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Houston Matters

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George H.W. Bush

Author Jon Meacham discusses his biography of George H.W. Bush.

Former President George H.W. Bush.

In the development of his biography Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, author Jon Meacham conducted extensive interviews over nine years with the 41st President, his family, friends and colleagues and was granted access to Bush's audio diaries and First Lady Barbara Bush's diary.

The book gained headlines when it was published in 2015 for revelations from the elder Bush about his willingness to risk impeachment, if necessary, to engage in the first Gulf War, as well as some critiques of his son's presidency.

In the above audio, Houston Matters host Craig Cohen speaks with Meacham in November of 2015, when the book was first published.

  • FILE - In this 1964 file photo, George H.W. Bush sits on couch with his wife Barbara and their children. George W. Bush sits at right behind his mother. Behind couch are Neil and Jeb Bush. Sitting with parents are Dorothy and Marvin Bush.  Again? Really? There are more than 300 million people in America, yet the same two families keep popping up when it comes to picking a president. The possibility of a Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 is increasingly plausible. After months of hints and speculation, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush last week said he's actively exploring a bid for the Republican nomination. And while Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn't revealed her intentions, she's seen as the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nomination. By Nancy Benac. ? (AP Photo, File) (Photo Credit: AP)
    FILE - In this 1964 file photo, George H.W. Bush sits on couch with his wife Barbara and their children. George W. Bush sits at right behind his mother. Behind couch are Neil and Jeb Bush. Sitting with parents are Dorothy and Marvin Bush. Again? Really? There are more than 300 million people in America, yet the same two families keep popping up when it comes to picking a president. The possibility of a Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 is increasingly plausible. After months of hints and speculation, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush last week said he's actively exploring a bid for the Republican nomination. And while Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn't revealed her intentions, she's seen as the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nomination. By Nancy Benac. ? (AP Photo, File) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • George_W._Bush_and_family
    George_W._Bush_and_family
  • Mrs. George Bush walking on New York's Park Avenue, April 13, 1971. (AP Photo) (Photo Credit: AP Photo)
    Mrs. George Bush walking on New York's Park Avenue, April 13, 1971. (AP Photo) (Photo Credit: AP Photo)
  • Republican Senatorial candidate George Bush shows a victory sign as he and his wife Barbara stand in front of a vote machine November 3, 1964 in Houston,Tex., just before casting their ballot.   The candidate waited an hour and a half in a long of votes that circled the Pilgrim Elementary School where the Bush's voted this morning. in Houston.    (AP Photo). (Photo Credit: AP)
    Republican Senatorial candidate George Bush shows a victory sign as he and his wife Barbara stand in front of a vote machine November 3, 1964 in Houston,Tex., just before casting their ballot. The candidate waited an hour and a half in a long of votes that circled the Pilgrim Elementary School where the Bush's voted this morning. in Houston. (AP Photo). (Photo Credit: AP)
  • George Bush beams as some of his family members applaud at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, May 1, 1979 where he formally announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. From left are: John E. (Jeb), a son; Columba, a daughter-in-law; Marvin, a son; Dorothy, a daughter; Mrs. Barbara Bush, his wife; and Bush. (AP Photo/Taylor) (Photo Credit: AP)
    George Bush beams as some of his family members applaud at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, May 1, 1979 where he formally announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. From left are: John E. (Jeb), a son; Columba, a daughter-in-law; Marvin, a son; Dorothy, a daughter; Mrs. Barbara Bush, his wife; and Bush. (AP Photo/Taylor) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • George Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, gets returns by phone at his headquarters in Houston, Saturday, June 6, 1964 as his wife Barbara, beams her pleasure at the news. Bush was leading his opponent Jack Cox in the run-off primary. Bush will face Sen. Ralph Yarborough (D-Tex) in the November general election if his lead holds and he is the winner. (AP Photo/Ed Kolenovsky) (Photo Credit: AP)
    George Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, gets returns by phone at his headquarters in Houston, Saturday, June 6, 1964 as his wife Barbara, beams her pleasure at the news. Bush was leading his opponent Jack Cox in the run-off primary. Bush will face Sen. Ralph Yarborough (D-Tex) in the November general election if his lead holds and he is the winner. (AP Photo/Ed Kolenovsky) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, right, share a moment with Vice President and Mrs. George Bush following the oaths in the Capitol Building in Washington on Monday, Jan. 21, 1985. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty) (Photo Credit: AP)
    President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, right, share a moment with Vice President and Mrs. George Bush following the oaths in the Capitol Building in Washington on Monday, Jan. 21, 1985. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty) (Photo Credit: AP)