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No End in Sight: Iraq's Descent into Chaos Paperback – February 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158648608X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586486082
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,679,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Now he has taken the material he collected from more than 50 interviews, expanded and updated it with additional interviews, and added his own interpolated commentary and a charming introduction, and produced a book also titled "No End In Sight" that, in its way, is as powerful as his movie, and equally heartbreaking." -- New York Times Book Review, March 30, 2008

About the Author

Charles Ferguson is director and producer of No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq, which is his first film. A political scientist and strategic consultant, Ferguson co-founded one of the earliest Internet software companies, Vermeer Technologies, which he eventually sold to Microsoft. Ferguson is a visiting scholar of political science at MIT and UC Berkeley, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a director of the French-American Foundation. He is the author of three books on information technology.

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Customer Reviews

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This is a terrific book and I recommend it highly.
Jon Hunt
Bremer made surprise decisions that contradicted all the meticulous planning of the U.S. experts on the ground in Iraq.
Citizen John
If you want to know why the US election in 2008 matters so much around the world, read this book.
o dubhthaigh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
For those unfamiliar with the 2007 film by the same name, No End In Sight documents the management of the war in Iraq. I bought this book at a book signing with the author after his presentation.

Charles Ferguson, award-winning documentarian, obtained candid interviews with officials such as Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of the State Department. These interviews were lengthy, hours in many cases, and the documentary film version only featured a small percentage of the material. Much of the best of this material works even better in book form.

The movie is no substitute for the book, which Ferguson wrote later and which benefited from a longer editing process, follow-on trips to the region, deeper and matured analysis, and even more interviews.

This is not an analysis of why the U.S. went to war. It is the classic account of what happened once the war began. No End In Sight informs us on how the big decisions were actually made and would probably serve as a textbook for the military academies.

Recall that after the Gulf War, which ended in February 1991, the first President Bush went on to lose the election of 1992 despite having been extremely popular during that war. The Iraq War, began in March 2003, would be managed differently.

The Iraq war was not going to end before the U.S. presidential election of November 2004. Paul Bremer, who went to Iraq in May 2003, would help see to that.

Interviewees tell how the demise of the original plan happened. But nobody wanted to risk themselves personally by going public in the midst of the nation's greatest housing boom. Time ate away at the players Ferguson interviewed. They needed to talk. That's how this book got started.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on March 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is heartbreaking on more fronts than you can readily imagine. If you want to know why the US election in 2008 matters so much around the world, read this book. In unblinking and unbiased assessment, Ferguson details not just the imperial hubris but the brute ignorance of a samll group of capitalist exploiters looking to make one more killing on the backs of those not among the ruling class in America.
Instead of Caligula, there is Cheney, and his puppet boy President, whose track record in business and government is that he absolutely ruined financially every organization he was part of because he refused to listen to people who knew better, be it oil, baseball, the state of Texas, the US federal government...
Barbara Bodine, on the ground immediately after the fall of the Hussein government and in cahrge of getting the city of Baghdad up and running, put it best:
"There were 2 or 3 ways to get it (reconstruction) right and 500 or more to get it wrong, and we got all (500) of them."
As a consequence, the designed incompetence that has functioned as a smoke screen for Cheney and his corporate buddies put consecutive bumblers and enablers in a volatile situation and they successfully made absoluetly everything worse: Wolfowicz, Bremer and on to Petraeus. It is a gallery of very bad actors exploiting a disaster with the mentality that it's all going to hell in a hangbasket, so let's grab what we can.
The interviews speak for themselves. Rumsfeld refused to speak or comment. The White House could care less. The US is now 1 trillion in the whole and counting, and the sad prospect comes across with blunt and dismaying clarity in the final section of the book. A bloodbath seems ineveitable, unless a military coup, i.e.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hunt on April 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles Ferguson's update of his superb film on the Bush war in Iraq captures the problems of the current White House to a tee. Ferguson gives over his book to interviews with top players and it works perfectly. Let them talk and you know the score. This is a terrific book and I recommend it highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Interviews from those involved document why we didn't start planning for the occupation until two months before the invasion - and then excluded those who know the most, why we stood by and watched extensive looting, why we naively believed that an expatriate would be quickly accepted as the new leader of a fractured country, why we disbanded the Iraq Army - despite numerous warnings not to do so, why reconstruction monies disappeared by the billions, and why our troops were poorly equipped.

Bottom Line: How many lives were needlessly lost by these mistakes that should have been avoided?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aMeta4 on January 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I cant recommend this film enough. A clear and balanced look at the grave miscalculations made before and during our occupation of Iraq. Everyone should see this film: Dem and Repub alike.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Davis on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was an enjoyable and informative read. Ferguson avoids preaching to the reader; he lets the interviews speak for themselves. All of the incompetence of the occupation comes out in the book. He interviews top officials, not just low-level sniping critics. This book succeeds marvelously. Pick this up ASAP for the good of your country.
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