George H. W. Bush in his own words: 10 stories from the updated 'All the Best, George Bush'

America's 41st president was never known for his eloquent prose. That's why "All the Best, George Bush" – a collection of the letters, diary entries, and memos of George H. W. Bush – will be a surprise for some and a delight for others. Writing as a father, son, husband, president, and public servant, Bush displays a humor, wisdom, and humanity that should appeal to readers on both sides of the political aisle. 

1. 1942 – in the Navy

Boris Yurchenko/AP

Dear Mum and Dad,

The only thing wrong with this place is, they don't realize the average intelligence. They hand out so much crude propaganda here. It is really sickening.... stuff like "Kill the Japs – hate – murder" and a lot of stuff like "you are the cream of the American youth." Some fellows swallow it all.... All the well educated fellows know what they are fighting for – why they are here and don't need to be "brainwashed" into anything....

Much love,

Pop (Bush's nickname)

1 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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