Usually when a President leads the country to victory in war, he's a shoo-in for re-election. But for George H. W. Bush, being Commander in Chief during Desert Storm was not enough.
John Robert Greene examines The Presidency of George Bush on Thursday, July 12, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
According to Greene, domestic issues, personality factors, and the vagaries of the 1992 campaign confined Bush to a single term.
This first comprehensive history of George Bush's administration paints him as a "positive moderate" whose accomplishments are often underrated. Greene's is the first book to make use of the entire range of literature on the 41st president and draws on key interviews with members of his administration and with Bush himself.
Greene sets Bush's presidency in the context of the Reagan years and reviews not only his foreign policy successes - notably the war with Iraq and an improved relationship with Russia - but also key domestic issues: economic recession, the much maligned "Read My Lips" tax hike, Clarence Thomas's controversial Supreme Court appointment, and the enactment of bills that protected the environment and improved the lives of disabled Americans.
Greene also offers an insightful analysis of Bush's bid for reelection, describing a campaign that saw conservatives abandoning Bush in droves while early signs of an economic upturn did little to defuse the Democrats' advantage.
He depicts the sense of humor and love of the outdoors in a man often branded an elitist, who ultimately was never able to manipulate his public image to his advantage.
Greene is professor of history and communications at Cazenovia College.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
The event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series on the American Presidency co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute and co-sponsored by KCUR's Up to Date.