The short answer is no, President Bush did not plagiarize his memoir. A small controversy erupted this past week just after the official release of the former Commander-in-Chief’s book, Decision Points. Writing at The Huffington Post, Ryan Grim states that the memoir is “a mash-up of worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections.”
Keep in mind this was published at a crappy left-wing website, which also has a piece about the Bush book titled, “Bush’s ‘Decision Points’ Is A Terrifying Journey Into the Authoritarian Mind.”
Anyway, back to Ryan Grim. The Daily Caller has a piece up which dissects Grim’s allegations.
From The Daily Caller:
As evidence, Grim cites how closely some of the quotes in the book match up with quotes in other books written about the Bush presidency.
In most of those cases, Bush was physically present for the scene he describes. In that sense, charging him for recollecting the events the same way others did is rather weird, indeed.
According to Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook, legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward said about Grim’s report, “There are many, many similarities because I, others and Bush were writing about the same events. I read his book this week and I think it is unfair to say he lifted material.”
Perhaps the strongest case Grim makes regards quotes in Bush’s memoir from events he was not present for.
“In many cases, he was relying on the written record (NSC notes, as I did in some cases) or the recollections of those involved, including himself,” Woodward told Politico.
A source close to the former president notes that in some cases, Bush was actually the source of the “lifted” quotes to the journalists who wrote about them.