In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story.
Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child. She vividly evokes Midland's brash, rugged culture, her close relationship with her father, and the bonds of early friendships that sustain her to this day. For the first time, she writes about the devastating high-school car accident that left her friend Mike Douglas dead and about her decades of unspoken grief.
When Laura Welch first left West Texas in 1964, she never imagined that her journey would lead her to the world stage and the White House. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1968, she became an elementary school teacher, working in inner-city schools, then trained to be a librarian. At age 30, she met George W. Bush, whom she had last passed in the hallway in seventh grade. Three months later, "the old maid of Midland married Midland's most eligible bachelor." With rare intimacy and candor, Laura Bush writes about her early married life as she was thrust into one of America's most prominent political families, as well as her deep longing for children and her husband's decision to give up drinking. By 1993, she found herself in the full glare of the political spotlight. But just as her husband won the Texas governorship, her father, Harold Welch, was dying in Midland.
In 2001, after one of the closest elections in American history, Laura Bush moved into the White House. Here she captures presidential life in the harrowing days and weeks after 9/11, when fighter-jet cover echoed through the walls and security scares sent the family to an underground shelter. She writes openly about the White House during wartime, the withering and relentless media spotlight, and the transformation of her role as she began to understand the power of the first lady.
©2010 Laura Bush (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
My mistake! Just didn't catch that this was an abridged version until the final words were spoken - "Hope you've enjoyed this abridged version...". I had thought that the book was quite choppy and finally realized why. I will certainly be more careful in the future to stick with the unabridged versions.
As a rule I do not chose abridged books and do wish this were available unabridged. This however, is so beautifully done and truly heart warming.
Not only would I, but I have, to many friends. Very well orated.
While reading her very personal story, Mrs. Bush maintained her composure, reading on strong and consistent. Her voice is so clear and soothing to listen to.
Her stories of her early childhood, growing up an only child, she shared not only her growth, but also that of Midland, TX and it's inhabitants. The trials and tribulations of a growing town. Very, very moving and I'm certain parts of it brought memories flooding through her, yet her voice never faltered. I was brushing away tears.
My only disappointment in the audio book is some of the smaller stories and descriptions of the written book were left out.
From the tainted media picture, Laura is portrayed as the wall flower, cookie baking librarian. Yet this book sheds light on the amazing accomplishments she did international for women's rights, UN, and put her life in danger multiple times. In addtion, to the multiple trips to Africa for AIDs. Plus, her account gives a human perspective of the White House experience. She is a great lady and we were blessed to have her and W in the White House. Eventhough, W did not control congressional spending. Compared to the Obamas, wow we did not know how good we had it.
Mrs. Bush speaks with grace and dignity. Enjoyed listening to this along with President Bush's book, Decision Points. Both together paint a personally revealing story of the heart they share for each other.
Laura Bush has written honest, candid, memories of her life. She is down to earth and I could relate to the feelings expressed. What made it special was her own voice tellling the experiences of her youth up through her experiences in the White House. It felt like we were friends and she was sharing her experiences directly to me. I enjoyed my time with Laura.
First off, this is a book not about Politics but about the viewpoint of a very smart and intelligent First Lady.
I expected more politics but was pleasantly surprised to get a full picture being painted of the life of Laura Bush.
Thanks Laura for revealing your life....especially those parts in which you differ from your husband's point of view. I normally like his perspective....but, yours is important too!
Laura Bush came across as a lovely person and a very gracious First Lady. I think she did a wonderful job in the White House. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed but they were in the minority. Much of the second part of the book was just a current events recount. I would give the first half of the book a three and the second half a two.
A fan of self-read memoir, I just couldn't resist this. This is the woman overshadowed and standing by the man who just may be the most divisive US President in history, held in contempt by international opinion... and what a class act she is. I thoroughly enjoyed this sincerely-read, well-crafted book. She is careful to stay away from controversy, but there is a fiery streak in there that comes through when she hits on topics that matter to her. You can tell. Surprisingly, a lot of Laura comes through what must have been a book heavily-reviewed by handlers, without coming off as tinned and overproduced. I would have chosen the unabridged version had one been available. There is a lot to this story that she isn't telling, but what she does say in her own words makes her a very likable First Lady indeed.
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