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Decision Points Hardcover – November 9, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,928 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

George W. Bush’s decisions were all correct. It was just the aftermath that sometimes became muddled. That, at least, is the impression one gets after reading this surprisingly robust memoir. For those who have missed “43” in the public eye (and for those who haven’t as well), his voice is evident on every page. Cocky, defiant, and, at times (especially when speaking about his family), emotional, this is the George Bush who insists that “everybody” believed there were weapons of mass destruction, that much of the blame for the post-Katrina fiasco should be put on Louisiana’s local governments, and that Harriet Miers would have made a fine Supreme Court justice, given the chance. He does admit some mistakes (“Mission Accomplished”), but he stands by his big decisions and backs up his claims, which is simpler to do when the other side isn’t chiming in with their opinions and/or facts. Those who have followed Bush and his presidency will find many of the personal stories here familiar (how he stopped drinking; his whirlwind romance with Laura), but there are some fascinating reveals as well, including his affection for Ted Kennedy, his sometimes-complicated relationship with Dick Cheney, and his read-between-the-lines digs at Colin Powell. Some political memoirs (hello, Bill Clinton) are bloated journeys that devolve into pages and pages of, “and then I met . . .” Bush, smartly dividing the book into themes rather than telling the story chronologically, offers readers a genuine (and highly readable) look at his thought processes as he made huge decisions that will affect the nation and the world for decades. Many will ridicule his thinking and bemoan those decisions, but being George Bush, he won’t really care. --Ilene Cooper


"Decision Points is well-written, and interesting from start to finish. I think people of all political stripes should read it.George W. Bush also gives readers a good sense of what it's like to be president, to take the responsibilities of the office seriously, do what you think is right, and let history be the judge." Bill Clinton "The former president delivers an unexpectedly engrossing rehash of what he considers to be the pivotal moments of his eight years in office." Los Angeles Times "Decision Points...gives the reader an uncanny sense of how personality and the fateful interplay of personalities within an administration can affect policies that affect the world." The New York Times "Decision Points breaks unsuspected ground" The Independent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 497 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers; 1st edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307590615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307590619
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,928 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Young on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So first off I'm pretty left. I didn't buy this book with the intention of hating President Bush. In fact despite the policy problems and the damage to the economy under his administration I don't "hate" him or anyone.

So with that being said I found it nice to gain a personal perspective with a person who is challenged daily with decisions the average person couldn't fathom. What makes this man and his mind work? Why did he make choices that made me so angry? Why did the press constantly berate him regardless of what he did? These things I wanted answers on and I got them in this book.

There are many things that none of us ever hear about and those things were better clarified here. I can understand the challenges the man faced and from a historical perspective I actually feel I've learned a lot about the way the upper ranks of US Government act in the present day. I've seen some comments on here about not telling the truth and whatnot but feel those are from left wing fanatics that just cant open their mind to the truth that a president is a human.

The writing at times is somewhat childish but I'm also happy it's not over the wall in a "Rhodes Scholar" kind of way. It's in a basic story telling format with dips and dives into major events that we all know about by now if we've bothered to buy this book. I'm happy that it's not a bang on the drums Republican story that tries to shove ideals down my throat. In fact it's simply this man sharing what he feels and why he did what he did. I was particularly drawn to the Stem Cell chapter because I followed that closely when it happened and always felt the president was lambasted for the press, the Democratic party, and the bloggers benefit.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"That is the nature of the presidency. Perceptions are shaped by the clarity of hindsight. In the moment of decision, you don't have that advantage." -G. Bush

In a lot of ways this statement just about sums up the book. The President of the United States, maybe more so than any other person on the face of the Earth, has his/her every decision microscopically analyzed by just about everyone... after the fact, when the results are known and more information is available. I thought this to be a very interesting premise for a presidential memoir. It doesn't come across as an apology nor does it come across as an excuse. President Bush gives you the situation as he saw it and lets you make your own decision.

I am not a huge fan of President Bush, but I don't think he is the utter failure as President that some consider him. I come away with some empathy (though short of being President, I don't think anyone could truly grasp the reality) for President Bush. Could things have been done better... more than likely. Could they have been worse... almost certainly... but how many of us couldn't apply those phrases to our own lives?

If you are a Bush fan, I'd almost guarantee you'll like the book. If you aren't a fan.... you'll probably find some more ammunition to bash him. For myself, I don't at all regret the time spent reading the book and that is usually the measure that I put on literary material.
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Format: Hardcover
Most of the reviews here are not of the book but of the President, so typically the reviews are falling along party lines (similar to way too many things these days). It should be possible to review the book as an autobiography and not a political commentary. That said, the book is an interesting reflection by President Bush on his perception of his life and actions. It is not a work of master prose. The President writes like he speaks. The thoughts are straight forward and often simple, but they are his. It is not insightful but it is revealing. If you are looking for insight into the workings of Washington or an assessment of policy, this book is not for you. If you want to read about how President Bush views his life and presidency, the book does a pretty good job of that. It often leaves the reader with questions and certainly does not contain deep reflection (that will take many more years to develop), but it is the George W Bush talking about George W Bush as he sees himself and his presidency today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is written thematically, not chronologically. This is important because it gives the book a much different flavor than one that is written month by month, and year by year. This book was not ghost written. This is his hand and his words, and it comes through on every page - all 512 of them.

I had no expectations when I opened the cover other than to enjoy the book. I found it was written with a wonderful light hand, Bush being a story teller, no question about it. And he pulls no punches, he tells you the real deal and he does not filter it. Other people will write pro and con on this book depending upon their political filters. There will be none of that here. I am only interested in enjoying a book and telling you that you will also or maybe not.

I am going to give you a flavoring of the book and you will know immediately if this is for you:

* In the Presidency there are no do-over's

* Quitting drinking was one of the toughest decisions he ever made

* It wouldn't be the last time the student George Bush slept through a Yale lecture

* He says he had the same personality as his mother. He would needle people to show affection and to make a point. He flares up rapidly. He and his mother both can be real blunt, a trait that gets them into trouble from time to time

* Bush was enormously influenced by a history teacher on crutches at his prep school which was Andover Phillips Academy in Mass. His name was Tom Lyons (crippled by polio), and he nurtured, he hectored, he praised, and demanded a lot. He instilled in George Bush a love of history that remained with him throughout a lifetime.

* Reverend William Sloan Coffin was a contemporary of the president's father, George HW Bush while both were at Yale.
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