All In: The Education of General David Petraeus

All In: The Education of General David Petraeus

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by Paula Broadwell, Vernon Loeb
     
 

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General David Petraeus is the most transformative leader the American military has seen since the generation of Marshall. In the New York Times bestseller All In, military expert Paula Broadwell examines Petraeus's career, his intellectual development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military.

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Overview

General David Petraeus is the most transformative leader the American military has seen since the generation of Marshall. In the New York Times bestseller All In, military expert Paula Broadwell examines Petraeus's career, his intellectual development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military.

Afforded extensive access by General Petraeus, his mentors, his subordinates, and his longtime friends, Broadwell reported on the front lines of fighting and at the strategic command in Afghanistan to chronicle the experiences of this American general as they were brought to bear in the terrible crucible of war. All In draws on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Petraeus and his top officers and soldiers to tell the inside story of this commander's development and leadership in war.

When Petraeus assumed command in Afghanistan in July 2010, the conflict looked as bleak as at any moment in America's nine years on the ground there. Petraeus's defining idea—counterinsurgency—was immediate put to its most difficult test: the hard lessons learned during the surge in Iraq were to be applied in a radically different theater. All In examines the impact in Afghanistan of new counterinsurgency as well as counterterrorism strategies through the commands of several Petraeus protégés.

Broadwell examines his evolution as a solider from his education at West Point in the wake of Vietnam to his earlier service in Central America, Haiti, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Iraq. All In also documents the general's role in the war in Washington, going behind the scenes of negotiations during policy reviews of the war in Afghanistan in Congress, the Pentagon, and the White House.

Broadwell ultimately appraises Petraeus's impact on the entire U.S. military: Thanks to this man's influence, the military is better prepared to fight using a comprehensive blend of civil-military activities. As America surveys a decade of untraditional warfare, this much is clear: The career of General David Petraeus profoundly shaped our military and left an indelible mark on its rising leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is an authoritative and engrossing look at General David Petraeus—now director of the CIA—, his impact on the Army (particularly in terms of counterinsurgency tactics), and his command of the NATO and U.S. forces during the surge in Afghanistan, including accounts from his battalion commanders and others. Broadwell gives what Petraeus himself might term a "granular understanding" of the general, detailing his life, motivations, mentors, education, postings, and command style in an engaging manner, only slightly marred by the copious use of acronyms (though the book does feature a three-page guide to the latter). Broadwell, a West Point graduate, veteran, and counterterrorism policy expert, first met Petraeus in 2006 as a graduate student and later conducted a case study in Petraeus' leadership which concurrently became a thesis for her University of London Ph.D. in public policy and this book. She had unique access to Petraeus, his staff and his colleagues, and it shows in the details—from his father's exhortations to focus on "Results, boy!," to the informal, handwritten note of appreciation Petraeus received from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The book veers from biography to military history to counterinsurgency manual, and though Broadwell fails to sufficiently explore criticisms of Petraeus, the back-and-forth in topic and theme ultimately render a fuller context within which readers might understand the general and his remarkable impact. (Jan.)
ABC News
[Gen. Jack] Galvin said in an interview with Broadwell, ‘live up to it all with the highest standards of integrity. You become part of a legend.’ All In fits neatly into that.
The Wall Street Journal
All In provide[s] . . . a valuable perspective on how Gen. Petraeus—the most successful U.S. general of his generation—approached the war in Afghanistan and other crucial junctures in his care. . . . [Broadwell's] account is dead-bang accurate. It is, in fact, probably the best depiction yet of Gen. Petraeus's management style. . . . Even those most familiar with Gen. Petraeus will learn something new here.
Houston Chronicle
Paula Broadwell offers a fascinating account . . . present[ing] a work that is at once a partial biography, a study in his particular brand of military leadership and an examination of his command year in Afghanistan.
From the Publisher
"A valuable perspective on how Gen. Petraeus—the most successful U.S. general of his generation—approached the war in Afghanistan... It is, in fact, probably the best depiction yet of Gen. Petraeus's management style."
The Wall Street Journal

"General Petraeus is one of the most important Americans of our time, in or out of uniform. This riveting, insider's account of his life and education is at once instructive and inspiring."
—Tom Brokaw, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News; author of The Greatest Generation

"This majestic biography will set the standard for all future works about General Petraeus. With superb narrative skill, Broadwell simultaneously provides an intimate look at Petraeus the man, a fascinating account of modern warfare, and an elegant study of leadership."
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time

"Teddy Roosevelt once said that it is not enough to be intelligent; a leader must also be honest and fearless. In General David Petraeus (himself a T.R. fan), America has been fortunate to have a soldier-scholar who is all three. Paula Broadwell, soldier-scholar in her own right, tells the Petraeus story masterfully, providing especially rich detail and insight into his Afghanistan mission. This book helps us understand how Petraeus has become the living legend he is."
—David Gergen, author of Eyewitness to Power

