George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum front entry and fountain.

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George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum


This vast $300-million facility documents the presidency of George W Bush. Like other presidential libraries it has two missions: to allow research and to present a record of the president to the public. Exhibits include all manner of gifts Bush received while president. Its take on the 43rd president is especially glossy compared to other presidential libraries. Don't look for extended discussions on Bush-era controversies such as the Iraq war or the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.

Its most interactive feature is the Decision Points Theater, which allows you to see how Bush made decisions around events such as 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. Needless to say, the process tends to vindicate the Bush administration. Although Bush had no connection to Southern Methodist University, the university outbid others to host the facility. (Bush's father George HW Bush went through the same process when he located his presidential library at Texas A&M, a school where he had no previous connection.) Overall, given the size and cost of the facility, the exhibit area is fairly small and most people finish their visit in under an hour. There is a good cafe and the grounds have beautiful gardens.

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