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Decision Points
Decision Points
is a memoir by former U.S. President George W. Bush.[1] It was released on November 9, 2010, and the release was accompanied by national television appearances and a national tour. The book surpassed sales of two million copies less than two months after its release,[2] breaking the record previously held by former President Bill Clinton’s memoir My Life. Decision Points
Decision Points
also opened at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.[3]


1 Content 2 Advance and publicity campaign 3 Reactions 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Content[edit] Bush's 481-page memoir is broken up into 14 chapters. The first two chapters are about his life before the presidency. The first chapter is about notable events in his earlier life such as his decision to quit drinking in 1986. The second chapter is about his decision to run for Governor of Texas, and then President of the United States. The remaining twelve chapters are about events during his presidency: the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan, aid to developing countries, the "surge" (a decision to deploy more U.S. troops to Iraq
in 2007), domestic issues (including Medicare Part D, Social Security reform, No Child Left Behind, and Immigration reform), the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, embryonic stem-cell research, and the financial crisis of 2008. He wrote with the research assistance of former White House Deputy Director of Speechwriting Christopher Michel.[1][4][5] In the book, Bush described his moral dilemma over stem-cell research. He extensively consulted members of his administration about the pros and cons of the issue, learning about the benefits of stem-cell research while trying to find ways to avoid encouraging abortions. He likened his concern of the wrong application of the policy to the Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
novel Brave New World. Bush writes that his decision to only use existing lines has been vindicated by recent successful research undertaken with non-embryonic stem cells.[6] His opposition of abortion was inspired by him seeing (and holding) a jar of his mother's miscarried fetus during his childhood.[citation needed] Bush also talked about the 2000 election in detail and mentioned that he thought he had lost until Karl Rove
Karl Rove
called to say that Florida was too close to call. The closeness of the election led to the 36-day legal battle over Florida and its 25 electoral votes. Bush was eventually declared the winner when the Supreme Court stopped a court ordered recount in a controversial 5-4 decision on December 18, 2000. Bush notably did not mention losing the popular vote but did make note of the controversy surrounding the election, including the presence of protesters at his 2001 inauguration. Bush also discusses his decision to send troops to Iraq, initially and again 2007, arguing that Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with the United Nations needed to end, as well as arguing that failure to send more troops to Iraq
in 2007 could have resulted in a situation similar to the Vietnam War. In Afghanistan, he noted the difficulties of capturing former Al-Qaeda
leader Osama Bin Laden. He states that a few months before the end of his term his administration planned a strategy of sending more troops to Afghanistan and increasing drone strikes on Pakistan. He felt it was best to wait until his successor took office for the U.S. military to employ this strategy. Bush explains how he had to have long conversations with some Republican members of Congress, during the financial crisis of 2008, who were reluctant to support the bailout. Bush expressed to them his anger that the government had to take such a drastic measure but reminded them that he is supporting the bailout because he felt a risk of an economic depression was not worth taking. Bush expressed his views of the 2008 election. He stated that he was disappointed that 2008 U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain was reluctant to accept his endorsement and he believed that he could have helped McCain's campaign. He referenced Barack Obama several times, but positively and without criticism. He wrote about his backward-looking last days in office,

I reflected on everything we were facing. Over the past few weeks we had seen the failure of America's two largest mortgage entities, the bankruptcy of a major investment bank, the sale of another, the nationalization of the world's largest insurance company, and now the most drastic intervention in the free market since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. At the same time, Russia had invaded and occupied Georgia, Hurricane Ike had hit Texas, and America was fighting a two-front war in Iraq
and Afghanistan. This was one ugly way to end the presidency.[7]

Advance and publicity campaign[edit] Bush has stated that he began writing the book the day after he left office.[8] He was paid $7 million for the first 1.5 million copies.[9] In tandem with book-publication appearances, Bush hosted a November 16 groundbreaking ceremony for the George W. Bush
George W. Bush
Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University
in Dallas.[10] The event gathered some 2,500 guests, including hundreds of former administration officials. Former Vice President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
said at the event, "When times have been tough or the critics have been loud, you’ve always said you had faith in history’s judgment, and history is beginning to come around." In turn, Bush said of the recently hospitalized Cheney, "He was a great vice president of the United States, and I’m proud to call him friend."[11] Reactions[edit] Reaction to the book began far in advance of its earliest release, even a sneak peek at a draft, as reported by Tim Dowling
Tim Dowling
of The Guardian in April 2010, six months before its publication. Quotations from the draft were published without comment, except for proposed cover pictures for the book.[12] The New York Times' Peter Baker, who was given an advance copy of the book, assessed Bush's political standing as the book release rolled out in appearances with Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer, and Candy Crowley. At the same time as Baker, on the Times opinion pages columnist Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd
focused unfavorably on repeated instances in the book of Bush feeling "blindsided" but concluded that while his "decision-making leaves something to be desired, his story-telling is good." To illustrate the last point, Dowd recounted the story in which Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
had bragged that his black Labrador, Koni, was "[b]igger, stronger, and faster than Barney." Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
later "drolly noted [to Bush], 'You’re lucky he only showed you his dog.'"[13] Journalist Tim Rutten wrote for the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
recommending the book, which he found "unexpectedly engrossing" and better "than many of his detractors expected." Rutten particularly highlighted Bush's expressed concerns about faulty intelligence on Saddam Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction as well as Bush's regrets about the Hurricane Katrina. Seeing a "disarming candor" combined with an "almost alarming off-handedness about the implications of what's being said", Rutten compared Bush's attitudes to the characters in Shakespeare's Macbeth.[7] The former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, stated, "The former American president is not telling the truth." He was referring to Bush's allegation that Schroeder had promised to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Schroeder responded that he had promised only that he would support action against Iraq
if Iraq
were found to have been involved in the September 11 attacks. "This connection, however, as it became clear during 2002, was false and constructed."[14] The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
ran a negative review by journalist Mick Brown. Brown remarked that "Bush is no great literary stylist" and that the "writing seldom rises above the workmanlike" while some "language is distinctly odd." Brown stated that Bush comes across as "likeable", but Brown concluded that "conspicuously absent from this book is any acknowledgement, or even honest appraisal, of the larger failings of his presidency".[8] Journalist Michael Barone wrote for National Review
National Review
praising Bush for admitting to "serious errors up front". Barone cited Bush's statement that he should have stayed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
and deployed active-duty troops quickly in order to assist Hurricane Katrina victims as well as Bush's admission that he failed to see the "house of cards" in America's financial sector.[6] See also[edit]

