Tag Archives: Barbara Bush

The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty Book Review

When I was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, the late former First Lady Barbara Bush looked like a grandmother straight out of Hollywood central casting. Her white hair was cut short, she was known for her pearls and matronly clothing and she was the matriarch of a large family. But there is so much more to her than the image.

Susan Page’s new biography, The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, tells the story of Mrs. Bush from her perspective. Born in 1925 to a wealthy family whose roots went back to the founding of America, she was the third of four children. Equally belittled and ignored by her mother about her weight, the future First Lady never got over the comments she received as a child.

In her late teens, she married the future President George H.W. Bush. Married for seven decades, she brought six children into the world. Her oldest son, George W. Bush, followed in his father’s footsteps. Her oldest daughter, Robin, died of Leukemia at age three, leaving her mother with an emotional scar that never healed. Later as an adult, she battled depression and aided both her husband and son during their time in the White House.

Containing interviews with Mrs. Bush, President Bush, her family, political aides, press clippings, diary entries and other details, this books is the complete story of one of America’s most respected First Ladies.

One of the things that I was surprised about was how emotionally strong and outspoken Mrs. Bush was. Like many women of her generation, her adult life focused on her home and her family. But unlike the Donna Reed-like ideal of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Mrs. Bush was not the yes-woman to her husband nor was she the picture of motherly perfection. She was bold, she was outspoken and not above providing unsolicited advice. She may not have been a traditional feminist, but she is the definition of a strong, intelligent and capable woman.

This book is a must read, especially if one is a political junkie. It sheds light not just on the public side of Mrs. Bush, but also the private that only a few were privileged to see.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History, Mental Health, Politics

RIP President George H.W. Bush

Few things bring a country together like the passing of a former President.

This morning, it was announced that former American President George H.W. Bush passed away last night. He was 94 years old.

The patriarch of the Bush political dynasty, President Bush led the country from 1989-1993. Two of his sons followed in their father’s footsteps. George W. Bush was President from 2001-2009. Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and a Presidential candidate during the 2016 Presidential election.

He is remembered not just a President. He was a World War II veteran, a public servant, a husband, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

I don’t remember much about his time in office. I too young back then to know or understand how his leadership was impacting the country. But I can respect someone who understands what they are getting into when they get into politics. It’s not about them or their needs/ego/desires. It’s about serving the American public and realizing that the voting public, not the special interest groups or billionaires, are the ones who the politicians are responsible to.

I also deeply respect that his marriage to his late wife, Barbara Bush lasted 73 years. If we are lucky enough, we will find someone to spend nearly three-quarters of a century married to.

May his memory be a blessing to all of us, especially those who knew and loved him best. RIP.

 

 

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Filed under History, International News, National News, Politics, World News

RIP Barbara Bush

Earlier this week, Barbara Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush and the mother of former President George W. Bush passed away. She was 92.

Known for her pearls, her premature white hair and her down to earth demeanor, Mrs. Bush was both a product of her era and a woman standing on her own two feet.

Though she was the wife and mother of two Republican Presidents, she not only saw the humanity in others, but was also bipartisan enough to cut through the Washington b*llsh*t. She advocating for both literacy and for AIDS patients in an era when AIDS carried a stigma of economic and social isolation.

Multiple tributes have poured out over the last two days, but my favorite is from one of her granddaughters, Jenna Bush Hager.

To have your grandparents around as your growing up creates an experience that has no rivals. But have your grandparents around when your an adult is an experience that is be cherished.

RIP Barbara Bush. May her memory be a blessing to everyone who knew her and loved her.

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Filed under Feminism, National News, Politics