John Parkerson featured in Global Atlanta

John E. Parkerson, Jr. was featured in Global Atlanta. He wrote a book review. See the review below.

George W. Bush, “41:  A Portrait of My Father”

My son, Justin, gave me the new book by George W. Bush for my birthday a few weeks ago.  It was a gift that touched me, as I believe that my son related to what early reviews regarded as an intimate portrait of a father by an admiring son.  I just completed the book as my bedtime reading; and I am struck by George W. Bush’s devotion and love for his father, George Herbert Walker Bush – our 41st President of the United States.

As our 41st President nears the end of his remarkable life with increasingly fragile health, I also am struck by his son’s apparent need also to define his own presidency by many of the lessons that he learned from his father.  I believe that this could be the most interesting and illuminating aspect of the book.  Although the book is not couched as a political study, but rather as an intimate portrait of a father’s influence on his son; one cannot help but draw comparisons between father and son.  Some of the comparisons are subtle; but George W. – the son and our 43rd President – draws on other comparisons to explain in direct fashion some of the still-debated decisions, such as the second Iraq war, that the son made during his own 43rd Presidency.

Several characteristics of George H.W. Bush’s life emerge:  selfless devotion to family, his sincere dedication to service to country, strong determination and under-stated but clear ambition, his sense of mission and adherence to principle, graciousness and civility in victory and defeat, and loyalty to friends.  When the 41st President failed in his reelection bid for a second term as President, his son conveyed effectively the deep disappointment and regret that his father initially felt – that despite a successful, three-decades-long career in his country’s service, he somehow failed to complete the life-long mission to his country.  This despite a remarkable pursuit of public service that included (we somehow forget) Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, Director of the Central Intelligence,  two terms as Vice President under President Reagan, and a single term as President of the United States.

As I read the son’s tribute to his father, and consciously contrasted the 41st President’s personal traits and political career against his son’s own career, I think that what emerges most for me is the 43rd President’s reexamination and of his own record and, perhaps, the Bush legacy.  George W. Bush’s account enhanced my admiration for George H.W. Bush – our 41stPresident – and sharpened my understanding of this great human father character; and it provided additional perspective for me better to understand his son, our 43rd President.

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