Spoken From the Heart

Spoken From the Heart

Book - 2010
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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 in a family that lost three babies to miscarriage or infant death. 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, in heart-wrenching detail, 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, in the thick of student rebellions across the country and at the dawn of the women's movement, she became an elementary school teacher, working in inner-city schools, then trained to be a librarian. At age thirty, 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 in a stunning upset victory, 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. One of the first U.S. officials to visit war-torn Afghanistan, she also reached out to disease-stricken African nations and tirelessly advocated for women in the Middle East and dissidents in Burma. She championed programs to get kids out of gangs and to stop urban violence. And she was a major force in rebuilding Gulf Coast schools and libraries post-Katrina. Movingly, she writes of her visits with U.S. troops and their loved ones, and of her empathy for and immense gratitude to military families.

With deft humor and a sharp eye, Laura Bush lifts the curtain on what really happens inside the White House, from presidential finances to the 175-year-old tradition of separate bedrooms for presidents and their wives to the antics of some White House guests and even a few members of Congress. She writes with honesty and eloquence about her family, her public triumphs, and her personal tribulations. Laura Bush's compassion, her sense of humor, her grace, and her uncommon willingness to bare her heart make this story revelatory, beautifully rendered, and unlike any other first lady's memoir ever written.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2010.
ISBN: 9781439155202
1439155208
Branch Call Number: B BUSH LAURA
Characteristics: vii, 456 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.

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StarGladiator
Nov 27, 2015

This is NOT one female one would get involved with, thinking to dump her! When her highschool and quarterback boyfriend broke up with Laura, she just happened to accidentally run a stop sign, and speed into his car, t-boning it and killing him!

Corrine Jul 03, 2015

Laura Bush proves herself a respectable lady. She did a lot for public schools & libraries, but doesn't absolve George from being one of the worst presidents in modern history.
Going to war in Iraq was a criminal act in my humble opinion.

h
HopeButterfly
Jun 23, 2012

I'm not a Republica but I did persevere reading this book to the end. I put it down and picked up and finished other books first....then went back to Laura Bush's book...and glad I did see it to the end. I must admit I also skimmed through chapters that seemed dry...but glad I did complete the reading of the book in the end.

cullman5 Jan 03, 2012

So Laura loves George. What else is new? Yuck.

f
floy
May 21, 2011

I am not a Republican but I was interested in Laura Bush's point of view. However, I stopped reading fairly quickly and resorted to looking up specific points of interest from the index. The book has some surprises (she & GW were 31 when they married after knowing each other only 3 mo, and although Laura grew up in segregated Texas, she chose to teach in schools with predominately African American students) but mostly it was a pretty dry recitation of events without much introspection. I was hoping to find out her true feelings about Hillary and Condi, for instance, but that was not to happen. Her mention of the Obamas was minimal and without emotion. One highlight of the index was the mention of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Laura Bush is a bibliophile it turns out. :)

cayuga60 Mar 12, 2011

Honest and eloquent. There is much to learn about Laura Bush and her activities as First Lady. A memoir well worth reading.

j
jamesrf
Feb 11, 2011

this is a test

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