Bush's New Memoir Covers His Life's Critical 'Points'

George W. Bush's memoir, Decision Points, comes out Tuesday. It's not a chronological account of the former president's life; instead, it focuses on moments when he had to make critical decisions.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

The president who got us into Afghanistan and Iraq is out with a memoir today. George W. Bush calls it "Decision Points." The book marks the former president's first lengthy discourse on his years in the White House. Last night, NBC News aired an interview with him, the first of many appearances on his promotional tour. NPR's Don Gonyea reports.

DON GONYEA: The book is not a chronological walk through President Bush's life. Instead, it focuses on moments when he has to make critical decisions. For example, he still views the war in Iraq as the correct response to the terrorist threat the world faced after 9-11-2001, even though the alleged weapons of mass destruction were never found. This is from the interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Matt Lauer Reports")

Mr. MATT LAUER (Journalist; Host, "The Today Show"): If you knew then what you know now...

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah. That's right.

Mr. LAUER: ...you would still go to war in Iraq?

Pres. BUSH: I, first of all, didn't have that luxury. You just don't have that luxury when you're president. I will say, definitely, the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, as are 25 million people who now have a chance to live in freedom.

GONYEA: Part of the book is personal, with stories it's awkward to hear him talk about. There's his history as a serious drinker. Again, from NBC.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Matt Lauer Reports")

Mr. BUSH: So, I'm drunk at the dinner table at mother and dad's house in Maine, and my brothers and sister are there, Laura's there. And I'm sitting next to a beautiful woman - friend of mother and dad's - and I said to her, out loud: What is sex like after 50?

Mr. LAUER: Silence.

Mr. BUSH: Total silence - and not only silence, but, like, serious daggers.

GONYEA: Mr. Bush quit drinking at age 40. He calls this book an honest look at key points in his life and presidency. It's hardly the final word, but it's the 43rd president's first take on things as he looks for history to be kinder to him than public opinion was when he left office.

Don Gonyea, NPR News, Washington.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION, from NPR News.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: