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America at War Hardcover – September 9, 2003


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Rights at Risk
Join Pulitzer Prize–winner David K. Shipler as he explores the territory where the Constitution meets everyday America. As you read this book, cast your own opinion on whether the civil liberties we rightly take for granted have actually been eroded. Learn more
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Printing edition (September 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743257863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743257862
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-A quickly delivered punch replayed in slow motion shows the anticipation, impact, and separation of a hit. Similarly, this book is a clearly focused close-up of the force, the strikes, and the toll taken in Iraq. In short essays, some of CBS's most renowned contemporary news journalists embedded with U.S. military troops share their experiences. A generous portfolio of color photos that tell equally as poignant stories accompanies the text. Broadcast veteran Rather cautions in his May 2003 introduction that "as this remembrance of 28 days of fighting goes to press, the war cannot yet be termed decisive." But a chronology, maps, and the tension-drenched observations of correspondents such as Jim Axelrod, Lara Logan, and Allen Pizzey make readers passengers on the sandy battle course. From them, troops turn into individuals and timing shifts back and forth from friend to foe. Additionally, a DVD with extensive interviews and frontline coverage intensifies the first-person view. In print or video, America at War is a rich reference for classroom assignments and an excellent way for YAs to process the news and form opinions.
Karen Sokol, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The March to War

To hear U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell tell it, the Bush administration was never in a rush toward war. Powell spent seven and a half weeks negotiating Resolution 1441 line by line, word by word. By the time it was approved unanimously by the fifteen-member U.N. Security Council in November 2002, as far as Powell was concerned, everyone -- including the French, the Russians, and the Germans -- knew that the resolution's reference to "serious consequences" meant only one thing: either Saddam Hussein complied fully with new weapons inspections or the Bush administration would go to war with Iraq.

But the diplomatic wrangling was not over. By March 2003, Paris and Moscow's call for a second resolution authorizing force had been joined by London, Washington's staunchest ally. Public sentiment throughout Europe against a war was strong, and this made already skeptical leaders more nervous. Many Europeans thought President Bush's personal style was brash and that he was morally arrogant.

The policy disagreement boiled down to this: The Bush administration saw Saddam Hussein as a clear and present danger. Having suffered one huge attack on September 11, 2001, President Bush was unwilling to take any chances that the Iraqi dictator would allow weapons of mass destruction to fall into the hands of terrorists for use in another attack. Led by France, much of Europe's political leadership didn't see the threat in immediate terms and refused to pledge support for a second resolution.

On the Security Council, Britain, Spain, and Bulgaria were firmly behind the United States on a second resolution. Five other members -- France, Germany, Russia, China, and Syria -- were firmly opposed. Washington was left looking for five of the six votes from those who were undecided: Mexico, Chile, Pakistan, Cameroon, Angola, and Guinea.

But France threatened to use its veto if Washington got the nine votes required for passage, thus escalating the policy disagreement into a political and diplomatic crisis. In many ways, the confrontation over Iraq had become a test among Security Council members of how much the United States could get away with as the world's only remaining superpower.

Faced with a possible veto, the U.S. withdrew the resolution on March 17. That evening, President Bush delivered his ultimatum speech, giving Saddam Hussein forty-eight hours to leave Iraq or face military action.

CHARLES WOLFSON
STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTER, CBS NEWS

Copyright © 2003 by CBS Worldwide Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Nelson on September 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If the film footage from the front lines wasn't enough for you, check this book out. It's a behind-the-scenes view of Iraq from a soldier's perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Catherwood on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As the cousin of an embedded journalist in Iraq during the war, I find stories like this gripping - and they don't try to overdramatize of make heroes where none exist. We ought all to find out what our troops really did go for in the fight to free the Iraqi people. Christopher Catherwood, author of CHRISTIANS MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE (Zondervan, 2003) and the forthcoming CHURCHILL'S FOLLY: HOW WINSTON CHURCHILL CREATED IRAQ AND LED TO SADDAM HUSSEIN (Carroll & Graf, 2004)
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Format: Hardcover
This book, published shortly (2003) after the U. S. led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam Hussein, is a vivid description of the war. Many commentators are now referring to the early phase of the war as a "cakewalk." Kenneth Adleman, one of the neoconservative architects of the policy that led to the invasion, used that term on a news show this past week. However, as this book makes quite clear, the invasion was a bloody business. Despite all the intelligence embedded in the munitions, there was a great deal of collateral damage and Iraqi deaths to go along with the American casualties.

At the end of the book, some of the reporters showed a great deal of prescience in their reporting. Dan Rather notes on pages 146 and 147 how thin the U. S. forces were spread and how little they could do to control the conditions in Iraq. However, the situation was best summed up in the afterword written by Mark Phillips. His comment, ". . . quell what military officials were calling `isolated' attacks by diehard Saddam loyalists, but which seemed to me and other observers like a nascent, organized resistance movement." He also described a middle-aged man who was spitting with rage and screaming into the camera."Go! We do not like Saddam. But we hate Americans. Leave this place!" He also said that he felt more occupied than liberated. Finally, there is the comment, "Moreover, what was missing was any coherent U. S. plan to rebuild the country."

The events of the last three years have clearly demonstrated that these reporters detected the gestating problems as soon as Saddam was toppled. It is unfortunate for the world that the decision makers were so caught up in their beliefs of personal infallibility that they failed to heed and respond to them. For if they had, a great deal of bloodshed and destruction could have been avoided.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a good review on how the war began. It has a timeline of events which is followed by short pieces written by correspondents supported by pictures. The DVD that accompanies it gives a more in depth look to each of the correspondents stories. It was definitely odd to go back and read/watch these events three/four years later. I can remember where I was when particular events happened. The pictures definitely evoke different thoughts and feelings then they did when the events originally took place. This is an excellent book to take you back in time and remember how things began (which now seem like they will never end). This is not a long detailed historically textbook, but more a glimpse of what happened and in those glimpses one can feel for the people involved. Although I prefer reading books that follow the actions of particular service members/groups, I thought the book is excellent for the type of book it is.
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