The Man I Thought I Knew (Two-Faced, #1) | E.L. Todd

Summary of: The Man I Thought I Knew (Two-Faced, #1)
By: E.L. Todd


Embark on a heartfelt journey through the life of George H. W. Bush after his presidency in ‘The Man I Thought I Knew’, by E.L. Todd. Discover the challenges and adjustments he faced as a private citizen after being ‘fired’ by the American people. You will learn about his efforts to support his family’s political ambitions, make new friends with former rivals, and continue to serve the world through various humanitarian missions. This illuminating summary highlights the inspiring acts of kindness, surprising adventures, and loving dedication that defined the late president’s life.

Life After Presidency

George H. W. Bush faced a difficult transition to life after presidency when he lost the 1992 election. Although he filled his time with various tasks, including writing a book and attending baseball games, he missed the importance of his former job. He especially struggled when his dog, Ranger, died and when his boat was destroyed in a storm. Despite these losses and challenges, Bush remained resilient and counted his blessings.

The Rise of the Bush Family

The Bush family did not plan to become a prominent political dynasty, but their determination and hard work resulted in two governors and a president. George W. and Jeb ran for governor in Texas and Florida, respectively, while their parents campaigned for them. George W. then ran for president and won in a contentious election. Despite his pride, the senior George Bush reached out to the losing candidate, Al Gore, and congratulated him. Watching their son walk into the White House, George and Barbara Bush felt proud and accomplished.

George H.W. Bush’s Journey to Closure

George H.W. Bush’s fame and influence continued even after his tenure as President. During his trips abroad, he often got assistance from old friends who were now heads of state. In 2002, he embarked on a trip to return to Chichijima, where he had been shot down by Japanese soldiers during World War II. The Japanese government helped him get there, and when he arrived, he was greeted by the island’s entire population, which was a rare occurrence. He laid a wreath at the site where his plane went down and spent time by himself paddling in a life raft. This trip was significant since it allowed the former President to confront and find closure on a traumatic event that happened almost 60 years earlier.

Unlikely Friends

In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, former US Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton joined forces to encourage Americans to donate to relief efforts. Despite being political rivals, they agreed to travel to the affected region together on a mission to represent the United States. The trip sparked an unexpected friendship that continued to blossom throughout the years. Their friendship was so strong that even Clinton’s doctor’s advice couldn’t stop him from joining Bush on a trip to Pope John Paul II’s funeral. The two remained close until their deaths, serving as a shining example of putting aside political differences for the greater good.

George H.W. Bush’s Acts of Kindness and Service

George H.W. Bush was known for his acts of kindness and service towards others. He invited the son of a firefighter who died to a baseball game and personally showed him around. He also hosted a movie party for all college basketball teams and shaved his head in solidarity with a child undergoing chemotherapy. Besides these acts, the Bushes were actively involved in raising funds for various causes and established the Points of Light organization to encourage people to help one another. President Bush believed that serving others should be a part of a successful life, and he established the Daily Point of Light award that recognizes a White House employee’s volunteer work each workday.

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