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The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power Paperback – January 12, 2010
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“Dazzling and mordantly hilarious….The product of extraordinarily diligent reporting….A Woodwardian trove of inside dope….Devastatingly effective.”
—The New York Times
“The Inheritance reaffirms Thomas Jefferson's belief that for the American democracy to work there must be an informed citizenry. That means great reporting by great reporters is always required. David Sanger's book epitomizes the requirement. He goes through the world of challenges and opportunities that lie dead as well as ahead for the United States globally. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and China are on the list. So are matters nuclear and economic, among others. Sanger's telling is full of behind-the-door stories that read like Alan Furst spy novels. This is a superior work of journalism.”
—Jim Lehrer, executive editior and anchor, The NewsHour
—Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times
—Edward Luce, Financial Times
“One of the most comprehensive—and harrowing—accounts of American foreign policy ever written….Sanger’s book might be the best transition document the new president and his advisers—and the rest of the U.S.—can read.”
—Richard Pious, author of The President, Congress and the Constitution and The War on Terrorism and the Rule of Law
“Sanger’s behind-the-scenes account of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy is laced with scoops and secret conversations about a world spinning out of America’s control....Over to you, Mr. President.”
—Romesh Ratnesar, Time
“Prescient, relevant—and great reading for people who want to have insomnia.”
—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
“An in-depth look…at where America stands in the world, why in-dpeth reporting by the Fourt Estate keeps government honest, and how the Obama Administration faces global challenges not of its own making.”
—Mike Smith, The Huffington Post
“A sobering, often chilling account.”
—Brian MacArthur, The Telegraph
“One of the finest journalists of our time, David Sanger tells the surprising stories of crucial, heretofore-hidden events in Washington and around the globe that have culminated in the unprecedented world crisis that now faces us. For the incoming President and the rest of us, Sanger's important book provides both understanding and hope. The Inheritance should be essential reading. "
“Somehow, David Sanger has broken through the secrecy and the government gobbledygook to tell us how we got to where we are and the choices this leaves for the next administration. He reveals inside stuff we have never heard in detail that will surprise and sometimes shock, yet he has framed it all in language the specialist will appreciate and the layman can understand. One of the most important books of the year.”
—Bob Schieffer, chief Washington correspondent, CBS News
“A brilliant tour d’horizon of world trouble spots, world crises and world-class challenges….This volume has the title of a policy book but the air of a non-fiction page-turner, in the spirit and example of David Halberstam….Put the remote and the BlackBerry away, Mr. President, and start reading.”
—David Shribman, Toronto Globe and Mail
About the Author
DAVID E. SANGER is the chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times. In twenty-six years at the Times, he has been a member of two teams that won the Pulitzer Prize and has received numerous awards for investigative, national security, and White House reporting. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons.
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A good book!
Especially loved Confront and Conceal.
He has a way of examining, understanding and presenting the material for your own way that makes critical analysis possible with complex matters, as with Stuxnet: A hugely-complex piece of malware that he explains in great detail.
David, if you're reading this. Thanks for your work!
There is no need to say that the service from Amazon was perfect and I have received the book in France in less time than it would have taken to have a French version available (without meaning that I wold have preferred to read the translation).
Curiously, Palestine receives hardly any attention. The relationship between Israel and Palestine touches the political life of all Moslem countries of the Middle East. Polls indicate that the Palestine situation constitutes a major issue for most people in the area. Bin Laden gives it a major place in virtually all his attacks on the West. Sanger's silence on the issue in this book may indicate that he is among those who believe that the status quo is all that can be hoped for, with any solution of all the connected areas of dispute impossible to attain. Possibly he feels that the status quo is ultimately beneficial to Israel. But if he holds these views, which merit argument, many of his other suggestions with regard to Iran, Pakistan Afghanistan and the Middle East in general would require modification. But none is suggested.
President Obama's overall international policies seem at this stage to be similar in many respects to Sanger's recommendations. But unlike Sanger, Obama has emphasized the worldwide importance of achieving a mutual accommodation of interests between Israel and the Palestinians. His recent speech, a remarkable turn-around from the pronouncements of Bush, has indicated the belief that a new approach, despite immense domestic and regional complexities involved, must be made.
There is extreme frustration with Bush's choice to invade Iraq, and Bush's lack of strategy - the implication being that he acceded to everything his Sec of State for Defence asked for - and his loyalty to his team even when they were visibly failing. In so far as I can see a recommendation that Sanger puts forward - and in fairness, this is a report of what happened, not a policy proposal - he seems to fault the US for choosing the wrong targets and then being insufficiently ready to pre-empt (ie. Bomb) the real proliferators - Iran, Korea, Pakistan.
I'm not sure that his blanket criticism is entirely warranted. Given that most of the worlds intelligence agencies believed that Sadam has weapons of mass destruction, its not clear that anyone advised against the Iraq invasion. It appears to me that up until the resistance to the invasion became widespread, that US military power had a cautionary effect on Iran - though not Korea- so it seems to me that the inability - perhaps unwillingness - of US commanders to pacify Iraq post-invasion was the key strategic mistake made in the war on Terror. By allowing the insurgency to destroy US morale, it emboldened Iran.
The country I knew least about before reading this book was Pakistan, its nuclear arsenal and its unstable political environment are described here. It is estimated to have 100 nuclear bombs and the state of control over these devices leaves the US with nightmares. It is truly hard to believe that the county is as unstable and uncivilised as described in the book.
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The book would have been much better without the blame Bush, attack Bush tone and if written with an...Read more