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Publisher's Summary

President George W. Bush narrates and describes the critical decisions of his presidency and personal life.

Decision Points is the extraordinary memoir of America's 43rd president. Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life. In gripping, never-before-heard detail, President Bush brings listeners inside the Texas governor's mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America's most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for his historic and controversial decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, Iran, and other issues that have shaped the first decade of the 21st century.

President Bush writes honestly and directly about his flaws and mistakes, as well as his accomplishments reforming education, treating HIV/AIDS in Africa, and safeguarding the country amid chilling warnings of additional terrorist attacks. He also offers intimate new details on his decision to quit drinking, discovery of faith, and relationship with his family.

A groundbreaking new brand of memoir, Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on one of the most consequential eras in American history - and the man at the center of events.

©2010 George W. Bush (P)2010 Random House

What listeners say about Decision Points

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating to listen too in 2020

George "Dubya" Bush sums it all up perfectly in the epilog: time has a funny side effect of repainting the outlook on past leaders. It was weird to grow up watching Bush be constantly lambasted as The Worst President in USA History™, a Stupid Dumbass™, with smashcut clips of "Dubyaisms" consisting of flubs, gaffs, moments of forgetfulness, and of course the rise of government "cover up" and puppeteering conspiracies around 9/11. Fast forward to 2019, and Bush gets applause when he makes the odd appearances. Usually to promote his paintings, but everyone wants to hear what 41 thinks of 43 and 45. Bush is seen as "endearing" now, a leader of a era now surpassed by a former follow-up democratic office. Bush could host SNL today to rounding applause. I bought this book when it first dropped. I had to know what was going on in Bush's mind during 9/11 at the school. That's all I wanted to know. However I'm not so much of a reader of long form novels so it was hard to get through. Thankfully, this audiobook exists and I could indulge this way. The presentation feels more genuine coming from the mouth of Bush himself. It's not the liveliest of reads, but it doesn't matter, you're hearing Bush read his own Book, recounting his moments amid one of the most important moments in US history. It commands respect, each time, he recounts with a sobering tone where he went wrong, acknowledges the ridicule, and gives his side of each decision point, with detailed rationale and the names that emboldened and stonewalled him. The book paints me a picture of a man deeply interested in protecting his countrypeople, and in doing so lead the USA on a "Freedom Crusade" as a consequence of and in service of accomplishing that goal. The book paints the man as a person who has an incredibly thick skin to ridicule and criticism, and understands that it's simply "part of the job" and can still make room to make fun of himself. I may not have respected Bush too much during his time in office, and in several ways I still don't agree with his platforms. But I come away from this book with a much better understanding of where he was at, why he did things, and can respect a person who can self reflect like this. It's such a stark contrast to 45, thinking about it almost makes your neck snap from the whiplash. I wish more past PM's and past Presidents wrote memoirs exactly like this, a retrospective on what went right and what went wrong from the personal perspective of the person in office. It's going to be hard to find a follow up this audiobook. Bravo.

2 people found this helpful

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A candid take on perhaps one of the most consequential and controversial periods in American history

A surprisingly satisfying read for someone who has rarely seen George W. Bush in a positive light. The reader can either take President Bush at face value in this particularly candid look at the most consequential decisions of his presidency, or chalk this up to another one of his deeply malevolent distortions of the truth. Assuming one has the capacity for rational reflection, Decision Points paints the most charitable picture of the Bush presidency in light of the President’s own recollection of his thinking at the time. In my view, historians ought to take this book seriously in their assessment of the Bush presidency, inasmuch as this represents the best possible interpretation of the events discussed. In the end, if Bush’s account is an accurate representation of what actually happened, his being considered one of the worst presidents in American history deserves an immediate and thorough reconsideration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dedrea
  • 2010-11-24

Loved this book!

Whether you are for or against President George Bush, this book is a revealing look inside a man making difficult, almost impossible decisions - decisions that affected the entire world. It's so easy to listen to the press's interpretation of events and decisions, but I feel I never know the whole story. This book let me peek behind the scenes of the presidency and understand with the information available at any given time, how a president thinks. I love it when asked the question, "if you knew then what you know now, would you do it differently?" His answer is "I didn't have that luxury". It is far too easy to second guess past decisions, but in any moment we can only act on the information we have. Having the book read by President Bush himself was a real treat.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • shirley K. Bigham
  • 2011-08-04

straight forward

if I knew this information while Bush was in office; if americans all knew this information, we would have appreciated and understood what a great man and president he was and is. What an eye opener to the president;s job. amazing.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2011-05-27

