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Jon Meacham Speaks at Bush Center in Advance of New President G. H. W. Bush Biography

November 17, 2015

Book cover of Destiny and Power by Jon MeachamPulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham visited the Bush Center this past week to share the insights and anecdotes he gained while writing the latest biography of President Bush, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. The event was part of the Distinguished Author Series hosted by the George Bush Library Foundation. A reception and book signing followed Meacham’s presentation, with copies of the book available for purchase a day ahead of the official release date.

With President and Mrs. Bush sitting in the front row, Meacham shared with the event’s host, Fred McClure, CEO of the Bush Foundation and a senior member of President Bush’s administration, the incredible life of George H. W. Bush from his time as a World War II pilot to his days in the Oval Office. Amid several lighthearted moments, including a few Dana Carvey impressions, Meacham also described the deep empathy of George Bush and his ability to “always see things from the other guy’s perspective.” Meacham also read several passages from the book, including a love letter between George and Barbara during the early years of their relationship.

The book has attracted considerable media attention in recent weeks due to Bush 41’s comments in the book about members of his son’s administration in addition to many other fresh insights. Beginning his research in 2006, Meacham was able to draw from a multitude of personal interviews with various members of the Bush family and President Bush’s administration and also had access to recorded diaries President Bush kept while in office.

Meacham is a New York Times bestselling author of several presidential biographies. including Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. A former managing editor at Newsweek, he is currently a contributing editor at Time and the executive vice president and executive editor at Random House.

The Distinguished Author Series has previously hosted President George W. Bush and Robert M. Gates, former dean of the Bush School and US secretary of defense under President George W. Bush and President Obama.

“It was a tremendous honor to host Jon Meacham and to have President and Mrs. Bush in attendance,” said Fred McClure. “Destiny and Power is a reminder of the impeccable character of George H. W. Bush and his life of public service, which has made a positive impact on countless lives.”

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