The second book of my presidential perusing was the memiors of the most recent president to leave office, George W. Bush who just this week returned to the White House to unveil his presidential portrait. The 43rd President of the United States penned Decision Points shortly after leaving office and published it in 2010. It isn’t a chronological or comprehensive autobiography, but a candid recollection of a number of pivotal moments during Bush’s time in office.
It’s the first decade of the new century from the President’s perspective. It offers insight on his thought process and behind-the-scenes political interactions with notable figures like Ted Kennedy and Vladimir Putin. Some of the most fascinating chapters revolve around 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, the latter of which reveals the full dysfunction and delay of all levels of government in that disaster’s response.
I was moved by his Freedom initiative and work on PEPFAR (response to AIDs in Africa). It led me to send a thank you note for his service to our country. His work in Africa even got the other famous Matt, a well-known liberal, to express fondness for our former president (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/19/damon-id-kiss-bush/).
Decision Points will be enjoyed by anyone regardless of where they land in the political spectrum. Even if you disagreed with President Bush, you can’t help but respect his conviction. He acknowledges mistakes and completely owns the decisions he made. If nothing else, the book will give you better understanding of the American political system and a deeper appreciation for the office of the President.