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Decision Points by George W. Bush - Excerpt

Decision Points by George W. Bush - Excerpt

Ratings:

3.68

(248)
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In this candid and gripping account, President George W. Bush describes the critical decisions that shaped his presidency and personal life.

George W. Bush served as president of the United States during eight of the most consequential years in American history. The decisions that reached his desk impacted people around the world and defined the times in which we live.

Decision Points brings readers inside the Texas governor’s mansion on the night of the 2000 election, aboard Air Force One during the harrowing hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, into the Situation Room moments before the start of the war in Iraq, and behind the scenes at the White House for many other historic presidential decisions.

For the first time, we learn President Bush’s perspective and insights on:

His decision to quit drinking and the journey that led him to his Christian faith

The selection of the vice president, secretary of defense, secretary of state, Supreme Court justices, and other key officials

His relationships with his wife, daughters, and parents, including heartfelt letters between the president and his father on the eve of the Iraq War

His administration’s counterterrorism programs, including the CIA’s enhanced interrogations and the Terrorist Surveillance Program

Why the worst moment of the presidency was hearing accusations that race played a role in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and a critical assessment of what he would have done differently during the crisis

His deep concern that Iraq could turn into a defeat costlier than Vietnam, and how he decided to defy public opinion by ordering the troop surge

His legislative achievements, including tax cuts and reforming education and Medicare, as well as his setbacks, including Social Security and immigration reform

The relationships he forged with other world leaders, including an honest assessment of those he did and didn’t trust

Why the failure to bring Osama bin Laden to justice ranks as his biggest disappointment and why his success in denying the terrorists their fondest wish—attacking America again—is among his proudest achievements

A groundbreaking new brand of presidential memoir, Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on eight remarkable years in American history—and on the man at the center of events.

To read more about Decision Points or George W. Bush please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.
In this candid and gripping account, President George W. Bush describes the critical decisions that shaped his presidency and personal life.

George W. Bush served as president of the United States during eight of the most consequential years in American history. The decisions that reached his desk impacted people around the world and defined the times in which we live.

Decision Points brings readers inside the Texas governor’s mansion on the night of the 2000 election, aboard Air Force One during the harrowing hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, into the Situation Room moments before the start of the war in Iraq, and behind the scenes at the White House for many other historic presidential decisions.

For the first time, we learn President Bush’s perspective and insights on:

His decision to quit drinking and the journey that led him to his Christian faith

The selection of the vice president, secretary of defense, secretary of state, Supreme Court justices, and other key officials

His relationships with his wife, daughters, and parents, including heartfelt letters between the president and his father on the eve of the Iraq War

His administration’s counterterrorism programs, including the CIA’s enhanced interrogations and the Terrorist Surveillance Program

Why the worst moment of the presidency was hearing accusations that race played a role in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and a critical assessment of what he would have done differently during the crisis

His deep concern that Iraq could turn into a defeat costlier than Vietnam, and how he decided to defy public opinion by ordering the troop surge

His legislative achievements, including tax cuts and reforming education and Medicare, as well as his setbacks, including Social Security and immigration reform

The relationships he forged with other world leaders, including an honest assessment of those he did and didn’t trust

Why the failure to bring Osama bin Laden to justice ranks as his biggest disappointment and why his success in denying the terrorists their fondest wish—attacking America again—is among his proudest achievements

A groundbreaking new brand of presidential memoir, Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on eight remarkable years in American history—and on the man at the center of events.

To read more about Decision Points or George W. Bush please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.

