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Decision Points Online eBook by George W. Bush

Click Here to Download the Book 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.

Reviews I am so glad I took the time to read this book---and it took time, believe you me. At 481 pages, it's not exactly a light read. But I enjoyed it immensely. Not because I supported all of President Bush's explanations for why he made the decisions that he did, but because I finally felt informed about his point of view. (But I might add that after hearing his explanations, I did feel more supportive of many of the tough decisions that he did make.) As I transitioned from high school to college (and adulthood), The George W. Bush administration was leading this country. As I grew older, I began paying more attention to politics. It wasn't that difficult to pay attention: September 11th, The War on Terror, military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, the economic recession; these were major events that caught everyone's attention. When I heard about President Bush's book, Decision Points, I knew I had to read it. How could I live through these major world events and not seek to understand my nation's leader through it all? After all, his decisions and method of leadership continue to shape our lives today. I had to understand the man and his mind. From this book, I have decided that it is impossible to adequately judge the actions of a president while they're in office because we straight up do not possess all of the facts. We hear plenty of criticisms while they are in office; and quite frankly, the President doesn't have the time to respond to all of them and set the record straight. But in this biography, President Bush provided detailed information that shaped his critical decisions. With that information, I can better understand why he did the things he did. Again, I may not agree with all of his decisions, but at least I now have his reasoning for them. And I understand. I not only understand his decisions better, but I understand the character of the man, and my respect for him has grown immensely. This was a great experience for me. If you lived through 9/11, saw friends/family being called to Iraq or Afghanistan, or felt the sting of the economic downturn, you need to read this book. You lived it and are still living it, so I recommend seeking to understand the man whose decisions have impacted you.

This book was handed out as a freebie at Barclay's bank conference in Singapore this year. It should be noted that Bill Clinton spoke at the same conference the year before where copies of his book "Giving" were


distributed. I mention this to salute Barclay's on two counts. First, they show enormous respect for their clients in distributing books and enhancing their further education. Second, they are commended for presenting two sides of American Politics. All this aside, neither Clinton nor Bush has left a favorable impression on me but after digesting this book, I am compelled to say that GW (or his ghostwriter if there was one) writes a helluva lot better than he talks. The words emanating from his pen are a bit more convincing than the soundbytes on the tube and the stuff on the teleprompter. He explains many key decisions he faced during his Presidency with the exception of the first chapter, where he discusses his decision to quit drinking shortly after a boozefest at the Broadmoor Hotel on his 40th birthday. One may not agree with the decisions or convictions on domestic policy and foreign affairs, but this book does a decent job of explaining the rationale behind them. Most importantly, there are several candid admissions of mistakes and expressions of regret. He largely refrains from the typical political hardball brand of trashing one's opponents. In fact, he prefers to highlight his bipartisan efforts to engage Democrats like Ted Kennedy in cooperative legislative enterprises and programs. Maybe history will be kinder to George in the end. This book may help that effort.

Let me first start out by saying that I was never a "W" fan at any point during his 8 year tenure. His constant media gaffes and stubbornness made me pine for the Clinton era each time I turned on CNN. Having said that, I was surprised at how readable his autobiography. The thematic structure of looking at major "decision points" in his life and presidency also worked chronologically too, which I have always enjoyed in nonfiction works. The plain language also works well as it will make this more accessible to the average reader. However, there is something missing that will make this autobiography useful to future historians in a limited capacity: a lack of detailed analysis behind the each of these "decision points." Granted, in-depth analysis has never been Pres. Bush's style, but I think both the present populace and future posterity were owed a little more than a one to two page reasoning behind his decisions. Instead, he expends most of the pages of the book the lead ups to his decisions, his decisions, and thats it. No sense agonizing over what's already been done seems to be the underlying motto of the book. I also found him using the "That's not how I remember it" response too much. This typical comes up when he quickly addresses some of the stories and perceptions that were brought up by the media. In short, its a fine read for the present, but future historians will be left with little to work with.

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