Woodward is a great reporter. He could put together a mean deck of Trivial Pursuit cards on politicals, but he can't tell a story. In many cases, he doesn't seem to grasp what he's actually recording. The White House recommended this book because Woodward often seems to miss the point of the facts he's reporting. And when he does, he assumes you will grasp the full thread of implications, too. As a result, the shocking things he does report about the malfunctioning executive branch fails to cohere into a truly telling narrative.
Serious political junkies will find some gems of insight that fill out other's adventures in Bushworld, such as Richard Clarke's or Paul O'Neil's books. For the average reader, the damning material falls flat. For the adoring fans of the president, they will see the resolute words and dote on the detailed unfolding of the war plan. By the time they get done saluting, they've forgotten the parts that might disturb their hero worship.
Useful as the last read on the subject of the Bush administration, useless as a primer.
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