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A World Transformed [Hardcover]

By George Bush (Author)
Our Price $ 25.50  
Retail Value $ 30.00  
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Item Number 153432  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   587
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.4" Width: 6.6" Height: 1.9"
Weight:   2.31 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1998
Publisher   Knopf
ISBN  0679432485  
EAN  9780679432487  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
It was one of the pivotal times of the twentieth century--during George Bush's presidency, an extraordinary series of international events took place that materially changed the face of the world. Now, former President Bush and his national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft, tell the story of those tumultuous years.

Here are behind-the-scenes accounts of critical meetings in the White House and of summit conferences in Europe and the United States, interspersed with excerpts from Mr. Bush's diary. We are given fresh and intriguing views of world leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, and Franois Mitterrand--and witness the importance of personal relationships in diplomacy. There is the dramatic description of how President Bush put together the alliance against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. There are the intensive diplomatic exchanges with Beijing following the events of Tiananmen Square, and the intricate negotiations leading up to German reunification. And there is the sometimes poignant, sometimes grim portrayal of Gorbachev's final years in power.

A World Transformed is not simply a record of accomplishment; Bush and Scowcroft candidly recount how the major players sometimes disagreed over issues, and analyze what mistakes were made. This is a landmark book on the conduct of American foreign policy--and how that policy is crucial to the peace of the world. It is a fascinating inside look at great events that deepens our understanding of today's global issues.

George Bush's term as President occurred during a watershed era for international politics. In fact, so many major events took place on his watch that he limits A World Transformed to the years 1989 to 1991, in which the massacre at Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the Persian Gulf War held center stage. Though some will claim that this narrow focus only confirms Bush's disproportionate interest in foreign rather than domestic affairs, the events in question certainly warrant a book of their own. Perhaps anticipating such a response, Bush hints in the introduction that further memoirs are in the works.

A World Transformed is divided into three voices: Bush, his coauthor and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, and the collective "we" of the National Security Council (supplying vital background information and a wider view of the events discussed). Overall, this formula works--Bush's tone is particularly warm and chatty, his narrative peppered with telling anecdotes that reveal the personalities and emotions behind the bold-faced headlines. His remarks are mostly to the point, gratifyingly lucid, and often compelling. Diary excerpts supply many memorable insights, if few truly shocking revelations. For instance, at the end of the Persian Gulf War, he wrote: "Isn't it a marvelous thing that this little country will be liberated.... The big news, of course, is this high performance of our troops--the wonderful job they've done; the conviction that we're right and the others are wrong. We're doing something decent, and we're doing something good; and Vietnam will soon be behind us.... It's surprising how much I dwell on the end of the Vietnam syndrome."

In describing his interaction with other world leaders, Bush emerges as a skillful negotiator and statesman, fostering a personal, first-name-basis style of diplomacy that proved especially effective with Mikhail Gorbachev and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Scowcroft, the consummate support man and workaholic, focuses more on the nuts and bolts, balancing out their presentation of how crises are dealt with at the highest level. --Shawn Carkonen

Outline Audiobook Review
Former U.S. president George Bush sounds relaxed and reinvigorated as he recounts the major events of the first two years of his presidency, 1989-1991. Those were remarkable times, encompassing the end of Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe and the Gulf War, and his voice captures his own wonder that they happened on his watch and that he successfully dealt with them. Brent Scowcroft, Bush's national security advisor, also narrates parts of the tape, explaining his big-picture take on events that Bush relates on a more personal level. Other parts of A World Transformed, those involving neither author's point of view, are read by Condoleeza Rice, former special assistant to the president for the Soviet Union. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --Lou Schuler

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
an outstanding study in leadership  Feb 29, 2008
Having read many books on leadership, this is the one I most treasure and share as widely as I can. It provides an intimate view into the foreign policy decision making of two very skilled foreign policy makers. It covers such critical events as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the massacre at Tiananmen Square, and the Persian Gulf War, providing historical framing and then presenting in their own words how President George H.W. Bush and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft thought through their responses. The reader gets a sense of having a private conversation with the authors, who discuss the many variables they were weighing, their concerns, their relationships with those involved, their actions, and their reflections on the outcomes. Each chapter provides much material for pondering the nature and challenges of real world leadership.
Interesting insider insights  Aug 27, 2005
I'm no expert on the end of the Cold War, nor on the many issues Bush and Scowcroft discuss. There are too many people who argue that the end of the Cold War had everything or nothing to do with Ronald Reagan. As Bush and Scowcroft make plain, intentionally or not, change was coming around too quickly for anyone to claim credit. I know the standard story-line: Reagan raised defense spending and this drove the Soviets to spend until they collapsed. It's a simple story, but it leaves out far too much to be accurate. Bush was on the tail end of a decades-long strategy of containment; thankfully all presidents stood their ground in confronting the Soviets. Perhaps we should all recognize how fortunate we were to have Bush and Scowcroft in leadership positions for the four years they served as President and National Security Adviser. Admittedly cautious, they used their time wisely in dealing with the Soviet Union.

