HILLEL ITALIE AP National Writer NEW YORK
Former President George W. Bush, who once famously called himself "The Decider," is writing a book about decisions. "I want people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions. I want people to get a sense of how decisions were made, and I want people to understand the options that were placed before me," Bush said during a brief telephone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press from his office in Dallas. Bush's book, tentatively (not decisively) called "Decision Points," is scheduled for a 2010 release by Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. It is unusual in a couple of ways. Instead of telling his life story, Bush will concentrate on about a dozen personal and presidential choices, from giving up drinking to picking Dick Cheney as his vice president to sending troops to Iraq. He will also write about his relationship with family members, including his father, former President George H.W. Bush, his religious faith and his highly criticized response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush disclosed his theme on Tuesday in Calgary, Alberta, during his f irst speaking engagement since leaving office in January. Instead of having competing publishers bid, Bush and his representative, Washington attorney Robert Barnett, negotiated for world rights only with Crown Publ i shers, who's e author-list includes President Barack Obama and Bush's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. Barnett used a similar strategy in working out deals with publisher Alfred A. Knopf for another client, former President Bill Clinton. Financial details were not disclosed, although publishers have openly doubted that Bush would receive the $15 million Clinton got for his memoir, "My Life." The structure of Bush's current book is not unlike his "A Charge to Keep," published by William Morrow in 1999 as the then-Texas governor was preparing to run for president. In the foreword to "Charge," Bush noted that he had no interest in a comprehensive, chronological memoir. "That would be far too boring," he wrote. "The book chronicles some of the events that have shaped my life and some of my major decisions and actions as governor of Texas." Bush to ld the AP o n Wednesday that he was not "comfortable with the first book, only because it seemed rushed," and that his current memoir would have "a lot more depth," thanks to his years as president. Although he didn't keep a diary while in the White House he "jotted" down the occasional note he said he began "Decision Points" just two days after leaving the White House and had written "maybe" 30,000 words so far. Bush i s working wi t h research assistants and a former White House speechwriter, Chris Michel. Once known for his reluctance to acknowledge mistakes, Bush said the book would i n c l u d e s e l f - c r i t i c i sm, "Absolutely, yes," but cautioned that "hindsight is very easy" and that he would make sure readers could view events as he saw them.