Pres. George W. Bush

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas

Four U.S. Presidents headline a three-day summit in Austin this week, kicking off a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Life before the act can sometimes seem foreign to those of us who came after the landmark legislation was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Organizers say that alone is a great reason to hold a summit.

"Of course it's appropriate to look back. I mean, I myself am a child of the segregated South. So I grew up in that world and I know in ways that our students really don't, what things were like before this legislation,"  LBJ School of Public Affairs Dean Robert Hutchings says.

Since he left office, former President George W. Bush has devoted part of his free time to painting – everything from his dog Barney to self-portraits. A year after a hacker revealed some of his works-in-progress, Bush had his first real art show Friday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.

The exhibit, titled "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," opens to the public Saturday. It features portraits of 24 world leaders, including Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama.

ABC News

He led the United States on 9/11, oversaw the bloody invasion and occupation of Iraq, reconfigured the global geopolitical landscape, and became one of the most polarizing presidents in recent history.

But these days, it seems like George W. Bush is mostly known for his painting.

Since his retirement, the former president has made headlines for his new hobby painting portraits and pictures of animals. Now, a small piece of his creative output can be yours.

Making a relatively rare appearance on national TV, former President George W. Bush told Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Tuesday's show that "I relied upon my faith, my family helped a lot and I had a good team around me" while in the White House.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

In a piece in The New York Times, chief White House correspondent Peter Baker sent a dispatch from Dallas – where the 43rd president of the United States leads a life of self-imposed exile.

While his vice president, Dick Cheney, continues to wage war on Democrats, George W. Bush stays out of the public debate.  

That might line up with what you’d expect, if your idea of the Bush-Cheney years was one of the vice president as Darth Vader – the power behind the throne controlling Bush’s hand. 

Eric Draper, White House

On Sept. 11, 2001, Eric Draper presumed the morning trip to Florida would be a routine affair. Or, at least as routine as anything ever can be when you’re traveling with the President of the United States. 

"Former President George W. Bush has successfully undergone a heart procedure after doctors discovered a blockage in an artery," The Associated Press writes.

According to the wire service, "Bush spokesman Freddy Ford says a stent was inserted during a procedure Tuesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The blockage was discovered Monday during Bush's annual physical at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, where the nation's 43rd president lives."

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Today, Texas became the first state to have three presidential libraries.

All five living U.S. presidents gathered this morning on the SMU campus in Dallas to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Four presidents praised another member of their exclusive club Thursday at the dedication of the George W. Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The library dedication at the George W. Bush Library has concluded.

Here’s more coverage from KUT News and NPR:

Original Post: Pres. Barack Obama will help dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library today.

Filipa Rodrigues

The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be officially dedicated tomorrow on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Dignitaries from across the political world will be on hand to get a peek at the 13th official Presidential library.

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The George W. Bush Presidential Library has its dedication Thursday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Former first lady Laura Bush says one of the most emotionally moving museum exhibits focuses on the 9/11 attacks.

A poll released days before the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas is serving as fodder for some sequestered GOP nostalgia about his two terms in the White House.

Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, gave birth over the weekend to a girl.

Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager is named for her grandmothers, the former president announced in a statement. According to The Associated Press, the little girl's nickname is pronounced MEE-luh.

A Smoking Gun report about the hacking of several email accounts belonging to members of presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush's family and some family friends has prompted a criminal investigation.

The Houston Chronicle says that Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed an investigation is under way, but declined further comment.

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

DALLAS — During his opening remarks Tuesday at a daylong conference on immigration and the economy, former President George W. Bush urged the nation’s leaders to debate immigration reform with compassion and kindness.

In a brief appearance at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Bush did not advocate for a specific solution. But his statements indicated he supports policies similar to those he championed during his presidency, when immigration reform was last debated in Congress.

Bush Library Wrestles with Presidential Emails

Jul 2, 2012

The Dallas Morning News reports on a challenge facing the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University: How to archive the first Internet-age presidency? The Morning News writes that 200 million emails – 80 terabytes – from the Bush administration are set to be archived, but they must be reviewed and redacted; the center has a goal of processing 600,000 to 900,000 emails annually.

In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.

It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."

"I'm often asked 'Do you miss the presidency?' I really don't," former President George W. Bush told an audience in New York City this morning, Politico reports.

It was an "was unbelievably interesting experience," he added, but "I had plenty of the limelight."