Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
When I first heard of the book that President George W. Bush recently published, I wasn’t sure that I’d ever need to read it. I had an inkling that it might be interesting, historically speaking, but I figured I wouldn’t probably spend my money on it.
But, as my choices dwindled for books to download with my collection of Audible.com credits, I decided to take a chance and made Decision Points one of my late 2010 selections.
I gotta say, it was definitely not a wasted credit.
For all the (undue) criticism this man took over his eight years in the Oval Office (and really, still today!) he really did accomplish quite a lot during his two terms.
Beyond reliving the list of things he accomplished, what I also really enjoyed was the first-person perspective on all the stories that were the big news makers of the day: 9-11, TARP, No Child Left Behind, Iraq, and much more in the Middle East. It really was a tumultuous time, and his book reminded me of two things. First, we who are “on the sidelines” really do not have the full picture. Second, the voices we listen to (the national media) think that they most certainly do!
(Reminds me of the Jim Mora press conference where he was obviously fed up with the sports reporters who thought they knew what was wrong with the team but in Mora’s opinion were wrong. Dead wrong. “You think you know … but you just don’t know. And you never will! OK?”)
Also I really appreciated getting to know more about how Bush began living his life with Jesus. I wasn’t aware that it was very much the direct influence of the famous preacher man, Billy Graham. There were many events and people in Bush’s early life that led him to the place where he decided to trust Jesus with his whole life, but Graham helped Bush make a decision regarding what he really believed and wanted to be: an early “decision point”.
The book also begins with reference after reference to how much young George Bush loved his liquor. I was kind of surprised as it was enough to make me start thinking, Does he really want us to think he’s such a boozer? (I can’t recall if, in my thoughts, I really used the word ‘boozer’ or not…) But it all makes more sense as the story continues to unfold, and he reveals how deciding to stop drinking was not just an early decision point, but a major and an important one.
One sort of minor story that stuck out to me was where he addressed the Bush Tax Cuts and specifically the unemployment rates. Speaking from memory here (writing?), I believe the unemployment rate was near 8% when he took office in 2001, and then following the the implementation of the tax cuts (and subsequent moves to pick up the pace of their taking effect) the rates dropped into the 5% range, hitting for months and years to follow, going as low as 5.2% or maybe 5.1%. And this was sustained for the whole 8 years of his presidency. The current rate (that keeps rising) is above 9%. I guess in the end, you can do whatever you want with numbers (interpret them however you please) but somehow that particular one jumped out at me.
Whether you are a fan of George W. Bush or not, the book is a pretty interesting read, and I do definitely recommend. Especially if you are into history, biographies, current events and the like. It was packed full of very interesting stories to be sure.
If you are NOT a fan… I really would encourage you to read the book with an open mind, and see if your thoughts on the man (and even what he did as President of the United States) might change at least a little.
When talking with a friend of mine, I mentioned how I really appreciated the “other side of the story” since so much of what we heard of these major events that took place our country and across the globe were reported with a (now more obvious) bias or slant. He questioned how I might consider the book, written by the man who was the subject of the biased and slanted reports to be not biased or slanted. I responded that the difference was in the amount of eye-witness, first-hand information. Unless he was flat-out lying (and some are 100% certain that he always does) then the stories within Decision Points will help broaden your perspective on all the key moments from 2000-2009. Many vantage points always helps.
It really was fascinating to take the journey of the entire span of his life in politics (and even before) as though we were living through the events with him. Whether you agree with his choices, his policies, or even his actions (and many times, Bush expressed how he wished he could have done a thing or two differently) I do believe that you’ll grow to understand why we did what we did (America) and have an appreciation for this tough, (incredibly) patient/enduring, spiritual and principled man; the 43rd president of the United States of America.
Lastly, I strongly believe that time and history will not only soften the harsh (and I believe unfair, unwarranted) way that this man was and still is viewed and treated, I really think that his legacy will be more correctly viewed as one of the more positive presidential terms in the first couple centuries of our nation. Much like I am learning about the legacy/reputation of Calvin Coolidge. He was nearly demonized during and shortly following his presidency until decades later when Ronald Reagan claimed him as his favorite US President. Once Reagan lent credence to Coolidge’s time as President, more people began investigating the truth of what he did as president, the things he accomplished and oversaw. I’d imagine a similar thing will occur for Mr. Bush.
If you have read the book, I’d love to know what you thought about it. Or, if you will not read the book, I’d love to hear why. Comment below!