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

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

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

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

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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.

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.

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