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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



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George H. W. Bush (American Presidents (Times))

by

George H. W. Bush (American Presidents (Times)) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The judicious statesman who won victories abroad but suffered defeat at home, whose wisdom and demeanor served America well at a critical time
 
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.

It was ultimately his political awkwardness that cost Bush a second term. His toughest decisions widened fractures in the Republican Party, and with his party divided, Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992. In a final irony, the conservatives who scorned him would return to power eight years later, under his son and namesake, with the result that the elder George Bush would see his reputation soar.

Review:

"The 41st president's political persona was the stuff of greatness, argues this entry in the American Presidents series. Historian Naftali (Khrushchev's Cold War) credits Bush less with principles than with 'tendencies' toward flexibility, realism and a moderate Republican version of decency. In his foreign policy, these qualities helped him nudge communism toward a soft collapse and build an international alliance to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait; domestically they led him to a budget compromise with Democrats, in which he acquiesced to unpopular tax hikes for the good of the nation. Bush's flexibility had a dark side, the author notes, that came out in his repeated tactical embrace of racial politics, from his opposition to civil rights legislation during his 1964 Senate run to the 1988 Willie Horton ads, and in his public support for Reaganomics despite deep private misgivings. Naftali forthrightly dissects Bush's misdeeds — especially his role in the Iran-Contra scandal — but he's less skeptical about the substance of Bush's policies, which he pointedly contrasts with Bush Jr.'s failures; he credits Bush's wars in Panama and Kuwait with helping America 'overcome the burden of Vietnam,' without wondering whether this paved the way for the son's misadventure in Iraq. Naftali's is a brisk, useful, but not always penetrating overview of a pivotal presidency." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The judicious statesman who won victories abroad but suffered defeat at home, whose wisdom and demeanor served America well at a critical time

Synopsis:

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

 

It was ultimately his political awkwardness that cost George Bush a second term. His toughest decisions widened fractures in the Republican Party, and with his party divided, Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992. In a final irony, the conservatives who scorned him would return to power eight years later, under his son and namesake, with the result that the elder George Bush would see his reputation soar.

Synopsis:

The judicious statesman who won victories abroad but suffered defeat at home, George Bush was a throwback to a different era. Yet, as Naftali argues in his look at the 41st president, no one of his generation was better prepared for the challenges facing the U.S. as the Cold War ended.

About the Author

Timothy Naftali is the director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, having previously served as director of the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia. He is the coauthor of Khrushchev's Cold War and One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964, and the author of Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805069662
Author:
Naftali, Timothy
Publisher:
Times Books
Editor:
Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, Jr.
Editor:
Schlesinger, Arthur M.
Editor:
Wilentz, Sean
Author:
Schlesinger, Arthur M.
Author:
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Author:
Wilentz, Sean
Author:
Frederic, Patrick
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Subject:
Presidents -- United States.
Subject:
Bush, George
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Edition Description:
Times
Series:
American Presidents
Publication Date:
20071231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 cds, 7.5 hours
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
5.23 x 5.49 x 0.645 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Bush Family
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Bush, George H. W.

George H. W. Bush (American Presidents (Times)) New Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Times Books - English 9780805069662 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The 41st president's political persona was the stuff of greatness, argues this entry in the American Presidents series. Historian Naftali (Khrushchev's Cold War) credits Bush less with principles than with 'tendencies' toward flexibility, realism and a moderate Republican version of decency. In his foreign policy, these qualities helped him nudge communism toward a soft collapse and build an international alliance to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait; domestically they led him to a budget compromise with Democrats, in which he acquiesced to unpopular tax hikes for the good of the nation. Bush's flexibility had a dark side, the author notes, that came out in his repeated tactical embrace of racial politics, from his opposition to civil rights legislation during his 1964 Senate run to the 1988 Willie Horton ads, and in his public support for Reaganomics despite deep private misgivings. Naftali forthrightly dissects Bush's misdeeds — especially his role in the Iran-Contra scandal — but he's less skeptical about the substance of Bush's policies, which he pointedly contrasts with Bush Jr.'s failures; he credits Bush's wars in Panama and Kuwait with helping America 'overcome the burden of Vietnam,' without wondering whether this paved the way for the son's misadventure in Iraq. Naftali's is a brisk, useful, but not always penetrating overview of a pivotal presidency." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
The judicious statesman who won victories abroad but suffered defeat at home, whose wisdom and demeanor served America well at a critical time
"Synopsis" by ,
George Bush was a throwback to a different era. A patrician figure not known for his eloquence, Bush readily dismissed ideology as "the vision thing." Yet, as Timothy Naftali argues, there was no person of his generation better prepared for the challenges facing the United States as the Cold War ended. Bush wisely shepherded Soviet reformers through the liberalization of their system and skillfully orchestrated the reunification of Germany. And following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he united the global community to defeat Saddam Hussein. At home, Bush reasserted the principle of fiscal discipline after the excesses of the Reagan years.

 

It was ultimately his political awkwardness that cost George Bush a second term. His toughest decisions widened fractures in the Republican Party, and with his party divided, Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992. In a final irony, the conservatives who scorned him would return to power eight years later, under his son and namesake, with the result that the elder George Bush would see his reputation soar.

"Synopsis" by , The judicious statesman who won victories abroad but suffered defeat at home, George Bush was a throwback to a different era. Yet, as Naftali argues in his look at the 41st president, no one of his generation was better prepared for the challenges facing the U.S. as the Cold War ended.
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