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The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama [Kindle Edition]

Michael R. Gordon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $11.54
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Wall Street Journal Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

In this follow-up to their national bestseller Cobra II, Michael Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor deftly piece together the story of the most widely reported but least understood war in American history. This stunning account of the political and military struggle between American, Iraqi, and Iranian forces brings together vivid reporting of diplomatic intrigue and gripping accounts of the blow-by-blow fighting that lasted nearly a decade. Informed by brilliant research and extensive interviews with key figures—including everyone from the intelligence community to Sunni and Shi’ite leaders and former insurgents to senior Iraqi military officers—The Endgame presents a riveting chronicle of the occupation of Iraq to the withdrawal of American troops that is sure to remain the essential account of the war for years to come.
This E-book edition also contains a new Appendix collecting twenty-three classified documents, with commentary, that shed new light on some of the military’s crucial mistakes and missed opportunities. 

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor's The Endgame:

“Likely to stand for decades as the definitive account of the Iraq war. . . . [A] tour de force of contemporary history. . . . The best tribute we can pay to the Iraq veterans is to remember what they did, and that is precisely the achievement of [The Endgame].”
The Wall Street Journal
“Meticulous. . . . Persuasive. . . . Should be required reading. . . . Thanks to the authors’ extraordinary research and sobriety, the accumulation of one well-documented fact after another is compelling. . . . ‘Regime change’ means not only getting rid of a bad regime but also finding a way to replace it with something better. The Endgame shows just how hard that process can be—and, by implication, how crazy it is to start a war without good plans for how to finish it”
The New York Times
“Ambitious. . . . A well-researched, highly critical look at U.S. policy in Iraq. . . . Ultimately, The Endgame invites the question whether President Obama threw his support behind the wrong war.”
Newsweek/The Daily Beast
“The devil of the story is in the details, and the authors do a superb job of providing them. . . . Likely to be considered definitive for some time to come.”
The Washington Times
“A solid chronicle of the Iraq War, emphasizing military maneuvers and Iraqi participation at all levels. . . . A deliberate, chronological construction of events. . . . A straightforward, evenhanded account of the nine-year slog that began as a ‘war of choice’ and became ‘a war of necessity.’“
Kirkus Reviews
“A fantastic book . . . highly anticipated and a must-read on this subject.”
—Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”
“Gordon is considered by many to be the best reporter on the Iraq war . . . his long-awaited book is likely to shed new light particularly on the last half-decade of U.S. involvement.”
Foreign Policy
“An epic piece of work.”
—Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC
“What Michael Gordon has written is correct.”
—Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari
“If you want to know about this painful and critical episode of American history, you have to read these books.”
—James Rosen, Fox News
“Gordon and Trainor’s most ambitious and news-breaking book to date. A peerless work of investigative journalism and historical recreation ranging from 2003 to 2012, it gives us the first comprehensive, inside account of arguably the most widely reported yet least understood war in American history.”
—Frogen Yozurt Online Magazine

About the Author

Michael R. Gordon is the chief military correspondent for The New York Times, where he has worked since 1985. He is the coauthor, with Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor, of The Generals’ War and Cobra II. He has covered the Iraq and Afghan wars, the Kosovo conflict, the Russian war in Chechnya, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the American invasion of Panama. Gordon lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
Bernard E. Trainor, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, was a military correspondent for The New York Times from 1986 to 1990. He was director of the National Security Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1990 to 1996 and was a military analyst for NBC during the Iraq War. Trainor lives in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 102033 KB
  • Print Length: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050DIWB6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but not as good as Cobra II October 2, 2012
This a book covering the Iraq war and in particular the wind-down of the war. Its mostly from a military perspective. The authors are very serious writers and have a good track record in terms of past works on the war.

The problem with the book is that the authors lose their objectivity and distance. Rather than covering the war, they become cheerleaders for "the surge" and the individuals (like Petraeus and company) associated with the strategy. The book is in three parts: Why the war was bad before the surge, how great the surge was and how things got worse after the surge. The research is good. The writing is generally good. But the book bends over backwards to warp events to promote its designated heroes. That brings it down.

I think the book overvalues the idea of "counterinsurgency" and often fails to consider other aspects of the situation. How much does one really credit counterinsurgency and how much does one credit the simple fact that a "surge" puts more boots on the ground. Was the so-called Sunni Awakening due to American troops acting tough and how much was it due to political changes within Iraq as regards the Sunni. By its nature, a military study like this tends to neglect wider issues and effects. But when the authors crossed the line from looking at counterinsurgency to promoting that strategy and its leaders, they probably needed to widen their focus.

