Bush At War

Book Review



Bush At War


Bob Woodward


Simon and Schuster,  New York, NY



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

June, 2003



Bush At War is the story of the Bush presidency after the terror attacks of September 11th as told by Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.

Bush At WarThis book really tries to get to the heart of the story. If Woodward put any more information in this story, I think it would have had to been classified. Taken from actual recordings of meetings, personal notes, and interviews with the  President and Cabinet level officials, Bush at War tells about the decision  making process in the first hectic days after the attacks. Woodward shows the extreme pressure each member of Bush's team was under and how they helped to  construct the United States' response to the attacks.

As history marched on, more concrete measures needed to be taken, including  the destabilization of the Taliban in Afghanistan. A large portion of the book demonstrates the top level negotiations that occurred between the United States government and the factions of the Northern Alliance, as well as with the foreign governments that either helped or hindered the plan. Woodward clearly shows the connection between George Bush's leadership and the implementation of foreign policy to defeat the enemies of the nation.

A long epilogue at the end also shows how the United States began the formulation  of a plan to topple the despotic Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and why. In  keeping with the focus of the rest of the book, the author tells each cabinet  level official's view and contribution to the overall strategy. This section  covers the period between the end of major hostilities in Afghanistan and the start of the campaign in Iraq.

For those that want a glimpse at how the Executive Branch of the Federal Government  works in the United States, this is one great example. In addition to giving a blow-by-blow historical timeline, the book also provides an intimate look  at the personalities of well-known figures such as Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, and Condoleezza Rice. Bob Woodward admits in the introduction  that a few parts of the story may later prove to be historically inaccurate. However, it is obvious that he has gone to great lengths to tie all of the interviews,  notes, and recollections out and present them in a manner that captures the reader's attention, yet provides an unbiased view of these historic events.

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