Regular price: $35.93

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Working behind the scenes for 18 months, Bob Woodward has written the most intimate and sweeping portrait of President Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan, and the worldwide fight against terrorism. Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes, and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward offers an original, you-are-there account of Obama and his team in this time of turmoil and uncertainty.

©2010 Simon and Schuster Audio; 2010 Bob Woodward

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars
Sort by:
  • Overall

Obama's Wars

A reviling look into how Obama's administration is handling the wars and the tensions that exist between the Military and the administration. Well written and well narrated!

  • Overall
  • Geoff
  • Napier, New Zealand
  • 06-10-11


A very average book. I thought it was repetitive and dull. Previous books are far better.

  • Overall
  • Vidoloff
  • mary esther, FL, United States
  • 03-27-11

Obama: Not getting my vote in 2012

Wow. I bought this book because of the whole debate of Iraq and Afghanistan and wanted to see the "behind the scenes" aspects of how this debate was occuring w/ the major power players. What I realized after reading this book is that although our President is a strong leader, charismatic, and seems to assemble alot of smart people around him, he doesn't seem to have an ability to make a decision. He also does not seem to have an ability to understand the intricacies of Washington politics. The fact that he alienated nearly 90% of his senior advisers and cabinet in the first 18 months as president does not bode well for how the rest of this term in going to play out. I tell you what, I am for hope and change, I hope we change presidents in 2012.
(On a non-substance input, I did not like the speaker/voice of the person reading the book, it sounded like somebody trying to do a bad Admiral Mullen impersonation for 10 hours).

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • United States
  • 11-17-10


Not in the book so much but the President himself, the lack of command was shocking

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • michael
  • poway, Ca, United States
  • 11-01-10


The argument goes on and on...and it repeats itself. It should be a newpaper article not a book.
Overall boring and backbiting,

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kevin
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 11-29-15

Tedious Account of Appalling Politics

President Obama said his most important decision was to determine the strategy for the wars he inherited in Afghanistan and Iraq. This book is primarily about how the White House and Pentagon decisions on troop levels for 2009 to 2011 in Afghanistan.

The "wars" of the title is not about combat, ground tactics, or the suffering of the Afghani or Iraqi people. In fact, in the first 25 chapters -- as far as I could listen -- there was really nothing about Iraq at all. The wars are between factions of opinionated but ill-informed White House staffers and senior officials (Clinton, Gates, Holbrook, and Biden) on one hand, and opinionated, self-satisfied and ignorant generals (McChrystal, Petraeus, et al) who are supposed to be advising Obama. All of them are self-confidently planning how NATO and the US can craft the future of Afghanistan, without ever asking any NATO partners, much less Afghanis, whether their plans will work. The Generals actually advocate what they call "anti-insurgency", which would have US soldiers and marines making friends by living among the Afghanis. Sounds sort of what the Germans and Japanese tried in WWII, without greatly endearing themselves to the locals. Could any sane person really believe that bacon-burger eating Christian Marines, trained primarily as killers, would blend in in Muslim, quasi-medieval, