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Decision Points

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  33,608 ratings  ·  2,693 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, 512 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published November 9th 2010)
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Byron Fike I wish there was a way to keep people from posting "reviews" who have not read the book or only "skimmed" it. Perhaps a separate "rant" section for…moreI wish there was a way to keep people from posting "reviews" who have not read the book or only "skimmed" it. Perhaps a separate "rant" section for those fell compelled to give their opinions rather than reflect and respond to a book. As to Dale's question (?). The answer is, "Read the book."(less)
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3.79  · 
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 ·  33,608 ratings  ·  2,693 reviews


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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
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Jason
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: conservatives, Republicans
Recommended to Jason by: Me
Shelves: 2011
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
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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J
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Elizabeth Sulzby
Nov 11, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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
Suzanne
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Leesa
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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Jeff
Dec 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jeremy
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Andrew
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kathryn
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Matt
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
While I do not deny having a preconceived notion of BUSH and his antics (thank you media and Oliver Stone), I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. While one must take things with a grain of salt, Bush does not shy away from faults and weaknesses, though some spin is surely present as the reader navigates through September 11, 2001 and Huricane Katrina, as well as meetings with various world leaders. Read side by side (or one after the other, as I did) with Tony Blair's JOURNEY, one can see the arm's- ...more
Owlseyes on notre dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...

So timely, a picture painting.


Numbers:

G. Bush cashed $7 million for this book.
Bill Clinton cashed $15 milllion for his My Life, in 2001.
Obama is about to cash $20 million in advance for his upcoming memoir.

-Is it due to inflation?
Suzanne
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, politics
“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
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Ericka Clouther
President Bush states at the beginning that this book is not a typical memoir but will just focus on his big decisions in his office as President. But then it starts out as a typical memoir, just super not chronological. It’s extremely disorientating. But this is largely remedied starting on Chapter 4 where he really does start to focus issue by issue.

He took appointing his advisors and personnel extremely seriously: especially those involved with national security and economics. However, he did
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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
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Brandon
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
Julie Davis
The Bush Presidential Library is literally 5 minutes from my house and we finally visited it on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That visit reminded me that I had this audiobook and it was time to give it a listen.

3 hours in, I've got to say that the simple, straight forward style is reminding me of "Yes, Chef" by Marcus Samuelsson. Neither author is an author by trade so the basic style highlights who they are in a vivid way.

I'm enjoying it a lot so far, especially the way that Bush will look b
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AC
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Although not a fan of his politics, I was taken aback at the frankness of the president's memoir. Did this book make him seem more human? Yes. Did it change my mind about some of his policies? No but he does present some interesting points.

Besides this being a book about his decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan, I was surprised at how important his decisions on aid to Africa and developing countries were to him. I honestly don't remember reading much about these decisions when he was president. Som
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Amy
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jerome
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clear and concise memoir.

The book itself is structured around important decisions made during Bush's presidency, and may not be as comprehensive as some may wish. There is relatively little on the policy or historical implications of the decisions made, and more on what Bush was thinking and feeling at the time.

Because of this, the main drawbacks are the lack of analysis; Bush could have explained his logic better and elaborated more (especially on decisions regarding Iraq) but this is rather
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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
Scott Rhee
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I start this review, let me say a few things about myself. I am what is commonly referred to as a liberal. While I'd like to think of myself as rather Independent, my voting record tends to run more to the Democrat side. Not that I particularly love the Democrat party, I just happen to find myself agreeing more with their platform than with the Republican's. I did not vote for George W. Bush, either term, and I did not particularly like him as a President. I thought that he seemed somewha ...more
Scott Danielson
Nov 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I re-read some of this book (published in 2010) this weekend, and am reminded of the perspective of President Bush during the time following 9/11. He describes being given the badge of someone who died when the towers fell, and then:

"I served 2685 days as President after Arlene gave me that badge. I kept it with me every one of them. As the years passed, most Americans returned to life as usual. That was natural and desirable. It meant the country was healing and felt safer.

As I record these tho
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Rick
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nathan
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kaylea
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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GEORGE W. BUSH is the 43rd President of the United States, serving from 2001 to 2009. He previously served as Governor of Texas. He and his wife, Laura, now live in Dallas, where they founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University. President Bush is the author of 41: A Portrait of My Father and his previous book, Decision Points, is the bestselling Presidential mem ...more
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