List of United States Presidential autobiographies A Journey
A Journey
by Tony Blair Spoken from the Heart
Spoken from the Heart
by Laura Bush Known and Unknown: A Memoir
by Donald Rumsfeld At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA by George Tenet In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir
by Dick Cheney


^ a b "'Decision Points': George Bush's Memoir
Coming Soon". Huffington Post. 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help) ^ Associated Press (2010-12-23). "Chart-topping George W. Bush
George W. Bush
memoir 'Decision Points' sells 2 million copies". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-27.  ^ Halper, Daniel (December 27, 2010). "Media Ignores Bush Success With Decision Points". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved October 23, 2012.  ^ "Christopher Michel – President Bush Memoirs Collaborator and Speechwriter". OneDublin.org. 07-08-2010.  Check date values in: date= (help) ^ Curtis, Bryan, "Bush's Ghostwriter", The Daily Beast, March 9, 2010 1:13 am. Retrieved 2010-11-07. ^ a b Michael Barone (November 15, 2010). "Bush's Decision Points". Retrieved October 23, 2012.  ^ a b " Book
review: 'Decision Points' by George W. Bush". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 2010.  ^ a b Mick Brown (12 November 2010). " Decision Points
Decision Points
by George Bush: review". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 December 2011.  ^ Simon, Mann (2010-11-11). "'Man of Steel' barely rates a mention in Bush memoirs". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-11-15.  ^ Baker, Peter, "Now Appearing: George W. Bush", The New York Times, November 6, 2010 (November 7, 2010 p. WK1 NY ed.). Retrieved 2010-11-07. ^ Baker, Peter, "Bush and Cheney Reunite at Library Groundbreaking", The New York Times
The New York Times
Caucus blog, November 16, 2010, 2:12 pm. Retrieved 2010-11-16. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/apr/26/george-bush-memoirs ^ Dowd, Maureen, "‘Blindsided’: A President’s Story", November 6, 2010 (November 7, 2010 p. WK9 NY ed.). Retrieved 2010-11-07. ^ "Ex-Chancellor Schröder Says Bush 'Is Not Telling the Truth'". Spiegel Online. November 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 

External links[edit]

Publisher's Decision Points
Decision Points
website C-SPAN Q&A interview with Bush about Decision Points, January 30, 2011 Amazon.com's book reviews and description Barnes & Noble's editorial reviews and overview OnTheIssues.org's book review and excerpts

v t e

George W. Bush

43rd President of the United States
President of the United States
(2001–2009) 46th Governor of Texas
Governor of Texas
(1995–2000) Owner of the Texas Rangers (1989–1998) Born July 6, 1946


First inauguration Second inauguration First term Second term Domestic policy Legislation and programs Economic policy Foreign policy International trips Bush Doctrine War in Afghanistan

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Patriot Act No Child Left Behind
No Child Left Behind
Act Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act USA Freedom Corps Department of Homeland Security Space policy Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty "War on Terror" President's Council on Service and Civic Participation


Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy Email controversy Judicial appointments

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Presidential library Early life Military service controversy ( Killian documents controversy
Killian documents controversy
and authenticity issues) Professional life Governorship of Texas Prairie Chapel Ranch Bush compound Clinton Bush Haiti Fund


Axis of evil Mission Accomplished State of the Union address

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


United States House of Representatives elections, 1978 Texas gubernatorial election 1994 1998 Presidential campaign 2000 2004 Republican Party presidential primaries, 2000 2004 Republican National Convention 2000 2004 United States presidential election, 2000

Bush v. Gore

United States presidential election, 2004

Public image

Bushisms Nicknames As the subject of books and films Fictionalized portrayals Miss Me Yet?


A Charge to Keep
A Charge to Keep
(1999) Decision Points
Decision Points
(2010) 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014) Portraits of Courage
Portraits of Courage


Laura Bush
Laura Bush
(wife) Barbara Pierce Bush (daughter) Jenna Bush Hager
Jenna Bush Hager
(daughter) George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
(father presidency) Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush
(mother) Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush
(brother) Neil Bush
Neil Bush
(brother) Marvin Bush
Marvin Bush
(brother) Dorothy Bush Koch
Dorothy Bush Koch
(sister) Prescott Bush
Prescott Bush
(grandfather) George P. Bush
George P. Bush
(nephew) Barney (dog) Miss Beazley (dog) India (cat) Spot Fetcher
Spot Fetcher

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Barack Obama