Books from politicians, and from those who are a part of their aspirations and achievements, are common enough ... but not many of them find their way onto my shelves.
This one might ...
“Spoken From the Heart,” by former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush has been in the headlines for the last day or so. A copy of the book, scheduled for release in early May, was obtained by The New York Times at a bookstore. While most of the day's headlines have been devoted to what she writes about her part in a fatal traffic accident in Midland, in 1963, she also writes about the unique perspective she gained over the years, into national and world affairs, and the people who conducted those affairs.
It's been about a year-and-a-half since news of the book, and speculation over its content, began circulating. At the time, the Associated Press reported, "while Nancy Reagan famously settled scores with old foes like former White House chief of staff Donald Regan in 'My Turn,' one publishing executive with knowledge of the meetings with Laura Bush said the [then] current first lady has vowed to write a positive book, with a minimum of criticism."
That's not to say, though, that the book doesn't contain some strong statements. In this report from msnbc.com and the New York Times, we learn that, "on several occasions in the book, Ms. Bush admonishes her husband’s political adversaries for 'calling him names,' and she pointedly rebuts criticism of some of his key decisions."
That wouldn't surprise me. While she was First Lady of Texas, I had a chance to interview Laura Bush twice, and found her to be smart and well-informed, with the ability to speak firmly - though not offensively - on those topics on which she felt strongly. I also found her to be very gracious and open to 'the press' ... far more so than those who comprised her entourage at the time (and still do, as a matter of fact). For me, First Lady Laura Bush remains one of the best things about the George H.W. Bush White House. He definitely traded-up when he married her ... but, c'mon guys ... don't we all?
Which is why I'll probably add hers to to those few of the aforementioned books that have made it to my shelf. Others already on the shelf include ...
• Profiles in Courage by John Kennedy;
• Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant;
• The Strenuous Life by Theodore Roosevelt;
• It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton;
• Faith of My Fathers; by John McCain; and
• Earth in the Balance by Al Gore.
... so, what's on your shelf? ... And what are the chances of a public book-signing here, in the Tall City?