Sunday, January 23, 2011

Southern Lit, Pick of the Week: Decision Points by George W. Bush

I recently finished Decision Points by President George W. Bush. I didn’t read this book out of a love or dislike of the former President, nor did I read it because I was terribly interested in one political perspective or another. I read it because I was curious about the President’s own voice. Would his memoirs present the same picture of the man that I perceived during his eight years in office?

Decision Points isn’t a quickie read! It is full of details, events and perspectives presented by one who has sat in the chair of power and faced the world as only a President of The United States can. It is broken up, not in historical order, but rather Bush wrote in topical form (thus the title) and covered just the items he felt were some of the most far-reaching. I found some of the topics easy to get bogged down in, particularly in the discussions of his key official choices, managing his teams, and foreign policy interactions (I am not a lover of political history which would probably explain my feelings!)

In relational perspective, the book covers nicely personal issues such as his relationships with both parents, his siblings, marriage, children and some key friendships. President Bush presents his feelings for his family in plain sight. His words state strongly how much love his extended and immediate families share. There is quite a bit of Bush family biographical information that is very interesting, particularly when considering how much the family has influence the United States over the last century. I enjoyed reading his personal perspectives on his faith and challenges in that area of life, especially in regards to politics. Not to be overlooked, there is an inherent self-effacing humor in Bush’s candid words, which is refreshing among the more dry topics.

Regardless of your political leanings, it can’t be denied that George W. Bush served this country during some of the most challenging and uncharted times in American history. There was no play book, after September 11, 2001. Honestly, I can imagine being President. I do believe it is probably harder in modern days, not necessarily from the additional challenges from the world - though they are great, but rather the challenges of the enormous media attention that every facet of your life and family receive. Most of us would wither under the scrutiny. So, agree or not agree, I respect the office and those who serve. Even in our small, individual lives I think we can relate to the humans that take on the monumental task of serving. George W. Bush says in the epilogue of Decision Points: “As I hope I have made clear, I believe I got some of those decisions right, and I got some wrong. But on every one, I did what I believed was in the best interests of our country.”
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  1. Thanks for your review. I've been considering reading this book and think it might be something I do this summer. I thought your review was very unbiased, but informative.

  2. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by YSP and I always love meeting new bloggers, especially Southern ladies :) I'd love to read this book! Thanks for the review.

  3. Thanks for stopping by YSP and I love meeting new bloggers, especially Southern ones ;) I also really like your perspective on motherhood and enjoying each season of life. Great to meet you!

  4. My husband was given both the hardcover and the abridged audiobook for christmas. The audiobook is read by W. He really enjoyed it, and I've got it in my car ready to go as soon as I finish the book I'm currently listening to. I have a long commute.

    Anyway, I'm glad you reviewed this, because I know if you enjoyed it, I will too. My husband has great taste, but he also works in politics, so he might enjoy a political book than me.

  5. My stepmom is reading the book and has given it a thumbs up so far.


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