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Miller Center-produced George H.W. Bush documentary to premiere nationally Tuesday

A documentary about the legacy of George H.W. Bush, co-produced by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs and VPM public TV, will debut nationally this week.

Titled “Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team,” the film offers a unique look at the foreign policy legacy of Bush via the his Presidential Oral History, the historical record and accounts from advisers, according to a news release.

The documentary reflects on the state of American diplomacy at the end of the Cold War when Bush became president in 1989. According to the release, much of the world was in turmoil when Bush took office and it was clear that American diplomacy was entering a new era.

The documentary features archival footage and interviews with members of Bush’s foreign policy team, including James Baker, Dick Cheney, Robert Gates, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Brent Scowcroft.

Also included are first-person accounts of major world events — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Malta Summit, the U.S. invasion of Panama, the reunification of Germany, the Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Bush picked people who worked well together,” Lori Shinseki, director of the documentary, said in the release. “They each attributed their success to Bush’s leadership and national security experience. And they had a ball! Many of them actually said it was the most fun they ever had working in the White House.”

The documentary airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday on PBS stations.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Miller Center and VPM will present a virtual public discussion about the documentary featuring White House Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Zoellick, National Security Council staff member Philip Zelikow, New Yorker journalist Susan Glasser and Miller Center Director of Presidential Studies Barbara Perry. More details can be found at


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