Bush's Wars

Bush's Wars

4.5 2
by Terry H. Anderson

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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.


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Thoroughly researched and written in compelling prose, this first scholarly history of the United States' war in Iraq provides a searing and persuasive critique of the way the George W. Bush administration drove this nation into a war of choice and grossly mismanaged the ensuing conflict. Author Terry Anderson also skillfully juxtaposes the naive illusions of the war's perpetrators with the intractable indigenous forces in Iraq that continue to shape its outcome. Highly recommended." - George C. Herring, author of From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776

"Journalists have given us their take on the conflicts of the George W. Bush era; now Terry Anderson provides the historian's perspective. Essential reading for students and the general public; experts can learn a thing or two as well." - H. W. Brands, author of Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Terry Anderson has written the first comprehensive history of the wars George W. Bush visited upon the world. Read it and weep" - Marilyn B. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990

Kirkus Reviews

A historian harshly assesses the Bush Administration's efforts to combat terrorism and wage war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Brushing aside the former president's claim that he cannot be fairly judged until after his death, Anderson (History/Texas A&M Univ.; The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action, 2004, etc.) insists that the legacies and lessons of the Bush presidency are already ripe for appraisal. After supplying useful potted histories of Iraq, "the Improbable Country," and Afghanistan, "the Graveyard of Empires," and a 30-year review of U.S. policy toward and battles with al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, the author brings the reader up to 9/11. From there, he focuses on George W. Bush's presidency, an account of unrelieved hubris, malfeasance, deceptions and incompetence. The short version, widely available prior to this book's publication, is as follows: Having ignored signals that should have alerted them to al-Qaeda's attacks, Bush officials pressed for laws that curbed domestic civil liberties, even as they engaged in extra-legal methods to fight a misguided and certainly misnamed "war on terror." Then, taking advantage of a traumatized electorate, an incurious, revenge-minded president, aided by Cheney, Rumsfeld and a brace of Pentagon neocons, abetted by a pliant CIA and a duped Colin Powell, cherry-picked evidence, lied to the country and rushed into a disastrous war for oil in Iraq against an unsavory dictator, easily demonized because he possessed WMDs, an accusation never proven. This horribly wrong turn in Iraq squandered the world's good will, allowed Osama bin Laden to escape capture and the Taliban to regroup in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a mismanaged, bloody Iraq occupation depleted our treasury, depressed our military and robbed us of any moral credibility. Untroubled by the succeeding administration's adoption of many of the Bush policies—Guantánamo remains open, the Patriot Act was extended—or by recent upheavals in the Muslim world that have demonstrated once again the difficulties of a properly calibrated American diplomatic and military response, Anderson approvingly cites a fellow professor's judgment that, when it comes to Bush, there may be "no alternative but to rank him as the worst president in U.S. history."

A relentlessly tendentious account sure to delight Bush critics and infuriate admirers.

Product Details

Oxford University Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet 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.

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Bush's Wars 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terry H. Anderson wrote this book from the historian's perspective on how George W. Bush handled the war in Iraq. He does a good job of laying out the facts, which tend to show Bush's faults. He provides many examples to back up statements about President Bush. It is evident that he did a great job researching information for this book. This book is shows the problems Bush had instead of good things he did, but the author uses facts and never uses his opinion to support the ideas. This book could change the way you feel about Bush's presidency and how he handled the war in Iraq. Also it could provide you with information about the war that most Americans don't know. So if you are interested in the war in Iraq this book would be a good choice to read. I would recommend this book to all people just so more Americans get the real facts about the war in Iraq. It is a great book that could be enjoyed by many people, so go out, get it, and enjoy!