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Obama's Wars Hardcover – September 27, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Woodward's writing has the poet's touch. It is elegant, straightforward, and of such compelling interest that this book like many others he has written, is a page turner. You start it, and you just keep going until you are finished.
First we must discuss his sources and methods. This author doesn't publish unless he has confirmation of what he is being told by an additional 3rd party. His interviews are recorded, transcribed and then checked for errors. He sometimes revisits the same interviewee 4 or 5 times. He works with notes, documents and recollections.
Although a person being interviewed may request that it be background only, once Woodward gets the same story from another independent source, the story is no longer background. Many people have talked to Woodward on the basis of background in an effort to remain anonymous, and control him. It just doesn't remain that way. You are not going to fool this man.
When you read Obama's Wars, you realize that you can't obtain this much great information if you read a year's worth of the New York Times. You are getting the real deal here, and you don't get it anywhere else. Let me illustrate:
* When meeting President Bush's intelligence officer and hearing what he had to say prior to the election, then Senator Obama responds that he was worried about losing this election, now he's worried about winning the election with the information he is being told.Read more ›
Reading this book is quite educational. Woodward incorporates many characters into this book, including some that are probably unknown to those who don't regularly follow the news. Prior to reading this book I wasn't aware of the extent of Biden's influence, and I didn't fully understand the gravity of the Mumbai bombings or exactly how important Pakistan is to the war on terror. This book gave me a much better understanding of both the similarities and differences between al Qaeda and the Taliban, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and between Karzai and Zardari.
For those who have read recent Woodward best-sellers such as "State of Denial" or "The War Within," the feel of this book will be familiar. His writing style is far from elegant prose. Some passages are borderline robotic; this is often due to directly paraphrasing or selectively quoting sources.
Woodward successfully avoids any partisan slant, despite what some other reviewers have implied. The amount of information Woodward has here is amazing.Read more ›
For those wondering if "Obamas Wars" covers both Iraq and Afghanistan, I would opine that it does not. Obama arguably inherited a war and a drawdown when he took office. As I read the book, I felt that the use of "wars" plural referred to the ongoing Afghanistan conflict, the "war" within the White House over what policy to back, the "war" within the Department of Defense over what military options to exercise, the "war" between US foreign policy and domestic political concerns as the latter seemed more important to Democrats while Republicans preferred to emphasize the former, and the "war" - percieved or not - between military and civilian authorities, in this case a President who did not feel as if his wishes were being carried out to the letter. The book ends in July 2010 around the time when Woodward interviewed President Obama.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the years since his reporting on Watergate, Bob Woodward has become known as a careful reporter who manages to get the inside story on the workings of the highest level of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael J. Edelman
I read this book as part of my Army War College studies and highly recommend it. a good read!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer