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Bush's Warsby Terry H Anderson
Synopses & Reviews
From journalistic accounts like Fiasco and Imperial Life in the Emerald City to insider memoirs like Jawbreaker and Three Cups of Tea , the books about America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could fill a library. But each explores a narrow slice of a whole: two wars launched by a single president as part of a single foreign policy. Now noted historian Terry H. Anderson examines them together, in a single comprehensive overview.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush told advisor Karl Rove, "I am here for a reason, and this is how we're going to be judged." Anderson provides this judgment in this sweeping, authoritative account of Bush's War on Terror and his twin interventions. He begins with historical surveys of Iraq and Afghanistan known respectively as "the improbable country" and "the graveyard of empires," and he examines U.S. policies toward those and other nations in the Middle East from the 1970s to 2000s.
Then Anderson focuses on the Bush Administration, carrying us through such events as the terrorist's attacks of 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and the siege of Tora Bora, the "Axis of Evil" speech, the invasion of Iraq and capture of Baghdad, and the eruption of insurgency in Iraq. He ranges from RPGs slamming into Abrams tanks to cabinet meetings, vividly portraying both soldiers in the field and such policymakers as Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice. Anderson describes the counter-insurgency strategy embodied by the "surge" in Iraq, and the simultaneous revival of the Taliban. He concludes with an assessment of the prosecution of the wars in the first years of Barack Obama's presidency.
Carefully researched and briskly narrated, Bush's Wars provides the single-volume, balanced history that we have been waiting for.
"Anderson (The United States, Great Britain and the Cold War, 1944 — 1947), a professor of history at Texas A&M University, draws primarily upon published, secondary sources to tell what he calls the 'first history of Bush's Wars' that turns out a familiar account of an 'unreflective' and unseasoned president, an administration obsessed with Saddam Hussein promoting a reckless war with Iraq, bungling reconstruction, and sitting back helplessly as Iraq disintegrates into insurgency and sectarian war. Anderson credits the 2007 surge with reducing violence in Iraq, but remains skeptical about the future. While he acknowledges that his examination of Bush's wars might be 'premature,' he betrays little caution in concluding that war with Iraq will likely be blamed for any future 'decline of American economic and diplomatic influence.' Moreover, Anderson risks overstating his case with claims such as that Bush was unique in eschewing 'firm intelligence and analysis' when conducting foreign policy. Other assertions go unchecked — it's not true that recession was in 'full swing' during the 1992 presidential campaign — and readers won't find much help in the cursory 'Notes.' Anderson's concise history of Bush's wars might be the first, but it won't be the last word. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Terry H. Anderson is Professor of History at Texas A&M University. A Vietnam veteran, he has taught in Malaysia and Japan, and was a Fulbright professor in China and the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History at University College, Dublin. His is the author of numerous articles on the 1960s and the Vietnam War, co-author of A Flying Tiger's Diary, and author of The United States, Great Britain and the Cold War, 1944-1947; The Movement and the Sixties; The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action; and numerous editions of The Sixties.
Table of Contents
Introduction East: The Improbable Country and the Graveyard of Empires
Introduction West: The United States, Saddam, and al Qaeda, 1970s-2000
Chapter One: Bush, bin Laden, and the Pinnacle of World Sympathy
Chapter Two: Rush To War
Chapter Three: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Chapter Four: Bush's War
Concluding Remarks and Legacies
What Our Readers Are Saying
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