Decision Points, the highly anticipated memoir by former President George W. Bush, has hit the shelves. Knowing that most of us are busy parents and can only read so many books (I have a pile awaiting me) is it worth the time? Here’s what the critics are saying:
“Certainly it’s the most casual of presidential memoirs: how many works in the genre start as a sort of evangelical, 12-step confession (“Could I continue to grow closer to the Almighty or was alcohol becoming my god?”), include some off-color jokes and conclude with an aside about dog poop?…Despite the eagerness of Mr. Bush to portray himself as a forward-leaning, resolute leader, this volume sometimes has the effect of showing the former president as both oddly passive and strangely cavalier. [Michiko Kakutani, New York Times]
“Still, Bush tells us things we didn’t know. He was blindsided when Senator John McCain went on TV announcing that he was suspending his presidential campaign to attend a White House meeting on rescuing the economy that Bush hadn’t yet agreed to convene. Bush went along with it, hoping it might help McCain “mount a comeback.” Another bit of news — Bush briefly considered dumping Dick Cheney, who cast a dark and heartless Darth Vader pall over the White House, in favor of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He had been behind a similar effort in 1992 when he wanted his dad to install Cheney and get rid of Dan Quayle.” [ Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg]
“Bush wants to clean up the record on Iraq, Afghanistan, stem-cell research, Katrina and all the other major controversies that shaped, and bedeviled, his administration. This is understandable. No one who has been at the very epicenter of world affairs for a full eight years wants to be judged unkindly by history, to which in the end every president turns his attention and his hopes. It’s a pity, though, that in the process of presenting himself before the bar of history he didn’t make a good book out of it. In the light of precedent, that was to be expected.” [Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post]
Have you read it and if so, what did you think?