"This is the best book yet on General David Petraeus, written by a remarkable former Army officer who spent months on the ground in Afghanistan herself. Paula Broadwell captures his basic tenets of counterinsurgency and basic approach to leadership—as well as Petraeus's personal qualities and character—in a highly readable and pithy fashion. No one gives a truer picture of the war, or of the finest general of this era and one of the greatest in modern American history."
—Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution

"All In vividly demonstrates the influence General David Petraeus has had on a whole generation of military officers-showing by the force of his personal example what it means to be tough, loyal, committed, and smart. Paula Broadwell takes readers into the briefing rooms and onto the battlefields to better understand the lessons and sacrifices of America's wars."
—Nathaniel Fick, New York Times bestselling author of One Bullet Away

"Anyone seeking to understand the nature of American warfighting in the 21st century, how it is both like and utterly unlike that of any previous one, needs to understand Petraeus, his remarkable career, his thinking, and his character. All In is an excellent place to start. It is fascinating and insightful, informed by remarkable access to the man both on and off the battlefield."
—Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down

"There have been several books written about parts of the career of David Petraeus, but this is the first one that could be called a biography of the most prominent American general since World War II. It is written with an insider's lively understanding of the workings of today's Army. I've known David Petraeus since he was a colonel and written two books in which he appeared, but I still learned a lot about him from this book. All In feels at times like we are sitting at his side in Afghanistan, reading his e-mails over his shoulder."
—Thomas E. Ricks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Generals, Fiasco, and The Gamble

"Broadwell's excellent biography portrays [Petraeus] as a modern exemplar of the soldier-scholar-statesman and one who has exerted a profound influence on the American military establishment."
—Mackubin Thomas Owens, Foreign Affairs

"A valuable perspective on how Gen. Petraeus—the most successful U.S. general of his generation—approached the war in Afghanistan . . . It is, in fact, probably the best depiction yet of Gen. Petraeus's management style."
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal

“Paula Broadwell offers a fascinating account . . . present[ing] a work that is at once a partial biography, a study in his particular brand of military leadership and an examination of his command year in Afghanistan.”

Houston Chronicle

"General Petraeus is one of the most important Americans of our time, in or out of uniform. This riveting insider's account of his life and education is at once instructive and inspiring."

Tom Brokaw, author of THE GREATEST GENERATION

“This majestic biography will set the standard for all future works about General Petraeus. With superb narrative skill, Broadwell simultaneously provides an intimate look at Petraeus the man, a fascinating account of modern warfare, and an elegant study of leadership.”

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of NO ORDINARY TIME

"[Gen. Jack] Galvin said in an interview with Broadwell, ‘live up to it all with the highest standards of integrity. You become part of a legend.’ All In fits neatly into that.”

