President Obama had the awkward honor of inaugurating the George W. Bush Presidential Library, where he spoke positively on his predecessor’s time in office, despite his actual opinions on the Bush administration. Regardless of what Bush’s approval rating was in office, however, it has since gone up to 47%, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Ironically, the percentage of people who continue to disapprove of his job performance in office is higher, at 50%. Although he is no longer in office, let’s hope that he continues to keep up his voracious reading habit. Here is a list of books that would make an interesting addition to his presidential library, maybe even his personal bookshelf.
1. Appetizer: Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential by James Moore and Wayne Slater
To be clear, this is not a book condemning our former president. It is simply paying respect to President Bush’s top political consultant and advisor, Karl Rove. It details the Bush-Rove political team and Rove’s rise in the American political circuit. This would be interesting for Bush to read and include in his library to acknowledge Rove’s presence in his administration and understand the decisions made through a more objective lens.
2. Entrée: No Child Left Behind? The Politics and Practice of School Accountability by Paul E. Peterson
When holistically examining the Bush presidency, many leave out the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. While for millions my age it was considered cruel and unusual punishment, we are still left with a broken educational system, continuing the cycle of poverty and lack of preparedness for the real world. This book aims to examine the benefits and disadvantages of implementing standardized testing in American schools. Perhaps Bush can better learn what how his “landmark” education legislation has affected those of us who have recently left the school system and those who are still in it.
3. Dessert: The Kindergarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks by Evan Sayet
With the meteoric rise of political comedians such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, conservative satirists are a little difficult to find. However, Evan Sayet is gaining popularity among those who identify as Republicans. This quirky, witty book answers questions about the Democratic stance on politics in religion, abortion, Israel, and other controversial topics.
This collection of books would enhance the Bush library and personal bookshelf because they would give the former president a chance to reflect on his time in office and relax with some ideological humor. Here’s to hoping that President Obama learns from these mistakes and when it’s his turn to build a library, he’ll be able to make the same intelligent book choices.