Decision Points
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Decision Points

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  21,194 ratings  ·  2,178 reviews
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.

Decis
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Paperback, Large Print, 768 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Random House Large Print (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jo
Admission: I lean middle left politically, did not vote for GW Bush, and did not like him during his presidency. After reading this book I found I liked the man (although not all of his decisions) and respected him more (although not all of his decisions), and found that he was more intelligent than had been my previous impression.

This book is a interesting and enlightening reflection by President Bush (43) on his perception of his life, his decisions, and his actions. It is not a great literar...more
Jason
Oct 24, 2011 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: conservatives, Republicans
Recommended to Jason by: Me
This may be one of the most difficult reviews I've ever attempted to write. Being as opinionated about politics as I am, I'm very tempted to launch into my opinions on various political matters covered in this book. However, once I start down the dark path, forever will it dominate my discourse, so I'm going to try my best not to go there. I was originally going to go through each chapter and state whether or not I agree with the decisions he made, and why, and what's wrong with the world today,...more
Glenn Gargiulo
I do not think Bush was best President. However realistically to blame the problems this country has endured in the past few years on one man is crazy and really shows the simple minded attitude too many Americans have. You spent more money then you had and now it has caught up to you. Take responsibility for yourself.
I do not think Bush handled many things very well in his time in office, but then again given the situations and the information available at the time, I don't know that many could...more
J
It was not a fast read! Each chapter took a while to get through and seemed to encourage pondering.

As a longtime supporter of Bush, I was surprised to find I disagreed with some of his decisions. Yet, overall, I was encouraged by his prayerful, honest approach to the decisions that faced him as president. Reading his book motivated me to think about the decisions in my life and my approach to them. It encouraged me to be a better person. I felt the responsiblity he felt and I appreciated his hum...more
Kellie
"timeliness is important to make sure an organization does not get sloppy"

This was a fascinating book. Politics aside, I thought this was a well written, honest depiction of Bush 43's time in office. If you think about all that happened during W's 2 terms, 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Hurricane Katrina and the financial crisis, to name a few, it was not an easy 8 years.

I appreciate W's honesty. He admits there were some decisions he made that were wrong. However, he explains in detail, why...more
Zelda
Update: Loved every minute. Even when I was in fierce disagreement it was fascinating to watch the decisions unfold. And what a gift to read about the important events of my lifetime from such an inside angle.

I really opposed TARP. I didn't understand how someone supposedly committed to free market principles could have pushed so hard for this huge government overreach. To read his explanation made me reconsider my harsh judgment of his decision. Probably because one of the few things I value m...more
Leesa
I am currently listening to this on CD with my 11 year old son while we drive to and from school. First I have to disclose that I am a major fan of this president and all the morals he stands for. I am very sad that our country does not give him praise for how he kept us safe. Sure as a conservative I did not always support his spending policies but otherwise I truly admire his compassion,leadership and faith. This book is very good and I am so pleased to hear in his words answer his critics and...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
I read this book because I wanted to know how Bush would defend himself and his administration. My answer about half way through and having skimmed the rest is: "Not well at all." (I have now read it entirely and reread specific parts and my comment still stands.) He doesn't seem to understand the events of his presidency, the repercussions of his actions, and the source-based historical books (and articles) about his presidency. I am reading with a "sick in the stomach, this truly can't have be...more
Jeremy
Love him or hate him, this book is worth reading.

Bush seems to have been vindicated in several areas that were controversial during his presidency, especially stem cell research and the surge in Iraq. There are other areas for which he takes responsibility, including public perception of the Katrina response and the failure of immigration reform. He seems to have done some honest soul searching for things he could have done differently if he had them to do over again. He does a lot more explain...more
Brian
Regardless of whether you like him or not, he presided over one of the roughest times in american history. This book will make you laugh, probably frustrate you, and it may even make your eyes well up with tears.

President Bush has a unique perspective that only one other person has had, that is being the son of a former president, he has been involved with the workings of this country for a long time and because of that this book offers great insight, comical stories, gripping eye witness accoun...more
Jeff
My purpose in reading biographies and memoirs isn't to take a side on political issues, but rather to understand a little better how people think. From that perspective, I liked the book.

