Book Review – Decision Points

January 15th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I completed Decision Points.  What a fantastic read. 

Whether or not you were a George Bush supporter (which I was), I believe this book will be on best-seller lists for a long time.  I didn’t necessarily always agree with the decisions that President Bush made, but after reading the book I now have a better appreciation of the process he used to make important decisions.  Each chapter is based upon a major decision or series of decisions the president had to make.

His process was clear and consistent.  There were 3 distinct processes he used in making these decisions:

1) He studied history – He read many books of past decision makers

2) He seeked insight from subject matter experts and/or his inner circle – Whether it was a family member, a relationship he had build in his life, or his staff, he asked others for their input

3) He prayed –   He prayed for wisdom, strength, and courage in making tough decisions.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “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 accomplishments as president in one sentence, that would be it.”
  • I had forgotten a horrible quote Senator Harry Reid made in April 2007 when he declared, “The war is lost, the surge is not accomplishing anything.” The majority leader of the Senate had used his platform to tell 145,000 of our troops they were fighting a lost cause.  Great motivation , Harry, and one of the reasons his legacy will be ‘lost’ in American history for me.
  • When President Bush first got what he felt was his reassuring call he should run for president during a sermon .  His mother was with him  prior to church and told him, “get over it (his struggle with the decision).  Make up your mind, and move on.” I just love the direct encouragement of mothers!!  And, after the sermon when God calls Moses to action, his mother leans over to him and whispers, “he is talking to you.”  For me, those are moments where I get chills!

The book was 481 pages in length.  My ‘dogear measurement’ probably doesn’t work for biographies and autobiographies.  I did find in his book an interesting ‘challenge’ he had with Karl Rove on who read the most.  Rather than only measure books read, they competed in pages and lateral area.  So, I will track this during the year.  Total lateral area for the book = 481 pages x 31.5 sq in per page = 15,151.5 sq in read!  You will enjoy every sq inch of this book.  I am sure if you read it, you will have a new found appreciation for the decisions a President must make.

Has anyone else read the book?  Let me know what you think. What other biography work do you suggest for good reading?