Read by the former President, in a clear, soft-spoken voice, contrary to his popular reputation for mangling the English language, it is a well written documentation of his 8 years in office. He still does butcher the word "nucular" for nuclear and the book is a bit dry, since it rehashes most of what we all lived through during his term in office. However, he explains a lot of the events that took place during his occupancy of the Oval office, for which he was grossly maligned by a press out to destroy his legacy and a political party whose members denied what they heard and said when the circumstances suited them. He, though, never castigates them or criticizes former Presidents or the current sitting President, although they do not follow the same rules of decorum and often demean the office of the Presidency with their remarks, which are disrespectful to him. He does layout the facts and they can be documented by anyone who wishes to take the time to educate themselves. Probably, he is preaching to the choir since many liberals and Democrats will never take the time to read the book. It goes against them. The press created an atmosphere of hate,(although he worked across the aisle, often with Ted Kennedy), and it stuck because it served the politician's needs.
He discusses the major moments of his life that led him down the path to public service and the major decisions and accomplishments of his Presidency. It feels as genuinely honest and plain-spoken as Laura Bush's "Spoken From The Heart". His Presidency was filled with more catastrophic events than any in history. There was a recession, followed closely by 9/11, the anthrax threat, the tsunami, more hurricanes in the same place than ever recorded on the East coast, Katrina, floods of enormous magnitude, the economic crisis and more. There was no blueprint to follow for most of these catastrophic events. They had never occurred before.
He discusses his reactions and his remorse for certain events for which he had hoped there would be different results. He discusses his effort to help Aid's victims, to improve education and pass immigration reform. He discusses the stem cell debate and the senior drug plan, two programs that were contentious and yet they were sought by the Democrats for years. He was the first President to allow stem cell use of any kind but it was not appreciated. He was the first President to pass a bill to help senior citizens pay for their drugs and was ridiculed for that, as well. He received no credit, for any of the positive things he achieved, from the press that wanted to destroy him. The liberal bent of the press was virulent and effective.
He explains many of the mishaps of his Presidency, among them, the "mission accomplished" debacle which had nothing to do with Iraq. It was a sign put up by the men on the Abraham Lincoln because they had finished their mission and were returning home. A press, bent on ridiculing the President because of its liberal bias, used the false headline to embarrass him, when the need arose, and it stuck.
He also explains why the response to Katrina was so late and acknowledges that the Governor of Louisiana stood in the way of the Federal government's response, by not relinquishing her control. There are many such explanations in the book for which he takes full responsibility. He does not pass the buck as so many politicians are wont to do, and for me, much of the information was enlightening. I believe that history will define his Presidency differently than it was defined by the journalists of today and the self serving politicans on both sides of the aisle.