I Give Up Book Review: “Spoken from the Heart” by Laura Bush (2010)

As I’ve mentioned a number of times before, George W. Bush is one of my own personal heroes. Ever since I started caring about politics (ca. 1998, I think), there’s been just one Commander in Chief who’s shown more character than been one. Sure, I’m a Conservative and party politics do sway me, but I like to look deeper than that. All three Presidents during the past 20 years have claimed to be faithful Christians, but only one has allowed his actions and behavior off-camera to prove it. Whereas Clinton enjoyed to rendezvous in the Oval Office with women who were not his wife, Bush treated that Office, and his own office as President, with the dignity that history expects. And whereas President Obama has pulled the wool over the nations eyes for nearly two full terms and has intentionally made our great nation a laughing stock in the world, GW proved to be a President of deep convictions that strengthened the United States in the world’s eyes, despite the terror that had taken us all by surprise.

I write all this to say that I enjoy reading anything about President Bush and the events of his term. Spoken from the Heart certainly fits this bill, as personally as possible, and yet it eventually lost my attention, mostly because it was too personal. Let me explain a bit.

When the book first came out, both my parents highly recommended Laura Bush’s memoirs to me, saying that while they “enjoyed Decision Points,” they “loved Spoken from the Heart.” They both responded to the personal touch with which Laura relates her story, from school teacher to First Lady, and how she added color and clarity to life in the White House. Perhaps it’s my age, but my opinion differs significantly.

I loved Decision Points for its gentle yet authoritative record of major events, and I would much rather read a record of days by the man who sat in the chair and held the pen, rather than from the woman who stood by his side. I certainly don’t intend to disparage wives, or women in general! I just like to approach these memoirs for the political and historical  education they offer rather than the overtly personal. Laura Bush tended to write at length about the furniture choices in the White House, while also skipping quickly over some of the most important events of the Bush presidency. With other and better political books out there, I just couldn’t stick with this one any longer. So I’m sorry, Laura. Perhaps I’ll feel better when I get a hold of one of your children’s books sometime down the line.

©2016 E.T.

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