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Yet it was ultimately his trademark propriety that cost Bush his chance at a second term. Bush's landmark budget deal was characterized as a political defeat rather than a show of fiscal responsibility; his caution in dealing with Saddam Hussein was considered by many Republicans a pathetic compromise. With his party divided, Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992, but in a final irony, the conservatives who scorned him would return to power eight years later, under his son and namesake.
This is a reasonably well written short biography of Bush 41 which is consistent with the approach of the other biographies in the Schlesinger series of which it is a part. But it is a political book, so politics cannot be ignored in this review. Although the author is obviously a liberal Democrat, for the most part he attempts to be fair to Bush personally. However, listeners should be forwarned that the entire book is written from a liberal point of view. Thus, for example, the"bad" Bush is the Bush of the "read my lips no new taxes" pledge and the "good" Bush is the Bush who broke that pledge. There are also many gratuitous slaps at Ronald Reagan. Thus, the book in some ways reads like an "analysis" one might read in the NY Times. Accordingly, liberals will have a more positive response than conservatives.
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