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The Commanders Paperback – January 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0743234757 ISBN-10: 0743234758 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743234758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743234757
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Wars make great fiction and even better fact. But best of all is the realm in between. So it is with journalistic histories like Woodward's latest book. YOU ARE THERE: in the inner sanctums of the Pentagon and the White House. YOU HEAR ALL: the privileged conversations, the promises to Kuwait, the military plans. From Panama to Riyadh, from Noriega to Saddam, Woodward bombards you with unrelentless, highly placed gossip, the brew of 400-plus unnamed tattletalers WHO WERE THERE, or so we are told. Sans footnotes, this book will torture scholars for centuries. Truth or embellishment, the glimpses of the pinnacle of power fascinate. Other more scholarly histories of this period will come, better written and more exegetical. Hopefully we will know the source of their tales. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/91.
- John Yurechko, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Tom Weiner Philadelphia Inquirer A great book...no one beats Woodward.

Newsweek A telling narrative of leaders in crisis.

USA Today Few if any other reporters but Woodward could have gotten this close to the decision makers.

The New York Times Authoritative...a lively, behind-the-scenes docudrama...filled with accounts of secret Pentagon meetings, political maneuvers, second guesses, and roads not taken.

San Francisco Chronicle Woodward gets inside the minds of [Washington's] players to see how our leaders really think.

The Miami Herald As always, world-class reporter Woodward rewards his readers with the thrill of eavesdropping on the power elite.

BusinessWeek Riveting...the book moves at the pace of potboiler fiction.

More About the Author

In the last 36 years, Woodward has authored or coauthored 15 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Eleven have been #1 national bestsellers -- more than any contemporary non-fiction author.

Photos, a Q&A, and additional materials are available at Woodward's website, www.bobwoodward.com

His most recent book, Obama's Wars, is being published by Simon & Schuster on September 27, 2010.

Since 1971 Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post, where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which the Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward was the lead reporter for the Post's articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time."

In a lengthy 2008 book review, Jill Abramson, the managing editor of The New York Times, said that Woodward's four books on President Bush "may be the best record we will ever get of the events they cover . . . . They stand as the fullest story yet of the Bush presidency and the war that is likely to be its most important legacy."

Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the United States Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Riveting and gripping, I recommend the book highly.
The Orange Duke
This book starts at the beginning of the GHW Bush Administration and goes through to the very beginning of the Gulf War.
Jack Lechelt
Bob Woodward is great and thorough in the way he puts together a history book.
J. Cooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on April 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a big fair of Woodward, so much so that I would even consider reading his shopping list. Overall this book gives the reader some very interesting stories about the military preparation and political decision making that led up to the Attack on Panama and the Gulf War. The book also gives you the details of the inner workings of the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I do not think there is a current writer / investigative reporter that has the ability to get the inside information Woodward always does, at time I wonder if he does not pay people to take tape recorders with them to meetings. He provides so much detail and very useful explanations of the process that you really feel that you are there. He always puts together a great book and he has done it here again. I also have the book by the 1st Bush "A World Transformed", and in the book he states that for the most part everything in this Woodward book is correct, I do not think you can get a better recommendation then that. You will defiantly enjoy this book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "candygirl31635" on May 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I found this book well worth the read. I quite honestly had forgotten many of the events surrounding the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War. This book brought it all back into perspective. Woodward's research and ability to tell the whole story gives you a "fly on the wall" status. He tries not to make any judgements either on the events themselves or the players involved. Woodward succeeds in laying it all out there for you.
I will admit Woodward does seem to have a bias toward Powell, but not enough so that you think he is forcing him on you. He doesn't paint an overly rosy picture of Bush, often leaving you wondering about Bush's decision-making skills or intentions. This may only be because he was not able to personally use Bush as a source.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D Greening on May 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book and learned a great deal about what is right and what is wrong with the American political-military machine. It shocked me how much infighting went on, but at least the persons involved USUALLY put aside their egos for the sake of the common cause. I don't know how the author got all the fly-on-the-wall dialogue and facts, but it all seems credible and the author's record for reliability is pretty high, isn't it. This is an exceptional book and I will in time read it again.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Orange Duke on March 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Woodward's books are all the same. They are detailed, well researched and incredibly readable. Each one a treat. The most amusing aspect of them, (considering that he is co-author of the book that brought down Nixon) is the reverence with which he treats the establishment figures. Doubtless this is because they are his sources. If one keeps this bias in mind and reads between the lines a bit, you can generally get a good idea of who's who and what's what. This particular book is an examination of the military preparation and political decision making that led up to the Attack on Panama and The Gulf War. The insight into the military command structure and the perspectives of the men in the chain of command is excellent. It could also be viewed as a love letter to Colin Powell, doubtless it helped to establish the Generals reputation as a `great man'. Riveting and gripping, I recommend the book highly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jack Lechelt on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book starts at the beginning of the GHW Bush Administration and goes through to the very beginning of the Gulf War.

It's always a little difficult to know how accurate Woodward's recountings are of conversations and inner-thoughts of the most important people, but there are rarely serious complaints about the accuracy of his books - at least as far as I am aware. For the most part, the book comes from the perspective of Powell and Cheney, with important additions from other key folks at the Pentagon and White House.

The beauty of reading about the GHW Bush Administration is that one also learns about the GW Bush Administration, for many of the key players came back for an encore.

Woodward did a top notch job of discussing important issues in a way that appeals to the general reader. I hope he continues to do so with the GW Bush Administration; both "Bush at War" and "Plan of Attack" are fine books, but "The Commanders" is much better.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Larry Butts on November 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this off the bargain list about a year ago but only recently picked it up to read. Frankly, I thought it was going to be a somewhat boring replay of the gulf war with some special attention paid to the inner workings of the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). I bought it to get some insight into the workings of the JCS. Yes, it was about those topics but boring - absolutely not. The other reviewers are not kidding when they refer to a 'fly on the wall'. I frequently read a line and found myself staring at the quotation marks and asking "How did Woodward get that quote?".
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Siskind on May 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am an 11th grade history student who is very intellectual but has one problem- I cannot read nonfiction. However, when I read this book by Woodward for a class assignment, I found the book so readable that I was enthralled and even enjoyed reading through the engrossing decision-making and conversations. What's more, a reader feels like they get the real facts from the book and see the real reasons that decision makers act in certain ways; it is hardly a random action- these men take their jobs seriously and do it well. Cynicism I may have felt towards government has become more controlled and more muted after reading this book. I recommend it.
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