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Publish date: Nov 9, 2010
Added to Scribd: Nov 09, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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hadriantheblind reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Folksy memoir of a flawed presidency.
gopfolk reviewed this
Rated 5/5
No matter how you feel about GW Bush this book gives you great insight into what he was thinking and why the choices were made they way they were. Decision Points is more like a CEO's book on how he handled those critical decision that were made as he oversaw a company. It was well done in the fact that is was an easy to read book and was not written to impress but to describe and explain.
alincolnnut reviewed this
Rated 4/5
In one of the debates during the 2004 election, President George W. Bush famously encapsulated his elected position in one short sentence, "I'm the decider." However inelegantly stated, it aptly sums up the modern presidency. As others, including other presidents, have admitted, by the time an issue reaches the Oval Office, all of the easy or noncontroversial decisions have been made by lower level officials. The thorny problems that remain, often seeming to be choices with only bad options, are the ones that demand the president's attention.In his post-White House memoir, "Decision Points," Bush (43) offers his perspective on such significant problems that he faced, including 9/11 and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 financial crisis. While not a traditional autobiography by an ex-president -- which, it should be noted, his father refused to write after he left the White House -- it offers a clear vision of how the former president believes his administration should be judged.As much as Bush is interested in justifying his decision-making to an American public that overwhelmingly viewed his job performance negatively by the end of his second term, it is clear that this book is largely motivated by an urge to provide thorough "on the record" accounting of his presidency for future historians. In many ways, it seems an attempt to balance out the popular "behind the scenes" books written by Bob Woodward, which grew increasingly critical of Bush's decisions.Unashamedly, it is a careful argument for seeing the president's eight years in office much more sympathetically. Therefore, those with preconceived notions of Bush are unlikely to have those views changed in this favorable self-assessment. Even so, the president comes across, at times, as a much more thoughtful and considered person here as he describes the context within which he governed at key points.Little in this book will surprise most people who pay attention to political news, and much familiar territory is covered about the response to 9/11 and the decisions to go to war. At the outset, Bush also tells, again, of his decision to give up drinking alcohol. The book's high point is likely the discussion around the surge of forces in the Iraq War, where Bush's decision had little popular support and went against the support of key people in his own administration, but which ultimately proved successful. The unexpected decision to significantly increase US funding to fight HIV/AIDS, with many examples of positive consequences, also makes a strong impression.On the other hand, chapters on the response to Hurricane Katrina -- almost certainly the low point of Bush's presidency -- and the worldwide "Freedom Agenda" that was touted in his Second Inaugural Address are disappointing. Despite a shiny gloss on each story, there is ultimately little to commend about either aspect, and Bush seems unwilling and unable to offer a candid assessment of shortcomings in both instances. Frequent pointing to various communication problems does little to explain the problems with the response to Katrina, and repeatedly insisting that the world is freer does not make it so.Most interesting, at least to me, was the final chapter on the economic crisis at the end of Bush's tenure. In contrast to the surge, where the unpopular president made a confident, "Damn the torpedoes!" decision, here the beleaguered president caves to advice contrary to his guiding principles. Perhaps history will show that there were simply no good decisions to be made at the time, only less catastrophic ones, which is Bush's assessment. In any event, this discussion offers a glimpse of the frustrating limitations that all presidents must feel when approaching large problems.If at times too implicitly self-congratulatory, the book is certainly a reasonable presentation and justification of the Bush presidency. Far less over-the-top than Bill Clinton's memoir, the book is ultimately a satisfying read for political junkies, with a conversational tone that is largely successful (but occasionally downright hokey).
carlpurdon reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Too bad President Bush couldn't articulate the reasons behind his actions as well as citizen Bush.Well-written and informative.
al9g reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Let me qualify my review by saying that I was not a George W. Bush fan. But I wavered on my rating between 4 stars and 5 stars. The book is very well written with a narrative style that makes it easy to read. The President doesn't spend a lot of time trying to defend or justify his decisions, but simply offers his own insights into the decision making process that shaped the policies and events of his administration. The writing is both personal and intimate as well as open and honest. He writes about his drinking with candor and he boldly shares his faith and the way it shaped his decision making process.Instead of a chronological offering of the events, the President shares 14 separate events and the decision making process that shaped his response to each, covering the banking crisis, Katrina, and 9/11 as well as one of, in my opinion, his most critical issues: stem cell research. While I am still not a George W. fan, I found the book insightful and was impressed with his candor and with some of his reasons for the decisions he made. I still do not agree with him on everything, but have a much clearer understanding of the ways he made his decisions and how they shaped the America he left us. I recommend this book for anyone interested in history, the presidency, and the political processes of our country. Very well done Mr. President!
