Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Decision Points

Decision Points: George W. Bush, January 10—15, 2015
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

DecisionPointsThe memoirs of George W. Bush are arranged thematically rather than chronologically, with each chapter devoted to a particular topic such as stem cell research, the financial crisis and, of course, 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In each, he discusses his “decision points”. The running theme is very much a walk through of Bush’s thought process and explaining why he took the decisions he did. Refreshingly, these are explanations and not justifications. Bush candidly asserts some decisions were right, others wrong and many will be judged by history.

Love him or hate him, the 43rd President of the USA was in office during some of the most defining moments of the country’s recent history. It is fascinating to read his own account of those days. Bush talks in very emotive language and frequently talks about his duty as president to, to coin a phrase, serve and protect. He talks about not wishing to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors and the responsibility of stewardship.

Perhaps what Decision Points does best is capture Bush’s personality. Writing conversationally, Bush comes across as warm and, when possible, jovial. He also seems highly principled and often alludes to having integrity, determination and a willingness to make the right, rather than popular, decisions. Most surprising for me is the degree to which Bush’s faith influenced his life and presidency. It’s affirming to see him discuss it so openly.

What Decision Points doesn’t offer is any particular insight into the party politics of Bush’s presidency. When he refers to his team it is often to simply call them invaluable or wonderful, but rarely to provide any detail on White House or wider American politics. No character besides Bush himself is given much personality. That in itself is not a criticism, so long as you’re not hoping for it. This memoir is very much an emotive retelling of key events with the rough detail you could find impersonally on most news websites.

Having said that, there was a little more exposition surrounding the UN and NATO discussions, particularly around the crucial 2001-2003 period. The delicacy of international politics is well relayed. What was especially interesting for me as a UK reader were the fleeting appearances from then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. Though brief, to read the thoughts of another world leader on our Premiere was a rare treat; it was much as you would expect.

Ultimately, your enjoyment of Decision Points will be determined by your interest in each of the chapters. Those looking for a straightforward account with some commentary on the President’s reasoning will be delighted; those hoping for new information or a behind-closed-doors look at Stateside politics will not. Love him or hate him, these are Bush’s decisions.


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This entry was posted on January 14, 2015 by in 3 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare