Saturday, August 27, 2011

Decision Points, President George W. Bush & The Texas Rangers

Decision PointsAfter many months of reading off and on, I've completed George W. Bush's autobiography/ memoir Decision Points. This is the second presidential autobiography I've read (the first was Reagan's An American Life - see my review here), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was especially meaningful since these are years and events that have affected my life.

Each chapter of the book was based on a decision that President Bush made before and during his administration. The decisions ranged from quitting drinking to choosing personnel to fighting the war on terrorism.

The book starts with what he says was one of the toughest decisions -  his decision to quit drinking at the age of 40. He asked himself several questions including can "I continue to grow closer to the Almighty, or was alcohol becoming my god?" He goes on to talk about the decision to run for office, first for governor of Texas, then President of the United States, and the many decisions and considerations involved in choosing the team of personnel to serve with him.

Obviously a huge part of his presidency involved the war on terrorism which became a central focus after the September 11, 2001, attacks on America. Many difficult decisions were made during that time, and he ends the chapter on America at war against terrorism with this thought: "History can debate the decisions I made, the policies I chose, and the tools I left behind. But there can be no debate about one fact: After the nightmare of September 11, America went seven and a half years without another successful terrorist attack on our soil. If I had to summarize my most meaningful accomplishment as president in one sentence, that would be it."

I like the fact that President Bush admits that mistakes were made during his wartime presidency. For example, he states that in the war with Iraq there were "two errors that account for many of the setbacks we faced." The first of these was not responding "more quickly or aggressively when the security situation started to deteriorate after Saddam's regime fell" and the second was "intelligence failure on Iraq's WMD" (weapons of mass destruction). He also repeated expressed his sorrow at the loss of life - military and civilian, American and foreign - due to the effects of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I highly recommend the book - it is well written and covers each topic individually rather than trying to tell the story of his presidency in chronological order.

Just a few weeks ago, Robbie and I were able to watch the Texas Rangers baseball game with former President George W. & Laura Bush. Well, ok, there were 38, 210 other people in attendance, and the Bushes didn't really know we were there about 50 yards away, but we were all watching the game "together". Before becoming governor of Texas and then President of the United States, George W. Bush was a minority owner in the Texas Rangers baseball team, and he and Laura still often attend their games.

Robbie's company provided four tickets for us and we were able to share a fun evening with my Daddy and one of the pastors from our church. It was hot, but luckily the seats were in the shade throughout the game. There was a Texas Rangers Hall of Fame induction ceremony before the game, so many former Rangers were in attendance, including Nolan Ryan. We had a great evening, despite the unfortunate fact that the Rangers lost that game. Here are a few of my favorite photos from that evening.


  1. Looks like you had fun at the game....did you read 'The American Wife', which was supposedly based(loosely?)on the autobiography of Laura Bush? I enjoyed it and keep meaning to look for her ACTUAL autobiography on Amazon- in fact I'm off to do it now!
    Alison xx

  2. The game looks like it was a lot of fun! I haven't been to a professional league baseball game in years, but my dad loved them, and I have fond memories of games at Crosley Field in Cincinnati and Shea Stadium in NY.

  3. That's a very thought provoking and thoughtful review Melissa. I always enjoy reading what you have to say about the books you read


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