Chase Untermeyer has written another great book.
For those who have not followed Chase’s career, suffice it to say that he has a remarkable resume that is surpassed only by his former boss and lifelong mentor, George H.W. Bush. I conducted an interview with Untermeyer based on his resume when he returned to Houston in 2008, touching on his service at the Harris County Courthouse, in the Texas State Capitol, at the White House, as director of the Voice of America, and as Ambassador to Qatar; as well as other assignments along the way.
Untermeyer, who has kept a daily journal since he was nine years old, has been converting those notes into very readable books about his career.
When Things Went Right: The Dawn of the Reagan-Bush Administration covers the beginning of the Reagan-Bush era. I published this brief review on Amazon.com, where I purchased the book:
Chase Untermeyer has produced some very entertaining and informative books based on notes in his personal journal that he has kept since he was a boy. This book documents his time in the service of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan; and includes his personal interaction with many interesting people, including business leaders, politicians and heads of state. I enjoyed this book very much; and I have no doubt that it will be a valuable, reliable source for future historians, who will agree that it was a very good read.
The second book in this series, Inside Reagan's Navy: The Pentagon Journals, covers the period of time after he left the White House for assignments at the Pentagon under President Ronald Reagan before his return to the White House for service under Bush, when Bush was elected President.
Untermeyer, who now offices on the ninth floor of a Memorial Drive office building, which also serves as the headquarters for the senior President Bush, talked to Guidry News Service about his writing techniques. Listen (13:18)
“The books are based on a personal journal that I’ve kept since the age of nine,” he said. “I recognize that, yes, it is a weird thing for somebody that age or older to do, but I’ve done it essentially without break since that time; therefore it became easy to put together books of that era by going back to my journals and reading through them, tabbing sections that I thought were interesting.”
The personality profiles range from the movers and shakers in Washington, D.C. to world leaders and royalty, including Pope John Paul II.
A third book, currently in manuscript form, is called Zenith. It is about the presidency of George W. Bush.
Untermeyer is modest about his part in the history he has documented, but acknowledges that his writings will be of benefit to future historians.
“I like to hope that somebody in the future is interested in what people in Houston, Texas were saying and thinking and doing, and living in the 21st Century, they might find material in the Untermeyer journals that is not historical in the big sense, but will color history in the long term,” Untermeyer said.
The royalties of the books that have been published in this series are dedicated to the libraries of the presidents he served.
“Because I feel that I do have a very real and large debt to both Presidents Bush, that I have decreed that whatever royalties might be generated from the first book goes to the Bush School (of Government and Public Service) at Texas A&M and from the second book, to the George W. Bush Institute up at SMU,” he said. “The third book, devoted to the Bush presidency, I probably will send that back to the Bush School, or maybe it’s time to send whatever meager royalties come to the Regan Library.”