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Zenith: In the White House with George H. W. Bush is the third in Ambassador Untermeyer's series of books based on his personal journals compiled during his tenure in the service of George H. W. Bush, first as vice president, then as president. The present work begins with Bush's election in November 1988 and concludes with Untermeyer's service as director of the Voice of America, from 1991 until Bush's defeat by Clinton in 1992. Filled with the author's personal observations and commentary on White House events, personalities, and issues, Zenith is written largely from Untermeyer's perspective as President Bush's director of personnel, a position that placed him squarely at the center of the politically charged process of making recommendations on some 3,500 federal appointments.
While serving as an assistant to Vice Pres. George H. W. Bush, Chase Untermeyer concluded that the only way to learn how the US government really works was to leave the silken cocoon of the White House and seek a position in one of the departments or agencies. In March 1983, when offered an appointment as a deputy assistant secretary of the navy, he jumped at the opportunity. After only a year as a "DASN," he was named by Pres. Ronald Reagan as assistant secretary for Manpower & Reserve Affairs, in charge of all personnel issues affecting nearly one million sailors and Marines and a third of a million civilian workers. Inside Reagan's Navy offers an engaging, up-close narrative of Untermeyer's experiences in the Pentagon, interwoven with descriptions of events and people, humorous anecdotes, and telling quotations. As in his earlier book, When Things Went Right: The Dawn of the Reagan-Bush Administration, Inside Reagan's Navy paints a portrait of official Washington during the Reagan years, with its politics, parties, and personalities.
When Things Went Right is a colourful and insightful portrait of Washington at the beginning of the Reagan-Bush era (November 1980-March 1983) as lived and recorded by an insider in his personal journal. Chase Untermeyer was a Texas state legislator and former journalist when called to national service by his friend and mentor George H. W. Bush after the 1980 election. In his journal entries and subsequent annotations he describes how the Reagan Administration began to grapple with the major national and international challenges it inherited. He also reveals specifically how then-Vice President Bush, Reagan's former rival, became a valued participant in this effort, in the process solidifying the vice presidency as a significant position in modern American government. As executive assistant to the Vice President, Untermeyer saw how Bush, Reagan, and their top associates began asserting conservative principles on domestic, political, and foreign affairs. He captured in his journal not just the events of each day but also the atmosphere, the key personalities, and the witty, trenchant, and revealing things they said. The book's long-lasting value will be in providing historians of the period with telling anecdotes and quotations that were caught and preserved with a reporter's eye and ear. In addition to perceptive portraits of Reagan and Bush, When Things Went Right also features numerous cameo appearances by such diverse characters as Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Clare Boothe Luce, and jazz great Lionel Hampton. For those who look back on the presidencies of Reagan and Bush with nostalgia and respect, and also for those interested in the inner workings of the administration during its earliest days, this is the story of the time "when things went right."
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