George W. Bush said Tuesday that his upcoming book begins with an anecdote about his wife convincing him to give up drinking.
Bush said "Decision Points," due for release in November, opens with Laura Bush pushing the former president to decide whether he preferred drinking to fatherhood, and him questioning whether he loved booze more than his wife.
He said he realized he had an addictive personality and quit drinking cold turkey.
That act set him on the path to the presidency, Bush said in his address to a wind energy convention in downtown Dallas.
Bush said the book is less autobiography and more an analysis of key decisions in his life, both before and after he was elected president. Topics will include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the troop surge in Iraq, his responses to terrorists attacks and Hurricane Katrina and the financial meltdown.
He said he hopes the book will be a tool for historians evaluating his presidency.
"I don't think you can come to a definitive conclusion about a presidency until the passage of time," Bush said. "I want to put you in my position."
Bush, who left office in January 2009 and moved with his wife to Dallas, appeared relaxed and in good humor throughout the speech. The 63-year-old riffed on retirement, joking that he was playing shuffleboard after the speech and that his domestic agenda now consists of taking out the trash and doing the dishes.
He plugged Laura Bush's book "Spoken from the Heart," telling conventioneers, "You ought to buy it."
He also joked about the comedown of post-presidential life, saying he realized how different his life was when he was walking his dog Barney through his new neighborhood.
"There I was," Bush said. "Former president of the United States, with a plastic bag in my hand, picking up what I had been dodging for eight solid years."