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By TCB Ranger
On 11SEP11 I was a new Second Lieutenant attending Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. This of course changed my classmates attitudes from joking around to a "We better pay attention" attitude. Things began to get serious. After two tours in Afghanistan, one in Iraq, and currently on another one here in Afghanistan...I can say this. I thought I knew what the burden of command was like. I prayed every night that the decisions I made on the battlefield would be right and my men would all come home. Reading this book eleven years later I found myself sobbing knowing that President Bush had the real burden of command. I had no idea, as many don't, why or how the decisions were made. He was dealt the heaviest hand any President has ever been dealt. And the laid down a royal flush. I fully understand why he made the decisions and have supported them throughout my military career. Reading this book I see the real hero of 9/11 was him.
I expect Presidents and former Presidents to extol their accomplishments and rationalize away their mistakes. Not W. He defends his actions effectively (more effectively than he did when was President) and acknowledges the mistakes. Well written and informative. A good man.
By Consumer of time
Really good book from a truly great man. Had a large amount of respect for him before the read, now a greater admiration for him after.
Even though I only read the sample, I would buy this buy given the chance. Most of the political books I read are usually really boring and sometimes they don't make sense. Great book! I would recommend this book to anyone.
A democrat's opinion
Starting this book, I had to wonder about the amount of revisionist history I was going to find and the amount of rhetoric that it would support as well. And while there is a little of both (history is written by the survivor, of course), President Bush's humanity is perhaps the most striking feature of this lengthy work.
I opposed President Bush in both elections and in virtually every decision he made. I believe that his domestic policy agenda was misguided and that the eventual bailouts were the act of a self-interested Cabinet. But I was interested in leaning if there was more to the president than met the eye. Luckily there is.
President Bush reveals himself to be self-confident, but self-depreciating. He is devoted to his entire family and isn't afraid of using the word "love" directly to his father. He appears to not only understand the issues facing his desk, but to seek out opinion from all sides, even when his personal opinion and faith have put him upon an existing path.
More than anything, though, is that he seems to genuinely care about the results of the decisions he makes. During his presidency, people challenged his sincerity (myself included), as he often looked disconnected from the choices in front of him. In this book, he reveals many of the struggles he faced - and yes, the mistakes he made - during his time in office.
By the end, President Bush is someone I'd want to meet. Not for his politics, but for his personality.
I loved the book, lots of great insight into GW's life, before and during his presidency. If you're a GW hater then this book may change your mind, if you actually read it.
What an idiot...
If you are reading this memoir in order to gain some insight into the choices that this man made during his presidency, then needless to say, you've come to the right place. However, be warned: there's nothing really contained in this work that you couldn't have figured out yourself. Perhaps the biggest take away I have after reading this book is that Bush's religious views are very much to blame for his lack of any real insight into the plethora of problems that came across his desk. He is a simple man, and consequently, this is a simple read.
By Desert golf dog
What a lesson in history. Thank you, President Bush, for standing by your convictions, in spite of unpopular press.