George H. W. Bush


George H. W. Bush

Character at the Core

Curt Smith

368 pages
31 photographs, index


November 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

George H. W. Bush ranks among America’s most distinguished men of the last century. A war hero, businessman, politician, and the forty-first president of the United States, Bush has spent most of his life dedicated to public service.

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.

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core shows how Bush’s courtesy and belief in work, religion, and American exceptionalism helped the patrician connect with Middle America and take his place among the most revered statesmen of his time.


Author Bio

CURT SMITH is a senior lecturer of English at the University of Rochester, a GateHouse Media columnist, and the author of sixteen books, including the classic Voices of the Game. He has written for such publications as Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Washington Post and has been named to the prestigious Judson Welliver Society of former presidential speechwriters. 



“Curt Smith was a key member of President George H. W. Bush’s talented speechwriting team, and his account of the Bush Administration has the ring of truth. But the author has something more in mind. Smith, from a small upstate New York town, ignored the stereotypes of a patrician Bush and discovered the decent, caring, compassionate, highly competent man this war hero was (and is). . . . Values matter. Character counts. That is the message at the heart of this excellent book.”—William F. Gavin, speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and author of Speechwright: An Insider’s Take on Political Rhetoric


George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core is required reading for anyone seeking to discover the real Bush 41 beneath the hollow stereotype. Masterfully written and meticulously researched by Curt Smith, this book builds a compelling case that 41 may have been the most successful one-term president in American history.”—Thomas DeFrank, former White House correspondent for Newsweek and author of Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford

“Would that we all had Curt Smith write our biography. Truth is told, brutally at times, but always poetically. Smith is a master of the language and we get the story of President Bush 41: a truly fine man from a simpler America; a perfect resume; a virtuoso of foreign policy; too self-effacing to be a great campaigner; surrounded by some pundits not worthy of his character. Elegantly written.”—John Zogby, founder of the Zogby Poll and author of The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream


"[George H. W. Bush is an] endearing look at a president the nation is finally beginning to understand and appreciate."—Kirkus

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Author’s Note
1. Beginnings
2. Finding the Water Fine
3. Perfectly Clear
4. Looking for Mr. Right
5. Big Jawn
6. A Phone Call from the Gipper
7. To the Brink—and Back
8. The Immaculate Election
9. Hopeful at the Creation
10. Bush at the Summit
11. Into the Abyss
12. A Morning After
13. America’s “Vision Thing”
14. Poetry of the Heart
Appendix: Selected Speeches

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