Monday, January 10, 2011

Book 1: Decision Points

Another goal on my 30 Before 30 list is to read more. I still need to define "more" but I'm already on my second book of the new year. I'm pleased with my progress.

I've been toying with the idea of buying a Kindle. While in Louisiana, I downloaded the Kindle application to my Blackberry, which turned out to be a much wiser decision. The application is free and my Blackberry is almost like an additional appendage anyway. Now, I can read on the go without carrying an extra device.

The first book I read was President Bush's Decision Points. Let me preface a couple of things here. I work in political communications. I was drawn to my profession during the 2000 Presidential elections, when I was 16. I watched the debates and the stories. I was drawn to Bush's convictions, his plans and his style. The first thing I did on UGA's campus was join the College Republicans.

I understand that some people do not like Bush. I am not one of those people.

With that out of the way, let me give a resounding recommendation for Decision Points. He writes it to explain many of the difficult decisions he made throughout his presidency, including those surrounding 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also includes biographical information that is really touching, especially his relationship with his parents.

The book showed me how enveloped he became in an issue before making a decision, how well-read he is (both for research and for personal benefit), and how deeply each decision weighs on him, especially decisions involving our military. Several of the stories moved me to tears.

I believe he will come to be regarded throughout history as a better president than he is currently given credit for. After reading the book, I don't think it really matters to him either. He made decisions based on the information he had and personal convictions. That is all you can ask for from an elected official.

The 24-hour news cycle bothers me for many reason, including it makes caricatures of our elected officials and demonizes them for ratings. I do not think Bush or Obama are the people the news makes them out to be. Above all, I enjoyed reading the book because it was his first-person account of his presidency, which we never got while he was in office.

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