Friday, May 20, 2011

Former President George W. Bush's Autobiography - Decision Points

I just finished Decision Points by former President Bush.  It was an educational read. Unlike most political autobiographies, this one reads more like a conversation. This is not a tell all or a comprehensive autobiography. Very little space is given to his childhood, time in the private sector, or two terms as Texas governor. Rather, he writes about the major challenges of his administration. Each challenge is discussed thoroughly and he readily admits his mistakes.  Again, unlike most autobiographies, he does not engage in revisionist history or vindictive justifications.

What I found most refreshing was his candor when he wrote about how he made a decision.  His logic was quite interesting.  I found a few of his comments very humorous after reading what someone else said about him or what a newspaper columnist wrote.  When you read the epilogue, you will see he readily admits a sustainable verdict on his administration is decades away. He seems fine with that.

You also learn few of his favorite books that he read during his administration. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris is one.

In some respects it reminds me of the Haldeman Diaries. It is different in its approach, structure, and most importantly, tone.   His observations are insightful.  I almost get the impression President Bush does not care what you think about his book, but you better know your facts. He offers great insights into the decision process of his administration and his personal decision making process.  It is a a truly unique perspective on a highly complex job.

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