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Fighting for Peace: Seven Critical Years in the Pentagon
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Caspar Weinberger was Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration from 1981-1987. He passed away in 2006.
Top Customer Reviews
It failed in this regard for two (perhaps personal) reasons. First, being particularly interested in Ronald Reagan, I was disappointed by the fact that so little attention was paid to interactions between Weinberger and the President. For example, scant mention was made of discussions, pro or con, with the president and his advisors. On the contrary, the impression was given that simply with Reagan's blessing, Weinberger, as Secretary of Defense, was more or less free to operate on his own recognizance. (This of course lends credence to the belief of many of Reagan's critics that he was not a hands-on manager, as was his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. In the case of Weinberger, at least, Reagan apparently set the course for the ship of state and relied upon his appointee to steer the ship to his intended goal.)
Secondly; perhaps it was necessary, as the author states, that each of the major events of Reagan's presidency be compartmentalized in a separate chapter and discussed in isolation, but by doing so the chapters tend to read more like top level executive summaries than as part of a broader on-going saga. Worst of all, for me at least, it wasn't clear that relatively small and discrete events, such as the invasion of Grenada, deserved as much attention as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), Reagan's efforts to stem the tide of Communism and bring down the Soviet Union, or even Iran-Contra.
All that said, however, this book is still quite interesting for a variety of reasons.Read more ›
What we do get is a nice overview of the military actions during the author's term as the Secretary of Defense, a good overview of some of the political issues and a recap of Iran - Contra from his point of view. The reviews of the military actions are at a high level and are very good at providing the reader with why the action was taken, the outcomes of the action, and the other factors that needed to be kept in mind politically. We get a good review of the Grenada invasion, the Lebanon peace keeping, the Libyan attacks and the Kuwait shipping protection from Iran. We also get his views on the nuclear arms deployment in Europe, the KAL 007 shoot down, SDI and Iran - Contra. The author even found time to pick on the Reagan administration's favorite whipping boy - Al Haig.
Overall the author does a good job. He provides a very readable and interesting book that is written with some warmth. He stays away from any criticism of his performance or the Reagan administration as a whole, but you expect that from a memoir. This book is a nice addition to your collection for anyone that is interested in the 80's or the Reagan administration. There are even a number of interesting facts and details about the Middle East that are still relevant today. You will enjoy each page of this book.