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Circle in the Sand: The Bush Dynasty in Iraq Paperback – October 9, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“Not until Circle in the Sand has such a powerful light been thrown on the missing link in the chain of events that led from the first Gulf War to the second. . . . Riveting.” —Bill Moyers “An eye-opener. . . . A retelling of the 1990-91 Gulf crisis with the benefit of new documents and on-the-record interviews with senior officials then and now. . . . Plenty of juicy tidbits about the once and future Bushies.” —The Washington Post Book World“Dramatically illustrates how decisions made [in 1991] foreshadowed the war in Iraq waged by the current Bush administration. . . . Illuminating.” —Booklist (starred review)“Circle in the Sand could as well be called ‘debacle in the sand.’ It goes to the heart of a national tragedy–how two generations of Bush family mismanagement and inept strategy in Iraq may have doomed early-21st century American policy in the Middle East.”—Kevin Phillips, author of American Theocracy

About the Author

Christian Alfonsi holds a 1999 Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University; his dissertation, "Improvised Crusades," examined the first Bush Administration's use of military intervention in foreign affairs and is the basis for Circle in the Sand. After graduation he worked as a strategic planner for Young and Rubicam until his thesis advisors Stanley Hoffman and Ernest May urged him to revisit his dissertation and turn it into a book.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400096065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400096060
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LFD on January 1, 2015
Format: Paperback
Christian Alfonsi was interested in the First Gulf War during the war itself, and spoke to most of the George H.W. Bush administration after they left office: when they were most amenable to discussing their decisions. Now, after many of them returned to political posts during the presidency of George W. Bush, and the Second Gulf War, they have changed their stories or are no longer commenting on Iraq.
Alfonsi's belief is that George H.W. Bush was following the principle of 'containment' and allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power after the first Gulf War. But Hussein understood the frailty of any coalition, and consistently took advantage of distractions in the West to expand power.
After 9/11, George Bush and his advisors believed that Hussein would take advantage of America's war with al-Qaida, probably during the 2004 election year, which Bush could not risk. And thus they invaded Iraq.
Alfonsi draws from his decades of research, some of which no other authors have access, and has written an in-depth view of why America is fighting in Iraq today.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent description of the lead-up to the 1991 Gulf War. The author had access to virtually all of key players in the planning and execution of the war and spoke with them when the war was considered a "closed book" and most were eager to talk.
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