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Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War Reprint Edition

186 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0307346827
ISBN-10: 030734682X
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Editorial Reviews


"Indispensable ... There have been many books about the Iraq War, and there will be many others before we are through. This one, however, pulls together with unusually shocking clarity the multiple failures of process and statecraft."

"The most comprehensive account of the White House's political machinations ... fascinating reading."

"A bold and provocative book."

About the Author

MICHAEL ISIKOFF is an award-winning investigative correspondent for Newsweek, a frequent guest on MSNBC and other cable news networks, and the author of the bestselling Uncovering Clinton.

DAVID CORN is the Washington editor of The Nation. He’s the author of the bestselling The Lies of George W. Bush, the novel Deep Background, and the biography Blond Ghost.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030734682X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307346827
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

444 of 465 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read most of the books on Iraq (see my lists), I was disappointed to find that this is, at 463 pages, a bloated 150 page story blown to excess with double-spacing.

There are enough useful bits to warrant reading, but over a third of the book focuses on the Valerie Plume leak and investigation. The book is not as good as James Risen's State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration or Jim Bamford's A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies.

Solid points that cause me to value the book:

1) Discussion of Libby-Wolfowitz kindred spirits

2) Raises the bar with a solid discussion of how the Bush regime presented a case for war that "turned out to be, in virtually every aspect, fraudulent."

3) Sheds new light on Iraq as a Karl Rove gambit for winning the next election.

4) For the first time that I have seen, a good discussion of how the public was NOT buying the Iraq story line, and how this pushed the Bush regime over the top in terms of fabrications and embellishments.

5) Good discussion of how CIA under Tenet cut Departments of State and Energy out on key transmittals to the White House. At the same time, somewhat rehabilitates Tenet by discussing how Tenet did not lie to Senator Biden, and in direct answer to a question about what technical intelligence CIA might have about WMD in Iraq, said, quite clearly, "None."

6) Adds understanding of Chalabi's dishonesty.
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191 of 207 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Like a Russian nested doll, the recent wave of books explaining the details behind the current Iraqi conflict has represented a continuous extrication of a deepening mystery. There is something new and enlightening to be discovered with each new volume I read. This one is no exception. David Corn, the Washington editor of the Nation, and Newsweek's Michael Isikoff has written a blistering account of the behind-the-scenes personalities and decisions that have led to the 2003 Iraqi invasion. Their reporting roles are well known from the infamous Valerie Plame controversy, in which she was revealed to be working for the CIA.

Much of this has been covered in recent, strongly recommended books by the likes of George Packer ("The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq"), Ron Suskind ("The One Percent Doctrine") and Michael Scheuer ("Imperial Hubris"). Corn and Isikoff, however, shed new insights to previously reported events, disclose new facts such as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's role in the CIA leak, and bring the pivotal figures to life, in particular, President Bush whose obsession with destroying Saddam Hussein was and continues to be the mantra by which he forced others to abide. Even as evidence has piled up to the tenuous connection between 9/11 and Hussein, he continues undeterred in his mission.

Another figure that comes alive on the pages is Colin Powell, who justifiably feels he was made the fall guy with his infamous UN Security Council speech urging other nations to support the US case for war by falsely accusing Hussein of harboring al-Qaeda and training terrorists. Yet, the most intriguing figures are unquestionably Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Edwin C. Pauzer VINE VOICE on December 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Isikoff delivers one of the most complete accounts of the Bush administration's incompetence, and exaggerated self-confidence to date. This work may be around as a source book of the Bush presidency and it's pathological legacy.

From the start of this administration, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Perle, Wolfowitz and other neocons were planning to finish what they felt had been a mistake not to since the first Gulf War i.e. the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. This would project American power and influence in the region, and establish a Pax Americana.

First, they needed a reason, which they received after September 11th. Then, they needed to sell it to the American public, which they did through outright lies, finnagling, arm-twisting, deception and leaks. In this they succeeded completely by giving a revenge-minded public direction, and creating a scare campaign. They were aided by a docile press that was not inclined to investigate the disinformation spoon-fed to them.

There was only one thing amiss. They had too much self-confidence and pride, or hubris according to the author. They had the feeling that they could not be wrong, and they would achieve their goals. Unfortunately they were, and they didn't.

This is truly an account of high crimes and deception committed by the highest level of our government. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Perle, Wolfowitz and others deliberately misled this country to war, and continue to deceive to this day. If there is a day of reckoning for them, I hope it will be swift, painful and brutal, and that's not hubris.
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