George W. Bush portrait collection tops bestseller lists
The cover of former U.S. president George W. Bush's new book "Portraits of Courage." (Amazon.com)
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 10:34AM EDT
A book collection of paintings of military veterans by former U.S. President George W.Bush has raced to the top of U.S. bestseller lists.
Subtitled "A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," the volume features 66 portraits of wounded or traumatized personnel he has met who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq or Afghanistan following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
Published in late February, the book is at the top of the New York Times bestselling non-fiction category for the second week. It stands at number 18 of all books selling on Amazon.
Each portrait is accompanied by the veteran's story, written by Bush, who wanted to "honour the sacrifice and courage of America's military veterans," his presidential center said on its website.
Bush will donate his profits from the book to the nonprofit center, whose Military Service Initiative "works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war," the publisher Crown Publishing Group said in a statement.
Although the 43rd president has never voiced regret over launching the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, which caused hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, his book showcases his efforts to help some of the "remarkable men and women who were injured carrying out my orders," as he wrote on his Instagram account.
Some 2.5 million U.S. military personnel have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since 2001. Of those, 6,896 service members were killed and more than 50,000 injured, according to a compilation of Defense Department data.