London, England (CNN) - Former U.S. President George W. Bush was a "true idealist" who displayed "genuine integrity and political courage," former British prime minister Tony Blair reveals in his memoirs.
Detailing the close professional and personal relationship which developed between the two leaders in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. and during the build-up to the Iraq war in 2003, Blair writes that Bush was "very smart" while having "immense simplicity in how he saw the world."
"Right or wrong, it led to decisive leadership... he sincerely believed in spreading freedom and democracy," he writes in "A Journey;" which hit book stores in the UK on Wednesday.
DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton delivered an upbeat message Thursday amid the mood of economic gloom at the World Economic Forum, telling delegates, "This is still a good time to be alive."
Clinton admitted that the deepening impact of the financial meltdown, which is dominating the agenda at this year's meeting in Davos, had left many people frightened - but said the global scale of the crisis proved that the world's nations could no longer afford to turn their backs on one another.
"This financial crisis proves, as nothing else should or could, the fundamental fact that global interdependence is more important than anything else in the world today," Clinton said. "We cannot escape each other. Divorce is not an option."
Clinton, the husband of current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urged the current generation of international statesmen to rise to the leadership challenges posed by the financial collapse and climate change.
"This is not a time for denial or delay. Do something. Give people confidence by showing confidence," said Clinton, who served in the White House from 1993 to 2001. "Don't give up. Don't bet against yourself. Don't bet against your country. This is still a good time to be alive."