I had a few random takeaways:

* I got the overall impression that Bush thinks his presidency will continue to look better in hindsight and that during his presidency too much politics/slinging took aim at him and strongly tarnished his perception.
* 9/11 caught Bush (and most of the nation) by surprise and really...more
Andrew
After reading Tony Blair's political biography, I dove straight into read George Bush's "Decision Points."

Opponents ought to read the book in order to hear his side of things. Supporters ought to read it to get an inside look at the key decisions of his presidency. Those who loved him too much will be disappointed, and those who hated him probably won't bother picking up the book anyway (or might as well not, because they'll think what they want to whether or not they read it).

For the rest of...more
Mare S
I freely admit that I come at this book as a bleeding heart liberal who never thought much of President George W. Bush and his capabilities. I borrowed this book from the library - because yeah, wasn't going to pay for it - as I was curious to read his take on certain situations. I went into it fully expecting to feel annoyed with things and biased against his politics. I didn't expect it to be so very boring. It took me a whole week to get through fifty pages before I finally started skimming t...more
Brandon
It's obvious that President Bush wants to preserve and shape his legacy through this book, and I think he does an effective job. The book is structured as a revisit to some of the major--and controversial--decisions he made during his presidency. He seeks to clarify his thinking and explain what went on behind the scenes. It was enlightening to me to hear more about why he did what he did. President Bush obviously wasn't a stupid, bumbling man as portrayed by his detractors, and I personally thi...more
Suzanne
“I have done my best to write about the decisions I got right, those I got wrong, and what I would do differently if given the chance. Of course, in the presidency, there are no do-overs. You have to do what you believe is right and accept the consequences. I tried to do that every day of my eight years in office. Serving as president was the honor of a lifetime, and I appreciate your giving me an opportunity to share my story.”

Having read a number of political autobiographies, the first thing...more
Joe Martin
When I read political memoirs, I'm typically looking for one of two things: a much better understanding of the politician or a much better understanding of the decisions that were made and the day-to-day, nitty-gritty detail of events that led into the decisions. Sadly, with this book from "43", I got neither.

President Bush had an active presidency and was often juggling many simultaneous crises. I was hoping for a look at what life was like in his White House. How crazy does a typical day look...more
Nancy Bielski
This book was interesting. It certainly didn't give any revelations, but I think it was an interesting reflection. I continue to believe that President Bush was a man who knew what he believed and didn't waver. He obviously wasn't overly critical of what he did, but he did reflect genuinely and admitted some of his decisions maybe weren't handled in the best way. I believe that Bush is a good and principled man, even if he may not have made the best decisions all the time. I believe he deeply ca...more
Michael
My dog's name is George. George says he's quit drinking, so I won't tempt him. He would fit well in my golf four-some, but as President of the United States of America, he also only gets a 2. This book is just SPIN. I'm sure you've heard that word. George is trying to write history...or as Michael Jackson said.....His-Story.....

The book is surprisingly not-well written. I don't regret reading this book. Two stars....it was okay....Michael
Rick
I always loathe books written by Modern President's because they are trying to re-write history for legacy purposes (ala Bill Clinton). However, I like the approach that Bush took to 'Decision Points'. He didn't just try to tell the story of his eight years in office but he chose specific topics in which he showed what it was like to be President (describing the living quarters of white house or the different offices he used at various times to make key decisions) and what drove him to make key...more
Amy
Whether one is a fan of Bush and/or of his politics, this book is an interesting read. So many of the reviews I read (more than a dozen, at least) lacked focus on the book itself and instead devolved into Bush-bashing (ranging from explicit attacks to the more "polite" condescension of the NYT). The book itself is well-written, insightful, and, in many of the familial anecdotes--it is laugh-out-loud funny. (For example, who knew that Barbara Bush the elder was such a card? Not me.)

Many people (m...more
Susan
Apr 05, 2011 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in what Pres. Bush has to say about his decisions
Full disclosure – I have never been a Bush fan. Nevertheless, I wanted to read what this president had to say about his presidency, about the reasons behind his decisions, his decision points. Surprise! I liked this book more than I expected. Unlike some readers, I didn't find it boring; it interested me throughout. Well, maybe a little bored in a couple of places. There was even a bit of humor in it, especially when Bush quoted his acerbic mother.

