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An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror Hardcover – December 30, 2003

2.7 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Some observers see the global political landscape as a complex amalgam of divergent worldviews, shades of gray that usually move in harmony but sometimes collide with violent results. David Frum and Richard Perle, authors of An End to Evil think it's a great deal simpler than that: the United States is good, those who pose a threat, current or future, are evil and must be neutralized or destroyed. Frum, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush credited with coining the term "axis of evil," and Perle, a former assistant Secretary of Defense who was still serving on the Defense Policy Board at the time this book was published, advocate an aggressive, activist approach to stomping out terrorism both within America's borders and in other countries as well. Their plan, described with forceful and urgent language, calls for the United States to overthrow the government of Iran, abandon support of a Palestinian state, blockade North Korea, use strong-arm tactics with Syria and China, disregard much of Europe as allies, and sever ties with Saudi Arabia. Domestically, the authors say, several federal agencies need to be overhauled, a national ID card system needs to be put in place, and the government and its citizens need to realize the gravity of the terrorist threat and step up the effort, as the title indicates, to end evil. Frum and Perle place blame for American ineffectiveness in the fight against terrorism on some political targets one would expect (Congressional Democrats, Bill Clinton) but also point fingers at the present-day intelligence community and even the State Department. It's a broad-ranging political opinion book--one might even use the words "screed" or "manifesto." Perhaps because it tries to cover so much ground, the individually compelling arguments don't hold together as coherently as one might hope. Still, for those who believe that the threat of terrorism is immense and that not nearly enough is being done about it, Frum and Perle offer a stirring call to arms. --Charlie Williams

From Publishers Weekly

From one former and one present Bush staffer comes a highly charged domestic and foreign policy manifesto for dealing with the terrorist threat. In delivering their "manual for victory" for the war on terror, Frum (The Right Man) and Perle (a member of the Defense Policy Board) urge "a new commitment to security at home, a new audacity in our strategy abroad, and a new boldness in the advocacy of American ideals." In direct, often bulleted prose, the authors voice strong support for President Bush's current policies and initiatives, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for his policy of preemptive strikes where there is a perceived threat. They also push for a more vigilant "self-policed" America, the use of national ID cards, unwavering support for Israel, a hard line with Libya, Syria and the Saudis, and indifference toward European governments that stand in our way. The book's most compelling argument, however, is for the need to reform the bureaucracy that failed us on 9/11-this includes both the CIA and the FBI, as well as the need to better enforce existing immigration laws. Despite the authors' insider resumes, little here is groundbreaking. Many of their opinions and arguments are those debated daily in the media. The book is also highly partisan-former President Clinton is treated with contempt, described as "weak-willed" and "lacking the character" to deal properly with the budding threat posed by Osama bin Laden or with Saddam Hussein's expulsion of U.N. inspectors. Nevertheless, this is a comprehensive, no-nonsense primer on the conservative approach to handling the terrorist threat.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400061946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400061945
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,284,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I personally do not agree with "necons" like Perle. I think that their talk of democracy in the Middle East is an admirable goal, but when you really look at their writings and silence on particular issues, you're left with nothing more than a desire to control the Middle East...just in a more aggressive, proactive way.

Two things that immediately jumped out at me from this book:

(1) No index. I'm still baffled by this. I've never come across a book on politics/foreign policy that doesn't have an index. Why isn't there an index here? Its absence may not mean anything, but it is baffling nevertheless.

(2) Next to no cited sources. This is probably a result of the fact that this book is a polemic if it's anything. Still, you'd think the authors would want to put as much scholarly weight behind this book as possible.

Beyond that, this book does not represent the type of strong thinking I've seen from both authors in other forms. I disagree with a lot of what they've said, but before this book I would have called each intellectual/policy heavyweights. This book seems like they weren't even trying. It seems almost immature at times. If I had read this book without seeing the authors names, I would have been shocked to find out it was Perle and Frum.

Finally, the main reason for not liking this book is that the authors are suggesting the type of foreign policy that ultimately makes this country weaker. Iraq has demonstrated the limits of American power and that we do need help with some of our goals. Perle and Frum appear to be thumbing their noses at the world here. They come across as being very arrogant. It is this type of attitude that makes others not want to help us, which makes our job much harder than it should be.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, we haven't heard much lately (as of March 1, 2006) from these two bellicose neocons, have we? I read this book when it first came out, but events of the past few days (e.g. the initiation of categorical civil war in Iraq; the renunciation, abridgement, or disavowal of Neoconservatism by its very founders and leaders) has lead me to think back on the time I wasted reading this glorified pamphlet.

Beyond their own inadequacy-driven ideology, the authors obviously have no idea what they are talking about. For instance, they cite as their gauge of public opinion in the Islamic world the antiquated idiom of "the coffee-houses of Damascus and Cairo"; as if they were writing in 1938 rather than the internet-wired beginning of the 21st century. But no, it couldn't be 1938, because according to Pearle and Frum, history in the Middle east begins in 1979, with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the taking of American hostages by Islamic radicals of that country. After reading the book I looked back through it for confirmation of this startling impression, and was able to find no specific mention of any event in the entire region predating that year. What about the CIA's overthrow of the democratically-elected Mossadeq government in Iran in 1952, and their installation of a medieval monarchy in its place? - apparently not worth mentioning; - couldn't possibly have had any bearing on Iranian attitudes and motives as they disposed of their Shah and lashed out at his American sugar-daddies. Similarly, while the authors do note the existence of the state of Israel, they fail to explore any aspect of its controversial establishment and expansion.

Apart from the book's countless factual errors, outright lies, and generally nefarious motives, this willful dismissal of crucial history stands as the most compelling reason to stay away from this intrinsically worthless book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idiocy of this book is epic. I'm sorry I have to give it even 1 star.
The authors' notions of good and evil are laughable and simplistic. Their logic is basically: "Neocons and Capitalists GOOD, Islamists BAD". "Drones GOOD, radical IMAMS bad" "Plundering nations in the guise of NATION BUILDING GOOD, Sharia law BAD". Their understanding of the islamists behavior stops with the sweeping statement "they are evil". The result of this is that this fascist tome is a formula for endless war.

But while the attack on the Twin Towers was evil, it was not random. We don't see the islamists attacking Sweden or Papua New Guinea do we? I wonder why. Could it be that the islamists are responding to American aggression in the first place? An intrusion of American military might into the Islamic world? These fumbling authors are way too narcissistic to ever figure it out. I hope you will.
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Format: Hardcover
In this fascinating book, political thinkers David Frum (former special assistant to President George W. Bush) and Richard Perle (former assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan and chairman of the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush) turn their thoughts towards the American war on terrorism. The book begins with a spirited defense of the American invasion of Iraq, and then moves on to the war on terror as a whole. The book looks at the world, with special attention focused on the various nations’ motives and actions with regards to Muslim fundamentalism, and what America should do to bring the war to a successful conclusion.

Let’s make no bones about it; this is a book about war, about good guys and bad guys, about the application of force, and remaking the world. Overall, I found the authors’ arguments to be very black-and-white, but quite well thought out. They look at the problem of terrorism as a whole, examining where it is in America’s best interests to use military force, and where to use economic aid and pressure to bring about better conditions for the people of the world. Indeed, I strongly suspect that the Bush Administration is listening to such people as Messrs. Frum and Perle, which means that, agree or disagree, you would do well to read this book to see what strategy they are following. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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