Media Analysis: George W. Bush joins 'presidential million book sales club'
November 24th, 2010
11:20 AM ET
4 years ago

Media Analysis: George W. Bush joins 'presidential million book sales club'

(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush has been all over the media recently promoting his new book "Decision Points," which delves into key moments from his presidency and gives an honest assessment of his past struggles with alcohol and more. All this has brought Bush 43 into an elite group of former (and current) Presidents – the million book sales club.

As the book enters week number two, it has some new competition.

President Bush sold 775,000 copies his first week, landing him at number one on the New York Times Bestsellers List. But factoring in some of week two, the former President has now sold 1.1 million copies, including 135,000 by e-book. "Decision Points" is currently ranked #1 on Amazon and #2 on BN.com (behind Mark Twain).

While the 775,000 figure is strong for week one, it was not as much as former President Bill Clinton's autobiography, "My Life" which sold 900,000 its first week. Of course, there were, well, certain salacious stories many readers were particularly interested in regarding Clinton's time in the White House that didn't apply to President Bush. Still, both presidents are in the One Million Club. Others on the list include current President Barack Obama, whose two books have sold a staggering four million-plus copies and Jimmy Carter, who has more than two million books sold – but achieved the feat with well over a dozen books written.

President Bush started his book tour with a revealing, wide-ranging interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, in which he talked about everything from 9/11 and Iraq to his intriguing reason for becoming pro-life (that involved Barbara Bush and a fetus in a jar). There was also that beef, and eventual reconciliation, with musician Kanye West. Bush also made a stop on the all-important Oprah couch. In these and each subsequent interview, Bush stressed his goal of staying above the political fray – and he has. While he was certainly polarizing as president, the apolitical media tour has only been positive for book sales.

Any conversation these days involving the word "president" and "media" is likely to involve Sarah Palin, and this is no exception. Potential presidential candidate Palin released her new book, "America By Heart," yesterday and judging from her past literary success, it likely will compete with Bush for the top bestseller slot. Palin's last book, "Going Rogue," sold 700,000 copies in its first week.

Side note: President Obama had a book out last week as well – albeit a children's book – which sold around 50,000 copies.


Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Cal

    Can you imagine if Bush had tried to sell a book while he was in office like Obama. It would have been an all out media assault. The hypocrisy of the left is never ending.

    November 24, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Sarah McCarthy

    Wallmart,Sams Club and mega churches bought them by the millions and will be handing them out for free by Easter.What a joke.I couldnt even find Jon Stewards book in Sams Club or Wallmart,even when it was the real number one seller.They dont burn books they just dont sell them and I dont shop there anymore,hahaha

    November 24, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. I Love George

    this book is shallow and full of lies just like his administration (can't say his presidency b/c he stole the first term, eeked out the 2nd and Cheney was the real prez.) go away and take Sarah "Twitter Quitter" with you.

    November 24, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Expat American

    While I opposed Bush’s policies as President, I have purchased the book. I want to see just how he came to the conclusions that so marred his presidency; still waiting on it to arrive though.

    November 24, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    MISS ME YET???!!! YES!!!

    Way to go George! Sell those books and stick it to the leftists!!

    November 24, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Pretzel Logic

    Now watch how the right wing knuckle draggers say that this proves that Bush is a better President than Obama, failing to actually read that Obama has sold 4 times as many books. That is because they can't comprehend what they read.

    November 24, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Emilio

    Yet more dishonesty from a dishonorable man. How could anyone who lived through the era of judicial activism that opened the door to the Oval Office for him, the fraudulent way he was handed a second term, the lies he parroted, and the corruption that has taken the country to the bring of disaster, even think of buying Dubya's lies. Leave it to the idiots who worship at the alter of stupidity and ignorance to go buy this piece of fact-bending garbage.

    November 24, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    To this date I still can't connect the dots between going to war with Iraq and 911 and I certainly don't want to pay for something that our military have paid for with their precious blood.

    November 24, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. GI Joe

    mmm – sounds like outhouses getting new supplies for the holiays.

    November 24, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Four and The Door

    I can't wait for Obama's book explaining how he thought the Stimulus bill would create 4 million jobs and how he thought ObamaCare would lower the cost of health care. If nothing else, just for the entertainment value!

    He could call it," The Audacity of Bad Decision Points in My Life."

    November 24, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Can you imagine if Bush had tried to sell a book while he was in office like Obama. It would have been an all out media assault. The hypocrisy of the left is never ending.

    Hey, Cal, are you speaking of the children's book Obama recently published? Is your hatred of Obama so deep that it needs to become controversial even when this particular sitting President donates all profits of this book to the families of wounded or killed American soldiers? Or, are you just a blathering idiot repeating asinine garbage to fuel the flames of divisiveness?

    November 24, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    This book should be a MUST READ, but I will wait until it either goes on sale @ Walmart or it makes it to the library!! I already know what’s in it – I just have to “verify it”!!

    On another NOTE – Why, CNN, President Obama's children book only got 1 story – and short at that – when he is donating ALL of the proceeds to the military families??????????? If you ran that story as much as you run EVERYONE else that's "writing a book", it will be a MILLION SELLER in no time!!!

