Finding ourselves several years beyond the tenure of a two-term president, we continue to feel the effects of the decisions made by that president, for better or worse. Now left to history, what many a historian seeks when bio graphing a president is documents and relevant information that helps shape an understanding of his presidency. In the case of 43, that hunt has been made easier, for the former president has released a memoir covering the most important decisions of his presidency.
Decision Points is written in an easy-to-read format that causes the reader to almost hear Mr. Bush’s voice narrating as one reads. To that effect, Mr. Bush adds personal information and insights that help one understand why he made certain decisions. Additionally, he discusses the facts that came to his desk that led him to make those decisions. Overall, the book leaves one feeling conclusively decided about certain decisions, whether in the pro or con to what Bush says.
Emotions run deep with many of the issues that are tackled in the book, but this is a must-read for the amateur historian interested in establishing a well-rounded knowledge of the first decade of the new millennium. On a downside, the book does not include citations for much of the information presented, so readers must relegate themselves to accepting sometimes debatable facts. As a result, citing the book in academic writing should be restricted to quotations and personal opinions, rather than presenting facts.
In conclusion, I enjoyed reading the book. There were heartwarming moments shared by the former president that add a level of humanism to the executive office. In some cases, it highlighted the need for a president to rise above the emotionally charged commentary of the media. As time rolls on, emotions will die down and facts will become clear. As this occurs, I am convinced that this book will be an important source for any Bush biography and will help shape the long-term opinion of his presidency.