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Enquiring Minds Want To Know,
This review is from: Obama's Wars (Hardcover)
Woodward's latest book presents a treasure trove of information about a young presidency still in progress. Yes, it's too early for a comprehensive history or evaluation of the Obama administration, and that's not what this book purports to be. The focus of this book is the first 18 months, beginning with many of the discussions that took place while Obama was President-elect. As the title suggests, this book covers the decisions behind the war in Afghanistan and the related al Qaeda and Taliban activity into Pakistan. A September 22, 2010 Washington Post article also suggested another meaning for "war" in this book's title is the conflict among the president's national security team. Woodward has done his homework, and the results are marvelous.
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. As time goes by we will have a much more complete picture of what is currently happening, but for a present-day look at the Obama administration, this book would be very hard to beat. A page-turner!