George W. Bush wrote this memoir for two primary reasons: to give the public an insight as to what it is like to be the President of the United States, and to give some perspective on some of his most important decisions in life, but most especially during his time in the White House. He succeeds on both goals. I am amazed at the complexity of so many different issues that a President has to deal with on a daily basis. I am convinced more now than ever before that we need to pray for all our civil leaders. I found his discussion about foreign policy issues especially interesting. Of course, the chapter on stem cell research was also one of interest to me considering pro-life issues are of the utmost importance as far as I'm concerned. After reading this book, I still believe that George W. Bush made some policy mistakes and he would admit as much himself. No person is perfect and no federal policy is perfect for that matter, but what I don't question is George W. Bush's integrity. He made decisions based on what he truly believed to be what was in the best interest of the country. He made some tough and at times unpopular decisions, but he did so only after careful and prayerful reflection. I think we can learn a lot by former President George W. Bush's leadership. Regardless of your political affiliation, I highly encourage you, especially if you like history and politics, to read this memoir. I guarantee that it will give you more respect for the difficult duty of President of the greatest country on the face of the earth; the United States of America. Below are a couple of notes I took from the first several chapters that I found interesting. There is so much more good stuff packed into this book, but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out more.
My notes from first couple chapters...
- George W. Bush decided to quit drinking when he realized that he was being selfish and it was hurting his family. (What are we doing in our lives that is selfish and damaging to the people around us?)
- When tempted he turned to prayer, which helped him fight off the urge to drink. (Prayer is a very powerful tool for us when we are tempted to sin. Ask God to help in times of temptation.)
- George W. Bush lost his sister when he was only seven. It was sad for him to lose a playmate, but he knew that it was a much greater loss for his parents. (Let us pray for all parents who have lost children and children who have lost siblings at a young age due to accidents or serious illnesses).
- George W. Bush reflected on how lucky he was that he had his parents unconditional love. He found no reason for rebellion or fear of failure because of this unconditional love his parents had for him. (Think about how much love parents have for their children and then multiply that by 100 and you almost approach God's love for us. His love is always unconditional. How do we respond to this great love God has for us?)
- George W. Bush had to take his mom to the hospital when she had a miscarriage. He saw the fetus. He knew then even at that young age that this was a human life. This dramatic event greatly shaped his views on the dignity of every human life even from our earliest stages.
- George W. Bush's experience in Communist China convinced him that economic, political, and religious freedom is the only fair and productive way to govern a society. His desire for people in all parts of the world to experience freedom greatly influenced his foreign policy.
- George W. Bush believes that the greatest decision he ever made was marrying Laura.
- George W. Bush often got teased for mixing up words, etc. I found this line in his book amusing. I know what he is trying to say, but I think he might have got it backwards... "I listened but I didn't hear."
- One last note. It is clear that the late/great Pope John Paul II had an influence on George W. Bush. Our former President had so much respect for the pope and it was clear in his comments about their interaction in this book.
It's a long read, but it is well worth it!