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Bush at War Paperback – Bargain Price, June 30, 2003
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The Amazon Book Review
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Woodward's analysis of President Bush's leadership style is especially fascinating. A self-described "gut player" who relies heavily on instinct, Bush comes across as a man of action continually pressing his cabinet for concrete results. The revelation that the president developed and publicly stated the so-called Bush Doctrine--the policy that the U.S. would not only go after terrorists everywhere but also those governments or groups which harbor them--without first consulting Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is particularly telling. Other principals are examined with equal scrutiny. Though National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice emerges as soft-spoken and even tentative during group meetings, it becomes clear that Bush is dependent on her for candid advice as well as for conveying his thoughts to his cabinet. The relationship between Powell and Rumsfeld (and to a lesser degree Powell and Cheney) is often strained, exposing their differences regarding how to deal with Iraq and whether coalition building or unilateralism is most appropriate. Woodward also describes how CIA director George Tenet prepared a paramilitary team to infiltrate Afghanistan to set the groundwork for invasion, and how this ushered in a new era of cooperation between the defense department and the CIA. A worthwhile and often enlightening read, this is a revealing and informative first draft of the Bush legacy. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is focused on the period from just before 9-11-01 to prior to the Bush administration's going to war in Iraq, but after the Congress gave the Bush administration the authority to unilaterally do what it felt was required there. The book ends with Bush awaiting UN enforcement of the many Iraq-related resolutions. This is 90% focused on Afghanistan, NOT IRAQ.
Richard Clarke's highly critical book on Bush and his alleged lack of attention to terrorism prior to 9/11 came out while I was reading this book Surprisingly enough, Clarke is not mentioned at all in the Bush at War book in spite of his being the head of the Counter-Terrorism office in the White House.
The first quarter of "Bush at War" did a nice job of taking me back to the emotional shock of the Trade Tower attacks and the virtually universal feeling in America of patriotism and joining together. The remainder of the story describes in repetitive detail the frequent meetings among the White House principals, (with and without Bush) regarding what kind of response was appropriate, what was achievable and when could it be done. Logistically they found it difficult to reopen old intelligence contacts in Afghanistan and get men and material over there. I was surprised out how difficult the logistics are in fighting a war all the way around the world.Read more ›
Of interest to those who seek authenticity, this book will make you feel like a fly on the wall. According to Woodward, Bush at War includes: "contemporaneous notes taken during more than 50 National Security Council and other meeting where the most important decisions were discussed and made." Additionally, Woodward states that he "interviewed more than 100 people involved in the decision making and execution of the war [in Afghanistan], including President Bush" (4 hours of interviews), "key war cabinet members, the White House staff, and officials serving at various levels of the Defense and State Departments and the CIA." Needless to say, a great deal of investigative effort was put into this book, which can be said of all Mr. Woodward's books.
I read Bush at War about a year-and-a-half ago, and after much time and reflection, I am amazed at the amount of access to the Administration that Woodward was given. I found this to be rather astonishing, as it was almost certainly an unprecedented move by a world leader in terms of permitting the scope and freedom that Woodward enjoyed.Read more ›
I was very pleased with Woodward's objective approach. He didn't take a knee-jerk liberal or conservative bent--he just told the story. Obviously, his view of Rumsfeld may be a bit skewed because of limited access and yet pays him the respect he is due.
I particularly enjoy Woodward's deep bios of the main characters. I learned information about each member of the cabinet and I feel better informed for having read the book.
The biggest surprise of this book: the role of Condi Rice. Bob made it obviously clear how large a role she plays in this administration. I left feeling that she could one day run the country and had a keen sense of responsibility, leadership, and faith.
The only flaw is the subtle insistence that Bush is in over his heels. I think every writer is tempted to buy into the conservatives-must-be-dumb theory. For the most part, he gives Bush enormous credit and lets the American people understand that he is a man on a mission.
This is an extremely enlightning book and gives a real insider's account. Buy it and put it on your nightstand.
Of all of America's flies on the wall, Bob Woodward may be our most prolific. The dust jacket of my copy of "Bush At War" informs me that Woodward has authored or co-authored no less than nine nationally best selling books, all offering an inside look at some aspect of America. The dust jacket also tells me that Woodward has picked up steam of late, writing the majority of his books in the last 10 years. In "Bush At War," the strain from this increase in pace is showing.
The most important part of any of Woodward's books is the access engendered by his "uber-insider" status. Whenever you choose to read Woodward you can be sure the inner workings behind the headlines will be made completely clear to you. It is precisely this fact that makes "Bush At War" a worthwhile read, as we all know what happened on September 11, 2001, but few of us know what occurred behind the scenes in the months that followed.
The facts are thus: on 9/11 2001 terrorist attacks perpetrated against the United States by elements of the al Queda terrorist network sparked a war in Afghanistan that eventually toppled the Taliban regime and scattered al Queda's troops and operations. Surprisingly, most Americans know little else about these events. How did the United States mobilize for war against Afghanistan (and so quickly)? What steps were necessary to thoroughly infiltrate a country that had withstood powerful invaders in the past? How did the U.S. quickly accumulate allies in a hostile region of the world? How did the Bush administration create its national message for the new War on Terrorism? Was the war in Afghanistan really as quick and easy as it seemed?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
'Bush at War' describes the opening parts of the Bush presidency, specifically the events surrounding September 11, and the reactions and steps taken by the administration... Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. Lozano
I admit I've read several of these books on Bush by Mr. Woodward. This one might have mentioned the word "oil" maybe twice. Read morePublished 11 months ago by JTR
...Woodward documented the days/weeks/months following the September 11th attacks and how the White House handled the situation in a very even handed and exposed way. Read morePublished 17 months ago by William H. Folk II
Woodward seems to think highly of all those that give him accessPublished 18 months ago by Jack Bugg
(This review was written in December 2014, 13 years after 9/11.)
There are many good editorial and customer reviews provided here, so I will try not to repeat that... Read more