The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future

Overview

The presidency of George W. Bush has led to the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the United States — the bloody, unwinnable war in Iraq. How did this happen? Bush's fateful decision was rooted in events that began decades ago, and until now this story has never been fully told.

From Craig Unger, the author of the bestseller House of Bush, House of Saud, comes a comprehensive, deeply sourced, and chilling account of the secret relationship between neoconservative ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (72) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $4.99   
  • Used (67) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$4.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(102)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new and never been read. Pages are crisp with no markings on the cover.

Ships from: Bellerose Village, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$5.00
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(16)

Condition: New
New York, NY 2007 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Red dot remainder mark. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 437 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Lynchburg, VA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$5.00
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(200)

Condition: New
2007 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. First print.

Ships from: Mesa, AZ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$10.74
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(1)

Condition: New
2007-11-13 Hardcover New Fast shipping. Reliable product.

Ships from: Brooks, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(179)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

The presidency of George W. Bush has led to the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the United States — the bloody, unwinnable war in Iraq. How did this happen? Bush's fateful decision was rooted in events that began decades ago, and until now this story has never been fully told.

From Craig Unger, the author of the bestseller House of Bush, House of Saud, comes a comprehensive, deeply sourced, and chilling account of the secret relationship between neoconservative policy makers and the Christian Right, and how they assaulted the most vital safeguards of America's constitutional democracy while pushing the country into the catastrophic quagmire in the Middle East that is getting worse day by day.

Among the powerful revelations in this book:

  • Why George W. Bush ignored the sage advice of his father, George H.W. Bush, and took America into war.
  • How Bush was convinced he was doing God's will.
  • How Vice President Dick Cheney manipulated George W. Bush, disabled his enemies within the administration, and relentlessly pressed for an attack on Iraq.
  • Which veteran government official, with the assent of the president's father, protested passionately that the Bush administration was making a catastrophic mistake — and was ignored.
  • How information from forged documents that had already been discredited fourteen times by various intelligence agencies found its way into President Bush's State of the Union address in which he made the case for war with Iraq.
  • How Cheney and the neocons assembled a shadow national security apparatus and created a disinformation pipeline to mislead America and start the war.

A seasoned, award-winning investigative reporter connected to many back-channel political and intelligence sources, Craig Unger knows how to get the big story — and this one is his most explosive yet. Through scores of interviews with figures in the Christian Right, the neoconservative movement, the Bush administration, and sources close to the Bush family, as well as intelligence agents in the CIA, the Pentagon, and Israel, Unger shows how the Bush administration's certainty that it could bend history to its will has carried America into the disastrous war in Iraq, dooming Bush's presidency to failure and costing America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Far from ensuring our security, the Iraq War will be seen as a great strategic pivot point in history that could ignite wider war in the Middle East, particularly in Iran.

Provocative, timely, and disturbing, The Fall of the House of Bush stands as the most comprehensive and dramatic account of how and why George W. Bush took America to war in Iraq.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Michiko Kakutani
When Mr. Unger sticks to the facts…and focuses less on the personal lives of his subjects and more on policy making in the Bush administration, his narrative skills enable him to do a fluent job of putting the available jigsaw puzzle pieces together. He gives readers a powerful account of the long-standing campaign by neoconservatives (which long predated the terrorist attacks of 9/11) to topple Saddam Hussein, the ideological roots of the administration's ideas about pre-emption and unilateral action, and the efforts of hawks in the Pentagon and the vice president's office to bypass regular policymaking channels and use cherry-picked intelligence to push for war.
—The New York Times
Kirkus Reviews
A sobering examination of the twin fundamentalisms that shape the current administration internally-to say nothing of the one it's supposed to be fighting. Compassionate conservatism? Nice, disarming rhetoric, writes Unger (Center on Law and Security/New York Univ.; House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties, 2004, etc.)-but merely a way of reframing the argument so that "the entire political spectrum-everyone from hardcore theocrats to liberal secularists-supported policies that would aid the Christian Right." The gloves came off as soon as Bush II entered the White House and turned operations over to the very neoconservatives whom his father had largely frozen out of power, writes Unger in a bit of psychodrama at the opening of the book, giving the son's repudiation of the father appropriately tragic undertones. The neocons-most of them former leftists and most of them without any apparent religious beliefs-made unlikely allies for the Christian right-wingers who entered government in droves on Bush's ascension, but they had many interests in common, including pressing the battle against Islam and advancing the American empire. Most of these fundamentalists, religious and political, notes Unger, have been idealists without much grounding in the real world-one reason, perhaps, that all band together in detesting Henry Kissinger, that master of realpolitik. But, however ethereal their thinking, they have plenty of real-world effects. Unger works much the same territory as Kevin Phillips did in his American Theocracy (2005), and he turns in plenty of news. One interesting bit: Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state soinstrumental in putting Bush in office in 2000, was an acolyte of the same fundamentalists who pushed Jerry Falwell and company into secular politics-and, as an aside, she helped see to it that more than a quarter of the votes cast in Florida were not recounted, contrary to law. What next? Fundamentalists and neocons alike have been thoroughly discredited-but, Unger hints, there's still plenty of damage yet to come. Armageddon, anyone?
The Barnes & Noble Review
There's something a little perverse about the subtitle of Craig Unger's The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future. Nearly everything in it has been extensively, exhaustively told before -- indeed, it's surprising how little new information or analysis it contains. It has the feel of a hurried clip job, poorly edited and rushed into print, perhaps out of fear that the window of relevance was closing. It would be the perfect book to give to a thoughtful, intelligent reader who has been completely oblivious to American politics during the Bush administration.

