If you pick up George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, hoping to find some behind-the-door-stuff on the US’ nuclear deal with India, you’ll be disappointed. He dismisses it in half a sentence towards the end of the book. The only other mention of India is in the context of Pakistan.
India might not have been on the top of Bush’s mind, but his eight years as president were filled with events that were on the top of the minds of Indians: The 9/11 attacks, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Hurricane Katrina and the global financial crisis.
Bush was severely criticised for his handling of many of these events. Often, he was seen as a man whose approach, attitude and abilities fell short of what the job required.
In some ways, the memoir is an attempt to change this image. Each of the 13 chapters starts at a critical point, when he had to take a decision. It then gives the context, events and people that led to it and takes the readers closer to the decision. Even when it is not convincing, the narrative makes for fascinating reading.
The style is plain and to the point and is a contrast to the lyricism of Barack Obama’s memoir.
Decision Points by George W. Bush; Virgin Books, 497 pages; Rs. 999
(This story appears in the 11 March, 2011 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)