the Oktyabrskaia Hotel–shaking hands, sipping champagne, signing their names–and Germany was united. In this undramatic fashion, the international community closed the book on the drama of divided Germany. But nothing so momentous could be quite so quiet and uncomplicated, as this volume makes strikingly clear. This is the first book to go behind the scenes through access to still not opened archives in many countries. Germany Unified and Europe Transformed discloses the moves and maneuvers that ended the Cold War division of Europe.

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Honor and Loyalty: Inside the Politics of the George H.W. Bush White House by Leslie D. Feldman and Rosanna Perotti

Honor and Loyalty- Inside the Politics of the George H. W. Bush White House by Leslie Dale Feldman
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

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Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

Legacy of Ashes- The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

With shocking revelations that made headlines in papers across the country, Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security.

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Lip Service: George Bush’s 30-Year Battle With Conservatives by Richard A. Viguerie and Steven Allen

Lip Service- George Bush's 30-Year Battle With Conservatives Viguerie, Richard A. and Steven Allen
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

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Looking Forward by George Bush and Victor Gold

Looking Forward by George H.W. Bush
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

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Marching in Place: The Status Quo Presidency of George Bush by Michael Duffy and Dan Goodgame

Marching in Place- The Status Quo Presidency of George Bush by Dan Goodgame
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

A look at President Bush dispels the myth of his early popularity, describes his fear of change and his manipulation by the Republican right wing, and explains how his desire to be reelected led to the nation’s economic decline.

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My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H.W. Bush by Doro Bush Koch

My Father, My President- A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush by Doro Bush Koch
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

When George H. W. Bush asked Doro to write this memoir, she contacted hundreds of his friends and associates; conducted scores of interviews with dignitaries including Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, and General Colin Powell; tapped the memories of family members, including her mother, her four brothers, and of course, her father himself; and collected information from the former president’s never-before-released files. “Now for the first time, a complete portrait of George H. W. Bush emerges. Doro reveals her father as a young man courting his future wife, Barbara, and how the death of their first daughter brought them closer. Doro tells how they raised five children through much of her father’s long and storied career in public service, and offers details about this tenures as head of the Republication National Committee during Watergate, ambassador to the U.N., America’s liaison to China, and vice president for eight years under Ronald Reagan.” “Doro also provides an insider’s look at how the 41st president dealt with crises and challenges, all while keeping his humor and personality intact, and how he still does so while aiding victims of the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. She shows how he felt when two of his sons entered politics – and when his eldest made it to the top – and sheds new light on his friendship with former rival Bill Clinton.

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Principle over Politics? The Domestic Policy of the George H.W. Bush Presidency by Richard Himelfarb and Rosanna Perotti

Principle Over Politics?- The Domestic Policy of the George H. W. Bush Presidency by Richard Himelfarb
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

Cabinet members, journalists who covered Washington in the 1980s, and scholars who have been reassessing the George H. W. Bush presidency detail his domestic policy. The key areas covered include the economy, the budget, the disabled, civil rights, health, science and technology. In addition, the volume examines his emphasis on volunteerism.

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The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty by Kitty Kelley

The Family- The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty by Kitty Kelley
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

They have wielded enormous financial power and dominated world politics for more than half a century. They have been appointed to positions of great power and have been elected as governors, congressmen, senators and presidents. They have shaped our past and, with our country at war under the leadership of their number one son, they are, more critically than ever, shaping our future.

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The Politics of Diplomacy by James A. Baker III

The Politics of Diplomacy by James A. Baker III, Thomas M. DeFrank
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

The Secretary of State in the Bush Administration recounts his efforts at diplomacy during the extraordinary events of his time in office, from the fall of the U.S.S.R. to the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

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The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush by John Sununu

The Quiet Man- The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush by John Sununu
Lists It Appears On:

    • Presidential History

In this major reassessment of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, his former Chief of Staff offers a long overdue appreciation of the man and his universally underrated and misunderstood presidency.

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What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer

What It Takes- The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer
Lists It Appears On:

    • PBS

An American Iliad in the guise of contemporary political reportage, What It Takes penetrates the mystery at the heart of all presidential campaigns: How do presumably ordinary people acquire that mixture of ambition, stamina, and pure shamelessness that makes a true candidate? As he recounts the frenzied course of the 1988 presidential race — and scours the psyches of contenders from George Bush and Robert Dole to Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer comes up with the answers, in a book that is vast, exhaustively researched, exhilarating, and sometimes appalling in its revelations.

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The Best George H. W. Bush Book Lists Consulted



SourceArticle
All The Presidents Books One Through Forty-Two or Forty-Three
At Times Dull Janet’s Presidential Biography Project & Blog
Best Presidential Bios The Best Presidential Biographies
Huffington Post Presidents’ Day History: The Must-Reads Of Presidential Biographies
Mandi Lindner 44 Presidents and Their Definitive Biographies
Mashable Why I’m spending a year reading about every U.S. president
PBS Further Reading: Related Books and Websites
Presidential History Presidential Resources
Presidential History (Again) Pulitzer Prize Winning Books About Presidents
Presidents USA FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT GEORGE BUSH
The Tailored Man The 44 Best Presidential Biographies
The Washington Post The Fix’s list of best presidential biographies

 

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