Book Review: Decisions Points by George W. Bush

I highly recommend President Bush’s book, regardless of one’s political disposition. The book deals well with the Learn. Dream. Live. focus of this blog. The book reads well and offers much insight to things other than politics. This review is not intended nor should be viewed a defense of President Bush.

I am impressed by the President’s quest for civility and new tone. This is something that Bush learned and grew in. The focus on respect for the office of President is profound, and the process of growth in being civil is a skill everyone would benefit from learning. Reading the book also gives a larger reason to be civil; we often do not have the full story. Frankly, if more people were as down to Earth as Bush, or aspired to the civility he describes, American politics would be better.

Choices & Consequences
Responsibility is not a popular term. The book brings about a healthy view and reality of making choices and living with the consequences. Hard decisions are often controversial. The process that repeats throughout the book is: understanding one’s responsibility, gaining wisdom from others, and making sure you have the best view or data of the situation possible. Then, after that, one must act and be willing to face the consequences. Bush does not describe himself as perfect nor do we all agree with the choices he made. But, his process is sound and he acted as a man should.

Bush is a family man. The profound respect he has for his dad is amazing. Honestly, I think the strength of the Bush family is foreign and almost incomprehensible today. I’m sure this issue in spun hundreds of different ways. (Skepticism abounds with public persons.) Taking Bush at his word, his relationship with his dad is one we should all value and aspire to.

The book reads well and has a refreshing pace. Each chapter focuses on a particular decisions or related decisions. The book is not a biographical timeline, which I found refreshing having read a few biographies of leaders. This style gives you better insight into the real job the president does- making decisions- then the life of a president.

A Warning
The overly political disparity of our country tends towards party rhetoric instead of focus on truth and history. Bush correctly asserts that history will make its own judgments; noting in one point in his book that people are still debating the “first George W.” Sometimes extremely unpopular decisions that people are against are viewed years, decades or even centuries later as wise. Regardless of our political views or our views on Bush, we should listen.

Dismissing what Bush writes as political fluff or just a book written by a ghost writer creates a most dangerous of scenarios: ignore history and you’re doomed to repeat its mistakes. Could such be true? Possibly. But giving the complexities of the modern age, writing such book as this is no easy task. As with all things, discernment is in order.

The bottom line:
Decisions Points by George W. Bush is a worthwhile read regardless of viewpoint. It offers much insight into the job the presidency, a turbulent time in history, and offers much about how to conduct ourselves. As in all things it is wise to listen and to always exercise discernment.

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