Yesterday, I finished Decision Points by President George W. Bush. For those of you who are keeping track, it’s the second book I’ve read this year. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read a book every two week – 26 books for the calendar year. Quite a daunting goal for someone who barely read ten books last year.
The excuse I’m going to give for being late with this book is that it was 481 pages long. But whatever. I’m behind. Over the next month, I need to get back on schedule. This is actually a goal I can have fun with.
The book Decision Points came to me by way of a Christmas present. It wasn’t a book I had planned to read anytime soon. Over the course of his last few years in office, I had become disappointed and disillusioned by the former President.
But now that I have finished the book, I am glad that I read it. It is the first book on the Presidency of our 43rd President that I have read. It won’t be the last. I am interested in reading in more details some of the things he touched on in the book, and some he did not mention at all.
I enjoyed how President Bush structured his book. Not necessarily in chronological order, but based on an account of major consequential decisions that came across his desk in the Oval Office. It was a fairly easy read.
Late last week while reading, the moments in the book seemed very prescience. I was on the chapter titled “Freedom Agenda.” The Freedom Agenda is one of the pillars of the Bush Doctrine – ‘advancing liberty and hope as an alternative to the enemy’s ideology of repression and fear.’
In this chapter, he talks specifically of bringing democracy to the Middle East, specifically to Egypt. So while watching the demonstrations on TV, I was reading a semi-crash course in the history of bringing democracy to that region. Quite amazing.
The book also gave me ideas of other books to read, such as The Case for Democracy by Natan Sharansky, a dissident who spent nine years in the Soviet gulags, Rising Tide by John Barry, about the Great Mississippi flood of 1927, as well as a few other book ideas.
I do recommend reading this book, whether you were a fan of his Administration or not. It does give you a glimpse inside his thought process.
One last thing. I love how as I was finishing up this book, his daughter, Barbara Bush, breaks with him over gay marriage. In a video statement she says, “I am Barbara Bush, and I am a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality. And everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.”