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A Time of Our Choosing: America's War in Iraq Hardcover – November 6, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Not since Vietnam have journalists played a more important role in an engagement of arms than in the most recent war in Iraq. So even as soldiers and Iraqis continue to die in the uneasy aftermath, we have this surprisingly cogent and balanced narrative based on a wide range of national and international reporting and analysis, embedded or otherwise, by New York Times reporters. Veteran Times correspondent Purdum, synthesizing the work of numerous colleagues, ably documents the clash of combatants, the political machinations that preceded the stunning victory and the sobering human and material costs, all in the fast-moving, accessible style of a thoughtful techno-thriller. Alternating smoothly among far-flung military units, Washington, European capitals, the streets of Baghdad and America's front porches, Purdum provides far more detail and perspective than anyone could have absorbed at the time from their newspapers and televisions. Most memorable are the many stories of individual soldiers and civilians in extremis and in their own words, but the book's greatest contribution is showing how ideas beget policies that lead to war, in this case the ideas and policy known as the Bush Doctrine, best captured by an army colonel, echoing Bush's own words, after the first ground raid into Baghdad: "This shows we can go anywhere... at a time of our choosing." With the fates of Saddam, bin Laden and the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan still uncertain, Purdum wrapped this compelling work in August, but not before asking tough questions about what "victory" means. 23 photos, 8 maps not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Purdum, a correspondent in the New York Times' Washington bureau (and the husband of former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers), shares credit with the dozens of Times staffers on whose work the book is based. He describes this timely chronicle of the recent Iraq war as "a synthesis of the paper's comprehensive reportage." The story is laid out with great attention to time lines, from the Gulf War of 1991, to the proclamation of the "Bush Doctrine," to the UN resolutions and the ultimate failure of diplomacy there, and finally to the onset and prosecution of the war itself. In addition to many familiar details, readers get a few looks behind the scenes, such as an amusing anecdote of President Bush at Camp David, or during the intensity of the war's first night, his decision to give the go-ahead to run the famous "decapitation" strike based on the CIA's claim to know Saddam's whereabouts. In all, a professional job in getting the whole story between covers before history begins refining the story. Allen Weakland
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; First Edition edition (November 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805075623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805075625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,709,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Catherwood on December 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Iraq coverage of the New York Times (repeated for us in Europe in the International Herald Tribune) was not just good - it was magnificent. Now all of it is in one volume - and if you did not keep your daily press cuttings of their daily coverage, here is the book that enables you to be as transfixed by their coverage as those of us were who read their reports daily. Christmas is upon us - get this book for your friends to see what our troops were up to in Iraq. Christopher Catherwood, author of CHRISTIANS MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE (Zondervan 2003) and the forthcoming CHURCHILL'S FOLLY: HOW WINSTON CHURCHILL CREATED IRAQ WHICH LED TO SADDAM HUSSEIN (Caroll and Graf, 2004)
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Guild on February 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent documentation of the events that were carried out by terrorists culminating in the 9/11 Attack on America.

Details are given of all the efforts made by America to encourage the UN and all the major countries to take action to put an end to terrorism.

It's clear, by reviewing events,almost on a daily basis,that if terrorism was to be defeated,America would get little support or action from the UN or Europe.It shows that it was not America's decision to "go it alone",as so ofen portrayed by the media and many anti-American countries.In fact, America was not only "stiffed" ,but continually criticized for every effort made to end terrorism.Most of Europe conducted a "War over Iraq" while America conducted "war on Terrorism".

The book covers events up to the middle of 2003. Since that time there has been little if anything done by most of these countries that should have joined in fighting terrorism.The fact is that they have turned up their diatribe against America to cancel free elections in Iraq,because they couldn't be carried out.The fact that they were successful on Jan 31,2005,seems to be a great disappointment to the naysayers,and certainly not something to be jubilant about.Since the election,they have been continuing their prediction of doom and gloom.

If you really want to see what America's true intentions are, this book is the place to find the statements actually made, rather than listening to the commentaries made by so many in the media.

If you have bought into the nonsense that America is the villain and brought the War on Terror on itself,you could do yourself a favor and read this book and get the facts.
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