No portion of George W. Bush’s new memoir Decision Points has gained more attention than the section that pushes back against criticism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, specifically Kanye West’s criticism. Our humble contribution to the conversation: the audiobook version of that excerpt, read by the author, found at the top of this post.
In context, it becomes much clearer that it wasn’t Mr. West’s outburst that riled the former president, but the accusations of racism that came from a variety of sources — to defend himself, he points to “No Child Left Behind” as an example of something aimed at helping minority families.
The audio version also highlights the culture clash that defined President Bush, his speech an uncanny mix of Connecticut (“mother called me afterwards”) and cowboy (in his recreation, Mr. West says, “George Bush dunn’t care about black people”).
Also noted: according to Matt Lauer, one part found above reads this way in the book:
I faced a lot of criticism as president. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.’
In our abridged audiobook, that second sentence has been dropped.
Excerpt courtesy Random House Audio