The book is not particularly kind to either the Bush or Obama Administrations. At some level, it doesn't tend to see their strategies (around the surge) as being all that different. The authors also buy into the questionable idea that AQ operating in Iraq was a serious issue. There is AQ and there is the Zarqawi organization "AQ in Iraq". They are different things.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the affair November 7, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
General Trainor and Mr Gordon form a rather succesful team of military history writers. For those of the readers who are not acquainted with its previous work, this is their third title, the other two being "The Generals'war" about "Desert Storm" (aka "Saddam Hussein against the world") and "Cobra II" which covers the 2003 Irak War.In every case, they offer a documented, critical and thoroughly entertaining view of each of the military operations portrayed. Despite the current literary trend of writing "trilogies", it seems it was not the intention of the authors of acting in such a way, however the end result is just a magisterial trilogy which covers the years 1990 to 2012 in this troubled spot of the world. This installment keeps the superb level attained in the other books, despite the fact of dealing with a longer span of time and a far more complex situation than any of the other titles did. In order to give an overview of Irak between 2003-2012, the writers have resorted to build the book with a lineal but straightforward structure, with three periods: 2003-2006,2006-2008 and 2008-2012.The narrative flows seamlessly, making difficult to put down the book, and as usual they weave vignettes within a larger frame of things, and putting the miriad of characters into its context. Being a military history buff, in my humble opinion, Trainor and Gordon's efforts belong to the best american tradition, and as such comparable to the best of the "Green books" series, making a stark contrast to the botched continuation of the official US Army history of the operation. Read more ›
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whole catastrophe October 6, 2012
This is the most interesting work of its type written recently, and unlikely to be surpassed for its immediacy, revelations and superb analysis of how the disaster in Iraq unfolded from the perspective of all the participants.

I didn't understand where this book was headed until I got into the middle, wondering why I was reading so much about separate and isolated events, sequentially revealed, still wondering how the parts related to whole. Only as I got deeper into the book was I able to focus on the greater war, finally relating violent engagements to one another, compared and contrasted to decisions in the Green Zone, the Pentagon, State and the White House? I had a strong incentive to keep reading, because the individual episodes are so artfully crafted and documented by author in their prime.

The book displays how the the ambitions of all players, friend and foe, worked to advance their individual and corporate agendas, often in conflict. This requires a detailed explanation of failure and success, as seen from the perspective of American most of all but also of Iraqis with their complex differences. No question about it: the Iraqis are a complex and historic people, with ties to religious, ethnic and political institutions. We tied ourselves to some who were disappointments. No, many were disappointments, and we should have known better, had we greater understanding to their loyalties.

We were tricked into going to war in Iraq, and misled by many.

Some Americans had clearer vision than others, but almost all were flawed. The worst was to prove we could remake the mideast a better place by force of arms and shrewd politics.

There were certainly heroics on the battlefield. It's hard to draw the same conclusion at higher echelons.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 1 month ago by Jason Mayeux
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best indept analysis I have read so far regarding the war in Iraq
Published 2 months ago by Sedric A Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of losers
Appears to pull together lots of stories and the hopelessness of Iraq. It is more a story of the boots on the ground and not the remote politicians. Read more
Published 8 months ago by bob
5.0 out of 5 stars The End Game…and Beginning and Middle Too
“Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not win it for them. Read more
Published 14 months ago by H. P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! A mixture and mess of seemingly unfixable proportion and...
The book outlined an environment that is in place in roughly 1/3rd of the world. We (and others) need to learn from history so as not to continually repeat it.
Published 22 months ago by J. Blair
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Accurate
Gordon and Trainor's book is the best study - to date - of the military and political aspects of the war in Iraq. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Frank G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed history, not a lot of analysis
This book is great for historians who are seeking an exhaustive and factual detail of events, compiled from a number of sources, without a great deal of analysis.
Published 23 months ago by W. Cody Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Right ON
I am reading this now as Chuck Hagle is being grilled for Sec of Defense. The entire Iraq war was a sham. The mission has never and will never be accomplished. Read more
Published on January 31, 2013 by Richard D. Varlay
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes look at post-invasion Iraq
My personal recollection of post-invasion Iraq consisted of an impressionistic patchwork of news reports on bombings, IED and suicide attacks, political debates, and opinion... Read more
Published on January 11, 2013 by J. Soubra
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough read and difficult to research
The quintessential book on the war. Reads like a research paper with a paucity of dates and an abundance of acronyms. Read more
Published on December 31, 2012 by Capt Geo
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