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A Charge to Keep
by George W. Bush, Karen Hughes

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Category: Biographies & Memoirs

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Hardcover - 253 pages 1st edition (November 17, 1999)
William Morrow & Co; ISBN: 0688174418 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.97 x 9.55 x 6.45

Other Editions: Paperback Sales Rank: 9,893
Popular in: Juno Online Services, L.P (#4) , Pensacola, FL (#17) . See more
Avg. Customer Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars

Number of Reviews: 54

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Editorial Reviews
The political biography, complete with life-altering turning points and a political philosophy for leading the United States into greatness, has become obligatory for those running for president--just one more thing to check off the "to do" list on the way to the Oval Office. A Charge to Keep is George W. Bush's offering: a light and breezy book mixing personal and political remembrances that proves heavy on chatty anecdotes and light on policy prescriptions. If you read the last chapter you'll sort of learn where George W. stands on most things, but still not really discern how he would actually run the country. There are no revelations, either personal or political: Bush's wild side and youthful indiscretions, like stealing a Christmas wreath from a New Haven hotel for his Yale fraternity, are touched on lightly when he discusses them at all. A Charge to Keep is so upbeat and positive, in describing the Houston woman to whom he was engaged in college and from whom he "gradually drifted apart," Bush says simply: "I still think the world of her, and our parting was friendly. We were very young, we lived in different places, and we gradually developed different lives."

George W. has been labeled a lightweight by some; A Charge to Keep will do nothing to dispel that notion. It features lots of Bush family memories and numerous mentions of George W.'s famous parents, including letters from his president father. George W. has followed closely in his father's footsteps, attending the same prep school and college. He even belonged to the same secret society at Yale, Skull and Bones. From college it was on to flight school and the Texas Air National Guard, Harvard Business School, and then (again, like his father) the Texas oil business and politics. George W. seems mostly in sync with his father on policy issues as well. "A thousand points of light" is transformed slightly to become "compassionate conservative," which pops up in the final chapter more than 10 times. Readers will come away knowing many of the experiences and events that have helped shaped George W., but his future is still an open book. --Linda Killian

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The New York Times Book Review, Adam Clymer
...a puzzling exercise. It offers little more than his standard stump speech does to convey what a Bush presidency might be like.

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1 of 1 Divas found the following review fabulous:

1 of 5 stars Clueless in America, March 22, 2001
Reviewer: Resistance Fighter Geoff from The Bush Brothers Banana Republic

You have to pity poor Karen Hughes and the effort it took to put enough spin on this turkey to try to get it to fly.

Since George Bush has proven over and over on the campaign trail and since entering the White House that he is functionally incapable of formulating or expressing policy coherently it becomes obvious, as the ghostwritten traces of this book so strongly imply, that there is, to put it simply, no there there...

The bits of policy that are hinted at as a sop to those who would willfully close their eyes to the true agenda as it has been exposed over the last two months seems, to be generous, from this vantage point, wistful.

To be a bit more truthful, it's simply rank hypocrisy which, while it is the common coin in our nation's politics regardless of party, takes on a rather sinister cast in light of the rescinding of the promised carbon dioxide regulations for the coal industry, the rescinding of the arsenic in drinking water regulations for the mining industry, the revision of the bankruptcy laws for the credit card industry, drilling in the Arctic Wildlife refuge for the oil industry, and a tax cut of almost 800 billion dollars for the wealthiest 1% of the citizenry.

In light of this, the "charge to keep" is obviously the quid pro quo attached to the nearly half billion dollars in contributions collected over the course of the campaign.

Ordinarily a book like this is remaindered as a piece of campaign fluff, something in which to put the autograph of the candidate to give the illusion of participation; however, given the events of the last few months, it all has a rather macabre, through-the-looking-glass feeling that, day by day, threatens to engulf us all.

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1 of 1 Divas found the following review fabulous:

1 of 5 stars A charge to heave, March 5, 2001
Reviewer: nimlos (see more about me) from Dallas, Texas United States

As a journalist and small business owner, I've met and spoken to our ex-governor four or five times. I can't remember for certain how many, as he made almost no impression on me - any attempt to talk about something more substantial than how hot it was proved fruitless. The same holds true for this book, which was obviously written for him.

This book (I hate to give it so noble a term) is a slick piece of marketing material, nothing more. It's designed to sell the same insipid and irritatingly unbelievable 'compassionate conservatism' nonsense Bush Jr. (let's all face it, people - the removal of Herbert does not a different name make) hawked from coast to coast throughout 2000. I found it most enlightening that while zooming around the country, talking about how compassionate he is and sucking up every dime that wasn't nailed down, he couldn't take one day off and go to Fort Worth last spring, after a tornado ravaged its way through downtown, leaving a swath of destruction which is still in abundant evidence.

If you want to put on some rose-colored glasses and read a biography which bears a tangential relationship to the real story, by all means pick up this book and memorize it. If you're interested in the truth, look elsewhere.

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Avg. Customer Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars

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1 of 1 Divas found the following review fabulous:

1 of 5 stars Brain Freeze, March 2, 2001
Reviewer: Jane (see more about me) from New York, NY USA

Simply put, re-reading this book would infect my brain. I've never read such immemorable, meaningless rhetoric before, and I hope I never shall again. Beware especially of his "masterful" explanation of why education "doesn't work" and why welfare-esque religion will be the "saving grace" of the nation. Steer clear of this book at all costs! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 Divas found the following review laughable:

5 of 5 stars Hear him out!, March 1, 2001
Reviewer: devon (see more about me)

Everyday we see him in the newspapers, thirdhand accounts of his beliefs and ideas. Now he tells you his side. This book is so inspirational, it really gives hope to America. You won't find bogged down descriptions of policy and the problems getting it passed in this book; it's all about "Dubya" himself. Do yourself a favor, and get to know and understand his policies so that as an American citizen you can have a better understanding of the issues.

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