autumnblues reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A well written memoir for those with clarity to contemplate how faith in God took precedence for our selfless president.This memoir brought much clarity for me, not just during the 8 years George W. Bush was our president, but also before and after his presidency. I have always felt in my heart Bush was doing his best for our country during his presidency. I share in his morals, his values and his beliefs on freedom and democracy and most important his faith. I don't believe Bush made promises he couldn't keep before or during his presidency and he was true to his word. When making comparisons to any other president during previous generations and current. I have found George W. Bush to be one of the best presidents America has had the opportunity to ever have. It is to bad many don't see it that way. As the old saying goes, "the grass always looks greener on the other side." This is the way I felt about those blinded by Obama and his false promises before he came into office. There is so much in this memoir it is difficult for me to go over even just one chapter in this review. I truly say the performance of George W. Bush as our president was outstanding given the amount of stress during 9/11 and the war that followed. It comes as no surprise that his critics cannot take into account he is human after all. I didn't expect perfection from Bush and neither should anyone else. My best wishes were that he keep our country safe and that God blessed him with enough dignity, strength and courage to hold down the fort. I believe he has accomplished this plus so much more, that the blinded fail to see. I feel those who don't, really have no clarity or don't understand the true role of the president. Especially when they criticize with some of their disturbing expectations apparently Bush failed to meet. As if Bush were a god or a robot with full-control of every detail that went on during his presidency. Is that what they really want? But why are they not be pleased with a clear headed intelligent president who started his morning with a daily prayer? God blessed America when he allowed George W. Bush to be our president during these turbulent and aggressive years in our history. Bush has set precedents for future leaders, that those with a closed heart may never appreciate, but future generations will look back on him as the selfless human being he was.This is a clear and well written memoir by George W. Bush that I would recommend to anyone who is genuinely looking for a more personal view into the life of the former president. Whether it be his personal thoughts and feelings, his quirks, his love for his country and family, or for more clarification on events that went on during his presidency. This book is not for critics who's minds are set to alternative dimension mode. For those who believe I have some type of stake in this 5 star review. I just would like to clarify right-off-the-bat before the comments fly. I am a Hispanic that was born in Puerto Rico. My parents were dirt poor and worked very hard to raise me and my 6 siblings once we moved to Pennsylvania. My father died from lung cancer after working in a pipe foundry for over 3o years and no we were not compensated nor have we asked to be. I have lived in the state of Pennsylvania since I was a few months old and am proud to be an American. My only regret is not voting during George W. Bush's elections, but I have not been living under a rock. May God continue to bless America now and for future generations to come!
dpappas_25 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I had been interested in reading Decision Points for a while now and finally was able to. I felt that it would be interesting to see George W. Bush's thoughts behind some of his most important and most controversial decisions as president. In regards to that the book did not disappoint. Regardless of how one feels about George W. Bush and one's political views you must judge the book on its content and not on how you feel about him. Therefore I will be rating this book on the content of the book and not my views on George W. Bush himself. Overall it was a good look inside the mind of George W. Bush to find out why he made the choices he did. I was particularly interested in reading his thoughts on 9/11. He does include his thoughts on it in the book and it brought back memories to me of that day and the days immediately following it. I would recommend this book to friends and family.
tarenn_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
DECISION POINTS by George W. Bush is an interesting Presidents autobiography. It is a candid account of our 43rd President of the United States, from 2001-2009. It is a gripping account with full of facts,pictures,his decisions,his flaws,his mistakes,his challenges,as well as his accomplishments. It offers insight into intimate details on his relationships with his family,friends,is decision to stop drinking, and discovery of his faith.“Decision Points” is a must read for anyone who is interested in American history,presidental memoir(2001-1009),political affairs,and autobiography of a President. A wonderful and engrossing memoir that is compelling and telling of George W. Bush’s personal observation. Details can be found at Broadway Paperbacks,a division of Random House,Inc. and My Book Addiction Reviews. “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”
parapreacher reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Excellent book on the presidency of George W. Bush! While not agreeing with all of his decisions, he presents a pretty fair assessment of how some of the most important decisions were made. I really wanted to know more about his earlier years but, in retrospect, think he wisely focused on the crucial areas of his administration. Kind treatment of other world leaders - even our sometime enemies.
dseanw_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Reading this book made me realize that everyone edits their own history, making themselves look better in their own mine, so I can’t really begrudge President Bush doing the same. Yes, the intellectually curious, mainstream, thoughtful President in this book will be largely unrecognizable to most that paid attention to the Bush Presidency but what is the harm in that. As such an act of self revision this book didn’t shed much light of history but it certifiably did illuminate the Bush psyche, and so far as that it turned out to have been worth reading.

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