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The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation Hardcover – January 31, 2008

61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Spellbinding new book... A series of gripping vignettes... dazzled by this surprisingly vibrant expose of the government of our time. -- Elizabeth Benedict, The Huffington Post, March 7, 2008

A history that's both reassuring and disturbing, a compelling primer on how Washington works -- and doesn't -- in times of crisis .... Hard to put down. -- Bob Hoover in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 17, 2008

Fascinating! -- John Stewart, The Daily Show, Comedy Central, February 11, 2008

I found Mr. Shenon's book illuminating, because I discovered things I did not know, and disconcerting ...My hope is that Mr. Shenon's book becomes a bestseller... -- Senator Bob Kerrey, member of the 9/11 commission,, March 2008

I literally could not put it down... It owes a lot to Robert Ludlum. I felt I was reading a teleplay for '24.' -- Michael Duffy, Time Magazine, March 9, 2008

Lifting the veil to understand the 9/11 Commission ... exhaustively reported ... cumulative effect of reading all of it in one book is stunning. -- Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times, February 17, 2008

Remarkable job ... A fascinating read and a real insight into the Bush White House and its amoral attitude toward governing. -- Richard A. Clarke, former White House counterterrorism director and author of "Against All Enemies," in Publishers Weekly, Feburary 12, 2008

Shenon is a skillful writer and storyteller as well as a dogged reporter ... he has a keen grasp of human frailty and folly -- Evan Thomas, The New York Times, February 4, 2008

Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, this rich slice of investigative journalism turns into something still more substantial .... a masters' thesis in human frailty. -- Peter Preston in The Observer (U.K.), March 23, 2008

The Commission by Philip Shenon is a startling, riveting, disturbing read about the "uucensored" History of the 9/11 investigation. -- Publishers Weekly, February 2, 2008

About the Author

Philip Shenon is an investigative reporter with The New York Times, based in Washington. He was the lead reporter on the investigation of the September 11 commission and has held several of the most important assignments of the Washington Bureau, including chief Defense Department correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, Congressional correspondent and Justice Department Correspondent. He was one of two Times reporters embedded with American grounds troops during the invasion of Iraq and worked in pre-war Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran for Times foreign staff.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; First edition (January 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446580759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446580755
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 72 people found the following review helpful By stuartm VINE VOICE on February 8, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
Others will give their opinions on this book based on their political leanings or previously held opinions about 9/11. I would urge you to buy and read this book with an open mind. And I would tell you that it is absolutely impossible to put down. This is not a dry recitation of facts and dates, this is a well told, engrossing story that will raise your eyebrows and yes, anger you at points. It may also bring you close to tears as you read about what was known and not acted on up through and even after 9-11. Highly recommended.
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107 of 128 people found the following review helpful By cvairag VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this well-crafted, important new study, the perfect companion to Griffin's magisterial The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, we get to see from a very human perspective why the 9/11 Commission did not finally produce the truth. Most fascinating to me (and the book is tough to put down), the 9/11 Commission stands as a paradigm case for analysis of the inherent problem plaguing our democracy - that the critical decisions are made by extremely small groups of decision-makers, selected with specific implications of partisan conflict, more than the more generalized public good, in mind. These groups are thus necessarily politicized, representing the interests - not of the whole of society - but of only the most powerful oligarchs. Such a group made the decision the drop the bomb on Hiroshima, and again such a group essentially closed the door to further publicly sanctioned investigation of the signal event of our young century.

The prospective reader must note that, evidently due to his extensive investigation, Shenon writes from a definite standpoint on the events 9/11.
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135 of 166 people found the following review helpful By David R. Griffin on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Commission" by Philip Shenon has performed a great public service, letting the world know that there are good reasons to be suspicious of "The 9/11 Commission Report." The main problem is the fact that the Commission was almost entirely under the control of Philip Zelikow, who was closely connected to the Bush White House. Although my book "Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11" revealed some of the facts about Zelikow that showed him to be one of the worst possible choices for the Commission's executive director, Shenon has revealed even more facts.

It was already known that Zelikow had been on the National Security Council (NSC) with Condoleezza Rice during the administration of the first President Bush; that he wrote a book with her while the Republicans were out of power; that he helped her make the transition from the Clinton to the Bush NSC; and that he wrote at her request the 2002 version of "National Security Strategy of the United States of America" (NSS 2002), which enunciated a new doctrine of preemptive war that was used, in Shenon's words, to "justify a preemptive strike on Iraq.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Gaffney on February 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should have received five stars, but I give it only three. To learn why, read on.

Today in America we are witness to a great unraveling, the likes of which we have never seen before. There are no historical precedents. For many months now the official narrative about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America has been disintegrating. Philip Shenon's fine book is certain to fuel this process. Before I discuss the book, however, let us review the unraveling.

It began within weeks of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report (in July 2004) with the shocking revelation that members of the 9/11 commission were convinced that government officials, including NORAD generals, had deceived them during the investigation---in essence, had lied to their faces during the hearings. According to the Washington Post (August 2, 2006), the members of the commission vented their frustrations at a special meeting in the summer of 2004. The panel even considered referring the matter to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation.

The unraveling continued in 2006 with the release of a follow-up volume, Without Precedent, authored by the two men who had co-chaired the commission, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton. The men had come under increasing fire ever since the release of their final report for presiding over what many now believe was a failed investigation. Stung by so much criticism, Kean and Hamilton felt the need to explain (and defend) themselves. The gist of their 2006 book is easily summarized. They write: "We were set up to fail.
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