    I agree with Dominican Mama for Obama in a previous blog that the MEDIA got is all twisted!!!

    Everyone needs to know that the Obama's children book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters", went on sale November 15, 2010 and the proceeds will be donated to a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers!!!

    THIS, CNN, is more "newsworthy" than Bristol "Dancing with the Stars" and Sarah's "book selling event."!! You PUSH everything else and have everyone else on your show!! EVERY guest on your show is “writing a book”……………..EVERY ONE!!!!

    November 24, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. bill486

    Hey Cal:

    Decider-In-Chief Frank Burns Jr. couldn't have sold a book while he was in office, 'cause Darth Cheney wouldn't have let him....Cheney was the real prez. And it probably would've revealed evidence of the crimes committed during His so-called administration. The psychotic BS propoganda of the right is never ending.

    November 24, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Tam

    Did he write it?

    November 24, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Sandy Ohio

    Ummmmm....I thought you had to actually read a book before you write one????

    November 24, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    How many were purchased by GOPer/conservaitve PACs and organizations like Crossroads?

    "Is your hatred of Obama so deep that it needs to become controversial even when this particular sitting President donates all profits of this book to the families of wounded or killed American soldiers? Or, are you just a blathering idiot repeating asinine garbage to fuel the flames of divisiveness?'

    It's ok. Conservatives get cranky when they're off their meds...the holidays are traditionally a tough time for those with mental illnesses. In the spirit of the hlidays, I say we should pardon these bigot ideologue turkeys for their incessant knee-jerk talking-point gobbling.

    November 24, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. stufthis

    How does one explain to a right wing moron that the stimulus gave us a tax cut in April of 2009, making our taxes the lowest in 50 years, that the auto bailout saved over 2 million auto industry related jobs, that the republicans who voted against the stimulus took credit for the 3 million jobs it created in their districts and states, that businesses reported their greatest profits ever in the third quarter of 2010, and right wingnuts think Obama is anti business, anti capital? I suppose that you think that the 11 bills that the president signed to help businesses were socialistic. Yet you wingnuts believe that unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy did not increase our debt, because the money was borrowed from China.

    November 24, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    "Wallmart,Sams Club and mega churches bought them by the millions and will be handing them out for free by Easter.What a joke.I couldnt even find Jon Stewards book in Sams Club or Wallmart,even when it was the real number one seller.They dont burn books they just dont sell them and I dont shop there anymore,hahaha"

    Classic case of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    November 24, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. stufthis

    We need to let Bush live out his lie, and buy him a ticket to a vacation in Europe. Maybe he can visit the world court while he is there.

    November 24, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Emilio

    Do we have any doubt that this man, Dubya, is a sociopath? Just like others who exhibit similar diminished concept of right and wrong, he goes forward with the confidence that he has done nothing wrong to the people and nation of Iraq. Perhaps in his twisted mind he sees himself as some sort of hero to our nation, and that probably explains the jump suit crock he pulled on his way to declaring "Mission Accomplished" on board that carrier in 2003. He's a vicarious war hero, just as he was the vicarious jock who cheer lead Yale from the sidelines. A total fraud who wears a cowboy hat and claimed to have owned a ranch and yet is deathly afraid of horses. That ranch was just another piece of the fraud that was concocted to give this gadfly some sort of cred with the American people and was purchased shortly before they put him up for the theft of the office of POTUS. These Bush people will continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people because journalism is no longer practiced in this country; today we have stenographers who are willing to repeat lies, propaganda and sensational nonsense for that almighty dollar.

    November 24, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Brady

    The book is just a reminder of where we have been and where we are now. Obama is such a slime ball all he does is blame others for his own inadequacy and inexperience while we see Bush act in humility and kindness. I was angry with Bush the last two years of his Presidency but I genuinely like him and Clinton where Obama is definition of arrogance.

    November 24, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    Thanks for the laugh, Sniffit ! Will be picking up my Thanksgiving pies with smiles and good cheer...

    November 24, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. sammieb51

    As long as he doesn't leave the country - I understand several European countries are seriously thinking of charging him with war crimes (waterboarding is a crime). Wonder what would happen to Obama if he said "Osama Bin WHO? – I don't know, I don't think about him", or was on a stage at the annual press dinner with Biden scurrying around saying "WMD's, I don't see any here", or at another fund raising dinner where he said "some folks call you elitists, I just call you my base". Mitch would probably call for impeachment. Face it folks, we were played badly under Bush.

    November 24, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Ted

    After all the admissions he made in the book, I truly believe that he and Cheney should be waterboarded, shackled and shipped by cargo plane to The Hague to face war crimes trials and then be sentenced to life in prison doing hard labor in Guantanomo

    November 24, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    Keep up the good work George! Thank you for your great example of how a President should act while in office and out. Never heard any whining from you about all the news channels attacking you or disgusting leftist lies. You didn't blame Bill Clinton for 9/11 even though you could have and should have. And now that you are out, you continue to not speak badly about the idiot that took your place. I figure you know people have figured that out already!

    You are ONE CLASS ACT GEORGE! WE LOVE YOU!!

    oh yeah, and george Bush didn't strip search us in the airport like Obozo is doing!

    November 24, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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