ABC News

Library Journal
Relying on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Petraeus and his top officers and soldiers, Broadwell tells the story of one of the key military leaders of our time. She's got the background, having graduated with honors from the U.S. Military Academy; coauthor Loeb, the Washington Post's Metro editor, was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division under Petraeus's command in 2003. Essential for readers following current events.
Kirkus Reviews
A semi-authorized biography of Army Gen. David Petraeus, in the context of his Iraq and Afghanistan war commands after 9/11. While researching her doctorate at the University of London, Broadwell, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, decided to focus on Petraeus. She had met him in 2006, while a graduate student at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and she eventually came to know him better and won his cooperation to produce a book. Washington Post editor Loeb, who was embedded with a military unit under Petraeus' command in Iraq in 2003, provides a solid journalistic aspect to the book, which is not a traditional biography—the narrative is not chronological and does not cover every aspect of the subject's rise from student to the top of the military establishment. The author scatters biographical elements throughout the story, offering a somewhat in-depth understanding of how generals are made in the contemporary American military, and what drove this one man in particular to attain the top rank and become perhaps the most recognizable war commander since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Although Broadwell rarely demonstrates overt political stances in the book, she appears to more or less approve of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as a counterterrorist strategy. Though Petraeus comes across as a consistently "all-in" warrior, Broadwell occasionally includes material that reveals his flaws. To the author's credit, she pays close attention to Petraeus' home life; after all, no war commander leaves for battle without consequences for a spouse, children, parents and many others. It is of special interest that Petraeus married Holly Knowlton, whose father William A. Knowlton served as superintendent of West Point when Petraeus was a cadet there. The narrative is difficult to track because of shifting time elements and sporadic sections of battleground details, but Broadwell provides a first-rate education about the modern American military for outsiders.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101552308
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
244,611
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Thomas E. Ricks
There have been several books written about parts of the career of David Petraeus, but this is the first one that could be called a biography of the most prominent American general since World War II. It is written with an insider's lively understanding of the workings of today's Army. I've known David Petraeus since he was a colonel and written two books in which he appeared, but I still learned a lot about him from this book. All In feels at times like we are sitting at his side in Afghanistan, reading his e-mails over his shoulder. (Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble)
Michael O'Hanlon
This is the best book yet on General David Petraeus, written by a remarkable former Army officer who spent months on the ground in Afghanistan herself. Paula Broadwell captures his basic tenets of counterinsurgency and basic approach to leadership—as well as Petraeus's personal qualities and character—in a highly readable and pithy fashion. No one gives a truer picture of the war, or of the finest general of this era and one of the greatest in modern American history. (Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution; author of The Wounded Giant and The Science of War)
Mark Bowden
"Anyone seeking to understand the nature of American warfighting in the 21st century, how it is both like and utterly unlike that of any previous one, needs to understand Petraeus, his remarkable career, his thinking, and his character. All In is an excellent place to start. It is fascinating and insightful, informed by remarkable access to the man both on and off the battlefield. (Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down)
David Gergen
Teddy Roosevelt once said that it is not enough to be intelligent; a leader must also be honest and fearless. In General David Petraeus (himself a T.R. fan), America has been fortunate to have a soldier-scholar who is all three. Paula Broadwell, soldier-scholar in her own right, tells the Petraeus story masterfully, providing especially rich detail and insight into his Afghanistan mission. This book helps us understand how Petraeus has become the living legend he is. (David Gergen, Director, Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership; author of Eyewitness to Power)
Doris Kearns Goodwin
This majestic biography will set the standard for all future works about General Petraeus. With superb narrative skill, Broadwell simultaneously provides an intimate look at Petraeus the man, a fascinating account of modern warfare, and an elegant study of leadership. (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals)
From the Publisher
"A valuable perspective on how Gen. Petraeus—the most successful U.S. general of his generation—approached the war in Afghanistan... It is, in fact, probably the best depiction yet of Gen. Petraeus's management style."
The Wall Street Journal

"General Petraeus is one of the most important Americans of our time, in or out of uniform. This riveting, insider's account of his life and education is at once instructive and inspiring."
—Tom Brokaw, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News; author of The Greatest Generation

"This majestic biography will set the standard for all future works about General Petraeus. With superb narrative skill, Broadwell simultaneously provides an intimate look at Petraeus the man, a fascinating account of modern warfare, and an elegant study of leadership."
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time

"Teddy Roosevelt once said that it is not enough to be intelligent; a leader must also be honest and fearless. In General David Petraeus (himself a T.R. fan), America has been fortunate to have a soldier-scholar who is all three. Paula Broadwell, soldier-scholar in her own right, tells the Petraeus story masterfully, providing especially rich detail and insight into his Afghanistan mission. This book helps us understand how Petraeus has become the living legend he is."
—David Gergen, author of Eyewitness to Power

"This is the best book yet on General David Petraeus, written by a remarkable former Army officer who spent months on the ground in Afghanistan herself. Paula Broadwell captures his basic tenets of counterinsurgency and basic approach to leadership—as well as Petraeus's personal qualities and character—in a highly readable and pithy fashion. No one gives a truer picture of the war, or of the finest general of this era and one of the greatest in modern American history."
—Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution

"All In vividly demonstrates the influence General David Petraeus has had on a whole generation of military officers-showing by the force of his personal example what it means to be tough, loyal, committed, and smart. Paula Broadwell takes readers into the briefing rooms and onto the battlefields to better understand the lessons and sacrifices of America's wars."
—Nathaniel Fick, New York Times bestselling author of One Bullet Away

"Anyone seeking to understand the nature of American warfighting in the 21st century, how it is both like and utterly unlike that of any previous one, needs to understand Petraeus, his remarkable career, his thinking, and his character. All In is an excellent place to start. It is fascinating and insightful, informed by remarkable access to the man both on and off the battlefield."
—Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down

"There have been several books written about parts of the career of David Petraeus, but this is the first one that could be called a biography of the most prominent American general since World War II. It is written with an insider's lively understanding of the workings of today's Army. I've known David Petraeus since he was a colonel and written two books in which he appeared, but I still learned a lot about him from this book. All In feels at times like we are sitting at his side in Afghanistan, reading his e-mails over his shoulder."
—Thomas E. Ricks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Generals, Fiasco, and The Gamble

"Broadwell's excellent biography portrays [Petraeus] as a modern exemplar of the soldier-scholar-statesman and one who has exerted a profound influence on the American military establishment."
—Mackubin Thomas Owens, Foreign Affairs

Tom Brokaw
General Petraeus is one of the most important Americans of our time, in or out of uniform. This riveting, insider's account of his life and education is at once instructive and inspiring. (Tom Brokaw, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News; author of The Greatest Generation)

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