Very thorough in dealing with German reunification and in standing up to Saddam. It's amazing to read the Gulf War stuff: Bush and Scowcroft discuss the importance of alliances, the UN Security Council, containment, and the difficulties of urban warfare. Apparently someone's son did not read the book. Are we better off or worse off for that? Time will tell.

In a sense the book is not co-written because the two authors go back and forth in describing their different memories of the four Bush White House years. An original approach.

Unfortunately, no discussion on the U.S. invasion of Panama.
Jumpy...skip to better alternatives  Feb 6, 2003
I tried to force down "A World Transformed" after reading George H. W. Bush's outstanding letter- and note-based memoir "All the Best." As much as I wanted to like it, I just couldn't trudge through the entire thing. Mostly, it's the format that's at fault. You get Bush's pieces & Scowcroft's pieces interspersed with a 3rd-party disembodied voice attmepting to tie the segments together. I can appreciate that Gen. Scowcroft was a major player and needs his own voice here. But the resulting patchquilt of a book makes it tough on the reader to develop any semblance of continuity.

The other thing is that 'All the Best' introduced you to this charming, delightful, all-too-human side of our 41st President, the charasmatic guy who shows you - through his dedicated letter-writing and human touch - how to build and sustain life-long friendships. I wanted that guy to star in this book. Instead, the guy that wrote "A World Transformed" is a caricature of the tone-deaf (to the US Economy) internationalist we voted out of office in 1992.

A better route than "A World Transformed" would be to pair "All the Best" with David Halberstam's "War in a Time of Peace."

Very Detailed  May 21, 2002
This book is the step by step discussion of the major foreign affaire issues that took place during first Bush presidency. To say this book is detailed would be to say the Battan Death March was a "tough hike". The book covers the years 1989 to 1991, more specifically (only) the massacre at Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the USSR, and the Gulf War. The book is written in an interesting way - Bush and Scowcroft give their views on each of the issues and then combine for a third voice that gives more of a back ground commentary. We also get some of Bush's "dear diary" entries, which given he wrote the book, I wonder if we saw the original entries. This style does make the book more readable, although Scowcroft's writing could compete in excitement with watching grass grow.

Bush does come across as an excellent statesman in dealing with world leaders. He presents a warm down home type of President that worked with some of the leaders he dealt with. The reader also gets an interesting insight into some of the leaders that Bush dealt with (Hussain, Gorbachev and Kohl) to name a few. In the details of the Gulf War, he also comes off as being a skillful negotiator that kept the war effort together. I think it also shows that to be a good world leader you must develop personal relationships with other world leaders. Bush comes off as such a good foreign policy man that it almost adds to the impression that he had no clue what was going on at home.

Again, the book was full of details - - too much dry detail at times. Some of the talk about how minor issues were resolved could have been left on the cutting room floor and the book would have been the better for it. I did feel that we were short-changed on the Tiananmen Square uprising in China. I also felt that there was just too much time spent on Russia that could have been spent covering the Panama Invasion or the start of the Somalia effort. Overall, the book was very detailed and interesting. As it was almost a memoir, I would look to a few other books on the topics to form of full opion of the issues, as the author's may have been a bit bias.

The definitive account of the end of the Cold War  Jun 23, 2000
A vital part of understanding the end of the Cold War. The book is at its most vivid and engaging during it's description of the events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the unification of Germany and the Gulf War. Bush and Scowcroft tag team throughout the book and complement each other well. Bush's knack for incorporating anecdotes and his personal relationships with other world leaders serves him well here. However, the book is lacking in some areas, and I couldn't quite bring myself to give it 5 stars. While billed as a major part of the book, the section on the Tianamen Square uprising in China was not particularly detailed or illuminating. The book could have benefited from Bush and Scowcroft's perspective on the Panama Invasion, Somalia, and especially on the crucial decisions on US policy towards the breakup of Yugoslavia, which began on Bush's watch. Still, this is an amazing book and it was easy to feel swept up in events that many did not believe we would see happen in our lifetime, myself included. On par with the great books of international relations such as Kissinger's "A World Restored" and Acheson's "Present at the Creation."

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