This is terribly disappointing, because in the past Unger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has proven an excellent reporter. The author of the important 2004 book House of Bush, House of Saud, about the relationship between the president's family and the decadent rulers of the barbarous Saudi kingdom, he would seem like an ideal guide to the tangle of messianic delusions and Machiavellian scheming that has shaped America's foreign policy during the Bush regime. The Fall of the House of Bush attempts to show how the rise of the religious right and the rise of the neoconservatives worked in synergy to push the United States into its mad war in Iraq. It's an incredibly rich subject: the simple question of whether Bush is a genuine religious zealot, a cynic manipulating the faithful, or some strange combination of the two cries out for exploration. But Unger treats his terrain superficially. For the most part, he recapitulates events others have already written about rather than probing them for new meaning or uncovering the unknown.

The most interesting parts of Unger's book deal with the odd, potent alliance between born-against Christians and Israeli hardliners. Reaching back through history, he explains the evolution of premillenial dispensationalism, the end-times theology that dominates the American evangelical world. According to dispensationalist doctrine, the return of the Jews to the biblical state of Israel -- which includes the occupied territories -- will precede the second coming of Christ, making the annexation of Palestinian land a precondition of earthly paradise. So-called Christian Zionists have thus been among the fiercest champions of Israeli irredentism. And, Unger writes, because the Christian Zionists are politically useful, Jewish hawks have mostly been content to ignore the narrative of Christian triumph implicit in these "millennial dreams." (The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier has aptly called this ecumenical bargain a "grim comedy of mutual condescension.") Those outside the evangelical subculture -- which, as Unger shows, has come to dominate the Republican Party -- often underestimate the popularity of such apocalyptic beliefs. With conservative evangelicals playing a recently amplified role in the government and the military, it's worth scrutinizing the impact of dispensationalist theology on America's Middle East policy. But Unger doesn't do that. He simply explains the belief system (itself a central subject of several excellent books, including The End of Days by the Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg) and explains that Bush is an evangelical. He doesn't delve into reports about increasing proselytizing in the military or examine the way right-wing churches used end-times imagery to build support for the war in Iraq.

As the book goes on, the early focus on the Christian right gives way to a detailed account of the rise of the neoconservatives and their relentless drive for war in Iraq, a war they imagined would transform the Middle East to America and Israel's advantage. Unger offers an interesting inquiry into the connection of Michael Ledeen, one of the most fanatical of the neocons, to the forged documents the administration used to argue that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. Aside from that, though, Unger is just rehashing a story already told in George Packer's The Assassin's Gate; David Corn and Michael Isikoff's Hubris: The Inside Story Of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War; James Mann's Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet; among many others.

Unger is unabashed about relying on others' reporting; the book is dense with quotes and footnotes. One error, though, made me suspicious of how closely he read all this material. About a third of the way through The Fall of The House of Bush, he attributes a quote to the late televangelist D. James Kennedy ("It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish.") that actually comes from one of Kennedy's former employees, George Grant. Curious about Unger's source, I followed the footnote and was surprised to find it pointing to my own book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. The quote in my book clearly comes from Grant; one would have to be skimming pretty quickly to miss that.

That's a very minor error, one any author could make and few would notice. But there are others. "In deference to the Christian Right, morning-after contraceptive sales were banned, even after having been approved by the Food and Drug Administration," Unger writes. That's not precisely true -- it was only over-the-counter sales that were banned, a small but significant difference. Such mistakes aren't enough to undermine Unger's credibility, but they do add to the sense that the book was hastily written and edited.

His editor also should have caught numerous clunky repetitions. At the end of one page, he writes, "And in July 1996, just after taking office, newly elected Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on his way to the United States to speak before a joint session of Congress. Just as important, he would meet with Richard Perle and other principals of the neoconservative movement." Then, at the beginning of the next page: "On July 8, 1996, about six weeks after his election as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington to see Richard Perle, one of several neoconservative analysts who had mapped out a new strategy for him in a policy paper entitled 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.' " There's enough of this sort of thing to seriously slow down the story, which is an especial problem in a book like this. If you're going to recount a tale already told by others, you at least need to do it with more style. --Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. She was formerly a senior writer at Salon.com, and her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, New York, Glamour, The New York Observer, The Guardian (U.K.), and many other publications. Her next book, about the global battle over reproductive rights, will be published by Penguin Press in 2009.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743280754
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 11/13/2007
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Unger

Craig Unger is the author of the New York Times bestselling House of Bush, House of Saud. He appears frequently as an analyst on CNN, the ABC Radio Network, and other broadcast outlets. The former deputy editor of The New York Observer and editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine, he has written about George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush for The New Yorker, Esquire, and Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2008

    most damning indictment of Bush administration

    The author has assembled a complete, fully documented account of the disaster that is the Bush administration's war in Iraq. I hope this information is more fully disseminated than it has been so far. This book has outraged me and saddened me hugely. It is well worth reading for its historical perspective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)