RSS
George W. Bush's memoir: First reactions
In "Decision Points," Bush will detail his most daunting dilemmas. But are Americans ready to revisit his controversial presidency? 
 
George W. Bush's memoir 'Decision Points' is said to include previously unknown details about 9/11 and his battle with alcoholism, among other things.
George W. Bush's memoir 'Decision Points' is said to include previously unknown details about 9/11 and his battle with alcoholism, among other things.
Getty

George W. Bush, largely silent since he left the White House, has apparently been hard at work penning his memoir, Decision Points, due November 9. Crown Publishers has released the cover image, and promises the book, which focuses on the 14 most important decisions of W's presidency, will feature "never-before-heard detail[s]" about the 9/11 attacks, hurricane Katrina, and his battle with alcoholism. Will Bush acknowledge his mistakes? Yes, says Crown, promising an "honest" account. Bloggers weigh in:

Decision Points is clearly not a traditional "memoir": Rather than tell his life story, says Cathryn Friar in Right Pundits, "President Bush will concentrate on... personal and presidential choices," including "his much criticized response to Hurricane Katrina." Of course, Bush faced unprecedented challenges, so "I suppose it’s cathartic for him to talk about these things."
"George W. Bush memoir is 'Decision Points'"

It's doesn't sound like a "book," either: "Oh goody," says Glen Runciter in Gawker, "America's national embarrassment has finished his first book." Unfortunately, it sounds more like a "listicle": "Key decisions! Historic events! Personal details! Why didn't he just call it The Top 10 Decisions of My Presidency, WITH PHOTO?"
"Here is the cover for George W. Bush's memoir"

The book's bound to shake things up: The book's early November release date seems calculated, says Dan Amira in New York, to thrust "controversial topics like the administration's terror policies [and] the war in Iraq" back into the national conversation "right in time for the midterm elections."
"Geat ready to redeliberate the Bush years all over again!"

Who's the target audience? If you ask me, says Nick Obourn in True/Slant, "no one will want to be seen in public reading this book." Liberals certainly won't be "picking up a copy and paying $35 for it." And "conservatives have tried to distance themselves from Bush ever since he was not their boss anymore." Even if Bush coughs up a worthy revelation or two, "I am not sure people really care enough about Bush anymore...."
"The difficulty of marketing Bush's memoir"

Actually, this sounds promising: "I have two big hopes for the memoir," says Alan Cooperman in the Washington Post. "First, that it will not be dull." And second, "that it will give the definitive account of Bush's religious conversion." Thus far, the accounts of his "'born again' moment" have been entirely "fuzzy." Since this factor allegedly "changed his life," it "seems like an important 'Decision Point.'"
"Bush memoir due in 2010"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week