The book's proceeds support U.S. veterans and their families.

Bush Painting
Credit: Courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center

One of our former commanders in chief has a knack for painting. Our past Presidents are known for writing and publishing books about many subjects, but books of art by our former leaders are few and far between. That's why Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors is so compelling. It's a new collection of oil paintings and stories by President George W. Bush, and it celebrates the bravery and the sacrifices made by members of America's military.

Portraits of Courage
Credit: Courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center

Portraits of Courage includes 66 full color portraits and stories—painted and written by President Bush—about veterans, their families, and their lives. The subjects of the paintings are members of the U.S. military who have served the nation over the past sixteen years. The book developed from President Bush's work with the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative and hopes to bridge the divide between civilians and members of the military, sharing stories of courage and creating connections among all citizens.

Surprised that our former President took up painting? In the book's introduction, President Bush writes, "I've been plenty busy since leaving the White House [but] I wanted a new adventure." Painting has been both exhilarating and challenging for our former commander in chief. He writes, "For the first time in my sixty-six years, I picked up a paintbrush that wasn't meant for drywall." And now, he has employed that paintbrush to tell the stories of our Nation's military, the courageous men and women who safeguard our freedoms and to whom we owe tremendous gratitude.

President Bush will donate proceeds from the book to the non-profit organization that coordinates the Military Service Initiative. The proceeds will help veterans and their families as they transition into civilian life. You can also experience the paintings and stories up close at the Portraits of Courage exhibit, open March 2 through October 1, 2017, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. It's located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors is available for purchase at Amazon.

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What books are you reading lately? Will you pick up Portraits of Courage at your local bookstore?