Leaked Bush memoir ‘strikingly personal’

An anonymous source on Thursday leaked former President George W. Bush’s memoir to the Drudge Report 11 days before its scheduled publication. Excerpts from “Decision Points” have put Mr. Bush back on public radar after a long absence; the 14-chapter book is deemed a “strikingly personal” look at the president’s challenges, personal convictions and faith, and it takes few shots at his critics.

“It was a simple question, ‘Can you remember the last day you didn’t have a drink?’” says the opening chapter, “Quitting.” The historic events of Mr. Bush’s presidency unfold chapter by chapter, one on the other: “Day of Fire,” “Katrina,” “Financial Crisis.”

“The president details how he bonded with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia — and a magical bird,” the Drudge Report says in review. “Arriving angry at Bush’s Texas ranch over the president’s position on Israel and Ramallah, Abdullah quickly decided he wanted to leave. But the prince spots a turkey on the road - and takes it as a good omen, a sign from Allah.”

The memoir also reveals compelling details about a presidency the press often called secretive.

“The president reveals he gave the order to shoot down planes on September 11 — and at first thought the plane in Pennsylvania had been shot down,” the Drudge review explains. “In the chapter ‘Stem Cells,’ Bush describes receiving a letter from Nancy Reagan detailing a ‘wrenching family journey.’ But ultimately, Bush writes: ‘I did feel a responsibility to voice my pro-life convictions and lead the country toward what Pope John Paul II called a culture of life.”

At the pope’s funeral sometime later, Mr. Bush revealed that he found himself praying for ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, who was suffering from terminal lung cancer at the time. A top Bush source describes Mr. Bush as a man who was “strong, loving life, and ultimately at peace with the decisions he made.”

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