Some of his decision points seemed more to me li...more
Nathan
Not fun to read. The explanation of events surrounding the most consequential decisions made during his presidency are interesting and sympathetic. I nearly teared up while reading chapter 5.
George Bush is an honest and good man, but that is about where it ends.
He brags about his appointments, his expansion of the role of government and the areas he pissed taxpayer money away.
To say the man is without guile is not to say he was a good president. I disagree with many (perhaps a majority) of his...more
Kaylea
Working as a journalist in southwest Missouri in the early 2000's, I had the opportunity to cover President George W. Bush, as he traveled to the area for a variety of reasons.

It was interesting to watch him interact with the crowds on the ag tour, and to see how he responded to survivors after a tornado swept Pierce City, Mo.

So when I had the chance to read his memoir, I agreed. It might surprise people who know me, but I wanted to see what he said - and see his take on history.

I found a memoir...more
Kathryn
The biggest problem with Decision Points is that the people who most need to read it never will.

In this memoir of his presidency, President George W. Bush works thematically (not chronologically) through the major decision points he faced over eight years; obviously, the War on Terror plays a pivotal role, but he also discusses domestic events such as Katrina and his efforts to reform Social Security.

Like anyone else, I had my disagreements with the President (is there anyone with whom you agre...more
Lisa Wilson
This book is a MUST read for both liberals and conservatives as it completely transcends political party affiliation. It provides a unique glimpse into the important decisions that face a president during his tenure as the leader of the free world. Regardless of your own personal politics, you will gain a new appreciation for the job of the POTUS. What I enjoyed about this book was that it was neither a run-of-the-mill chronological account nor an accounting of the major successes of the Bush ad...more
Steven
What an incredible book. I don't often read books about government, but the biographical aspects of it interested me; I was curious about President Bush's perspective, and insights into those years of his life that he was President. Mr. Bush discussed his life before the Presidency as well, his family, his early years, why he decided to stop drinking alcohol, his faith, some of his business experience, and time as governor of Texas. I learned a lot about the man both from what occurred, and his...more
james
i was pleasantly surprised by the book. my political opinions aside, i expected the book to be full of political excuses. interesting enough, i did not find it that way. i learned a lot, actually. particularly the chapters on STEM CELLS, 9/11, and KATRINA (AFGHANASTAN AND IRAQ). i'll never come out in the open and state that i am a fan of gw, but i will say this... i think he got shafted by the media. i also believe that as time passes, he may not be viewed as the ignoramus that many in the worl...more
Diana
"she thinks hard before she speaks- a trait so rare in Washington that it was mistaken for intellectual slowness." p.101
"I used to tell Towey that we sure have a litigious society if Mother Teresa needed a lawyer." p.279

Politics aside, i liked the book. He does remain true to the title. He goes over the decisions he made in office.
Roger Haskins
I didn't agree with a lot of the decisions that came out this administration, but I wanted to see what President Bush had to say in his own words and consider his point of view. I'm glad I did. It certainly didn't change my view of everything, but I can see how some of the things he took the wrap for were well beyond his control. And how will the perspective of things change over time? I didn't agree with his choice to put troops in Iraq, but did the liberation of that country inspire many of th...more
LemonLinda
I so enjoyed this book which so warmly invited you inside the mindset of our former president. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or neither, if you are interested in issues of the day, foreign and domestic and want to see the reasoning behind decisions that have been made, this is a great book. It is organized by major decisions rather than chronological which makes the issues much clearer.

Even the Bush bashers have to come out of this book understanding that George W. Bush is a man of...more
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George Walker Bush was the forty-third President of the United States of America, serving between 2001 and 2009. He previously served as the forty-sixth Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000 and is the eldest son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush. He was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2001.

After graduating from college, Bush worked in his family's oil businesse...more
More about George W. Bush...
A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House George W. Bush on God and Country: The President Speaks Out About Faith, Principle, and Patriotism We Will Prevail: President George W. Bush on War, Terrorism and Freedom: Foreword by Peggy Noonan; Introduction by Jay Nordlinger A National Review Book Looking Forward A Charge Kept: The Record of the Bush Presidency 2001 - 2009

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“I introduced Putin to our Scottish terrier, Barney. He wasn't very impressed. On my next trip to Russia, Vladimir asked if I wanted to meet his dog, Koni. Sure, I said. As we walked the birch-lined grounds of his dacha, a big black Labrador came charging across the lawn. With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, "Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney." Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada [said], "You're lucky he only showed you his dog.” 6 likes
“I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.” 5 likes
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