Excellent

President Bush gives an insightful view of the behind the scenes activities and thought processes that made up his presidency during a difficult time in American history. I wish all of his haters would get this book and maybe find out it's not an easy task being the leader of the free world, especially when we have a bullseye on our back.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dallas
  • 2010-11-12

I liked it despite myself

I once broke up with a girl friend because she voted for this guy. I'm not his biggest fan but what I believe is that he was doing the best he could given his skill set. It's surprisingly religious. Not my cup of tea. Perhaps I should have expected that... I believe he believes what he wrote. I don't necessarily believe that it's as simple as he describes. He's very black and white. That said, he faults himself in situations in which he deserves it and he's candid about a lot of events that allowed even me, a hater, to find him very human and almost endearing. Interesting book no matter your views. I recommend it.

71 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 2010-11-12

Interesting Account of Presidency

First off, there is an unabridged version of the book that I wish Audible would have linked to from either the front page or this page. I didn't know that at the time I bought this, or I would have looked for the unabridged.

I enjoyed the recounting of many of his decisions. I don't think his reasoning will surprise many people who keep up with politics, but I do think that a lot of that reasoning tends to fall by the wayside in our 24-hour infotainment media that wants to cover outrage more than news. It's unfortunate that we don't get these types of explanations while a president is in office.

I liked that he owned up to many mistakes (the Katrina handling comes to mind). I also like that he doesn't necessarily pull punches when others screwed up too (the Loiusiana governor taking four days to request the response to be federalized). Some may see it as back-handed attacks, but the simple fact is that the law requires the first response to be from the state, not the feds.

I guess the biggest benefit is hearing what he was doing and when, without the constant sniping of critics trying to reframe his actions to political advantage is very useful. For historians, that's a great gift. Too much of what we know of these events is shaped by the partisan attacks on cable, and not enough on the first person accounts of those involved.

This is a book well worth the time.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Shelly
  • 2010-12-02

Insight on the Presidency

Whether you are a political fan or not there is something about hearing a President explain his decisions. I love that this book is read by George Bush. Its as if he's sitting in a room with you explaining why he made the decisions he's made. I may not agree. I may not have made the same decisions. But I now know what was behind his thinking in making his. This is a great read!!

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • 2010-11-22

A must read book or a must listen audiobook

You must read this book to understand what really happened during his presidency. It is always easier to criticize than it is to take decisions. In this book President Bush explains how each and every decision was carefully done based on facts and extensive legal and research background. A patriot who takes pride for keeping America safe he took the heat for bad decisions done by other people like the Governor of Louisiana during Katrina or those who failed to see that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not doing so well. Bush is a very smart man but is portrayed as being not so smart by the main stream media. This book shows that he was a wise commander and chief. I agree with him. History eventually will recognize his merits in an unbiased way in the future. Listen to President Bush express his love to this country, his devotion to keep it safe, his beliefs about God is an inspiration to all of us.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • 2010-11-16

Very interesting and insightful

This book shows how a president can use his faith and internal strength to make the hard decisions that won't always be the right ones, but anyone on either side of the political spectrum can see he made them in the best interest of the people. Where he made mistakes he owns them, and this is something the current president has neither the willingness nor character to do. Bush also gives credit to others that helped make the decisions and build the policies that were highly successful under his leadership. One can't help but be motivated and inspired by his internal strength and faith. I hope others regardless of their political views will read (or listen to) this book, as it will help us all to expect more out of our leaders and ourselves.

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bruce L Clark
  • 2010-11-16

Great insight

It was a great insight into the presidency. I actually enjoyed the "topic" approach rather than the chronological approach. This allowed me to understand the basis of the decisions President Bush made whether I agreed with them or not. I would recommend this book strongly.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Warren
  • 2012-02-13

Delivers what it promises

What did you love best about Decision Points?

Good insights from the oval office as key events played out.

Any additional comments?

Interesting way of portraying Bush's perspective as events played out during his tenure as President. Not a chronological autobiography, which occasionally was jarring as it is 2005 in one moment, then back to 2001 in another.. but this was explained in the book summary so was as promised.
Whether you like or dislike George W. Bush, you can't discount that President of the USA is one heck of a tough job and you don't get any

2 people found this helpful

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  • monfre
  • 2021-02-28

Excellent

I enjoyed listening to this book. After reading Obama’s book on his presidency, I wanted to read George W. Bush’s autobiography too. I loved seeing things from the author’s perspective. Things are not always as they seem. Hence, taking time to listen to an individual tell his story, goes a long way in understanding the person, the context etc. And hopefully, learn something from their experience.