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Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 3, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, February 3, 2009
$22.14 $2.48

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Editorial Reviews


Richard Clarke, former White House national security official and author of Against All Enemies
“In Hide and Seek, Charles Duelfer explains what went on inside two governments, the U.S. and Iraq, over a decade. He details how misunderstandings become a tragedy. Only Duelfer knew and met with the senior officials in both governments. This is the inside story.”

Former Senator and co-Chair of the WMD Commission, Chuck Robb
“No American understood the Saddam Regime better than Charles Duelfer. In Hide and Seek, based on his personal experiences, he identifies the tragic miscalculations on both sides stemming from avoidable ignorance. Duelfer has a keen sense of history and he pulls no punches. For policy makers and analysts on Iraq, Iran and North Korea, Hide and Seek is destined to become the definitive reference. For the rest of us, it is a fascinating educational experience—and a whale of a good read!”

Governor Bill Richardson, former US Ambassador to the UN
“Duelfer spells out how we got into the tragedy of Iraq. He was there—in Baghdad, CIA, State Department, the White House, and the United Nations. Iraq did not need to be this bad. Read this and learn what to avoid in the future.”

Kirkus, December 15, 2008
“One of the few senior-level officials who dealt with Saddam Hussein’s government on a regular basis before the U.S.-led invasion relates his experiences as a former weapons inspector and WMD hunter…. Duelfer ably sketches the frustrating and difficult history of U.S.-Iraqi relations and his part in them…. It’s the author’s on-the-ground experiences that make this book so engaging, and at times chilling. Shortly after the invasion, one Iraqi security official told him bluntly, ‘You know, to rule Iraq, you will have to become Saddam.’ That comment, Duelfer writes, would echo in his mind for a very long time. A knowledgeable look at Iraq from a unique perspective."

Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009
“Duelfer is a close observer of events that have shaped U.S. foreign policy in the last two decades, and, as such, his insights and descriptions are invaluable…. His chapter on the interrogation of Hussein by FBI agent George Piro is the stuff of psychological drama. If someone isn’t working on a screenplay, they should.”

About the Author

Charles Duelfer served as the deputy chairman of the United Nations weapons inspection organization (the UN Special Commission on Iraq—UNSCOM) from 1993 to 2000. He was also the leader of the Iraq Survey Group, which was the CIA-led team charged with the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. His name is commonly given to the final CIA report of the Iraq Survey Group, the Duelfer Report. He lives near Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586485571
  • ASIN: B002DYJKL6
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had the opportunity to brief Mr. Duelfer in Iraq a couple of times and hear him speak on a daily basis. So I am very familiar with him, even if I was relatively junior. Nonetheless, it is very clear that Duelfer is as intelligent they come.

While it must be pointed out that he is selling a book here, he is certainly the foremost of experts on the topic of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No one else has spent as much time on the ground and knows Iraq backwards and forwards like he does. Duelfer knows all of the major players in Iraq. While I might disagree with some of the things he has to say, he has certainly earned the right to provide this firsthand account which should be considered an important primary document for future historians.

I would say his writing--from what I've read so far--is fairly balanced. However, it is EXTREMELY important to note that he is very nuanced. For those who are cynical, you could say Duelfer knows how to "play the center." Indeed, when he presented his findings from the Iraq Survey Group to Congress, there was ample fodder for those in both parties to either defend or attack the Bush Administration's policies. If you have inclinations that are significantly right or left of center, you should keep this in mind.

At the end of the day, this is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in Iraq or the use of intelligence to support decision-making at the highest levels of the US Government. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
As someone who is very familiar with the pre- and post-war efforts in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, I would say that if one is interested in the WMD issue that underpinned the US Government's decision to invade Iraq and curious to understand this issue in-depth enough to draw your own conclusions then Duelfer's book is a must read.

First of all, the book reads like a novel, thanks to Duelfer's anecdotal approach complemented by his typical and almost satirical dry humor. Secondly, I think that the book provides a unique optic for not only gaining a better appreciation of Duelfer's 2004 WMD report but also for providing the context that will allow one to critically discern the chaff from reality in the barrage of media sound bytes on what was and wasn't found, concluded, or done in the search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

I know Duelfer. He's an adrenaline but not a glamour junkie. He's not the kind who is looking for a stage or a story. And, I believe that the motivation for his writing of this book, after he had already published his findings in his comprehensive 2004 report, is because he felt that the public's conclusions drawn from the report were not fully informed. He wanted a last shot in telling the story through his own eyes so maybe people could see the same data through a different lens. Maybe it would or would not make a difference but I think it provided him the platform for writing the epilogue to this long saga--a saga to which he had devoted a good part of his career as a civil servant.

What I found to be the most enlightening "lesson learned" from this book is that the "devil is in the details.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. It is a honor to have been there to protect Mr. Duelfer. Every time I picked up this book it took right back to Baghdad as if I was back on the team transporting and protecting this great man again. I can say from personal experince that every detail in this book is true. And just a line or two to Mr. Duelfer. Thank you for this book. It means alot to me that you want the world to know about myself and my two fallen brothers Clint and Don . If you read this book and at the end of it you still dont agree with the war I hope you will atlest understand that the many soldiers who have been KIA and one that are critily wounded like myself are just normal every day people just like you. And they should not be put down and discriminatied against because of what their goverment sent them to do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hide and Seek is a well written account of the search for Chemical Weapons in Iraq before and after the war. Duelfer was a senior member of the UN driven Unscom effort and led the US based ISG effort after the war. In short he was perfectly placed to see in detail what was going on. Further he writes clearly and insightfully. If you want to understand how Powel could be so wrong on Chemical Wespons in his UN speech then read this book.

However I also want to note that my kindle edition is abysmally edited. It seems like every other screen has a typo or missing punctuation. I can figure out pretty quickly that Militar is really supposed to be Military. Other errors and missing "periods" are harder to decipher. This is especially true when the next sentence starts with a proper noun.

Presumably this is not a problem with the physical copy. This might be a book you should get from a bookstore.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Duelfer seems to have been in a unique position to teach us about Iraq. His approach is heavily weighted towards laying out the facts and gently guiding you to some important (and inescapable) conclusions. I suspect he has strong opinions but above all he makes a compelling case for always gathering more information to test opinions and not just confirm them. In every book there is an opportunity to selects facts which support your hypotheses. If Mr. Duelfer has engaged in such tactics, I was not able to detect it. Before reading this book I was quite convinced that the whole Iraq effort was simply a bad idea that inevitably led to a bad outcome. This was based entirely on news media accounts. This book does not so much contradict the news and analysis but rather fills in the gaps and demonstrates how news reports can be skewed.

With all the facts presented here, the book could have been dry or didactic. I found it to be neither. I found it to be so compelling at times, I could not put it down. The section on Saddam's final days alone are well worth the cover price. There are also sprinkled throughout, telling details which gave me opportunities to imagine what things must have been like. I know my imagination is no substitute for experience but I was glad for the chance to use it. In my youth, I used to believe there was no intersection between books that teach and books that entertain. I am very pleased to again find a book which dispels that notion.
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