Reading Recommendations: The Perfect Wife, The Life and Choices of Laura Bush, Ann Gerhart
Ann Gerhart of The Washington Post has covered Mrs. Bush since 2001, and no other reporter has interviewed the First Lady more often. Through this unparalleled access, Gerhart has been able to uncover the woman behind the carefully maintained image. Far more than an uncomplicated maternal figure and dedicated wife, Laura bush emerges as a complex and fascinating woman in her own right, who has composed a life of accomplishment for herself alongside her husband's tremendous ambitions.
The Perfect Wife tells the complete story from Mrs. Bush's upbringing to her whirlwind three month courtship by George W. Bush and her role as a mother, wife, and public figure. An only child raised in a segregated and fiercely traditional West Texas town, she is less conservative than her husband and appealingly down to earth despite the extraordinary privileges of her position. Ann Gerhart examines the First Lady's influences and motivations, reveal the depths to which her husband relies upon her and assesses her achievements. This then is a comprehensive account of a woman who has won the admiration of the nation and of the compromises and challenges that come with taking on the most examined volunteer job in the world.
-From the Texas Bookshelves
And, In History's Shadow, an American Odyssey, John Connally with Mickey Herskowitz
In June 1993, John Connally, a legend in Texas and a powerful figure in national politics for several decades, died of pulmonary fibrosis, a condition brought on by wounds sustained from an assassins bullet that fateful day in Dallas, November 22, 1963. In History's Shadow, finished right after Connally's death, is the story of his life in politics, told with an unmistakable Texas twang.
Raised in rural poverty during the Depression in a farm family of seven children, Connally retained a deep seated love of the hard scrabble Texas laud his whole life. "I am part of a dwindling breed shaped by the soil of Rural America you don't engage the land, let it punish and feed you, and not understand the cycles of life."
This then is the story of that poor farm boy who went on to many accomplishments, serving his country at many levels, missing out on the one job, that of President of the United States that eluded him.
John Connally witnessed more history than any school can teach. That is evident as this book can show.
-From Texas Bookshelves
And, Capture The Flag, A Political History of American Patriotism, Woden Teachout
No symbol of our nation carries as much emotional resonance as Old Glory. The story of the American flag is the story of a nation in search of itself. It has been the focus of bitter conflicts over the meaning of what it means to be an American, claimed both by racists and revolutionaries, by immigrants and nativists; by the right and the left. It has been hoisted, waved, burned, shot, spattered with tobacco juice, and stomped under foot. In Capture The Flag, historian Woden Teachout shows how a vast range of political and social groups have claimed the flag to legitimize their versions of the American dream.
Teachout maps the history of this national icon from the Revolution through the present day. In the founding era and beyond, American patriotism signified a commitment to democracy. He shows that the American flag need not be a simple symbol of nationalist pride, and argues that Americans still have the power to recapture the flag, revitalizing its power and the full range of democratic possibility.
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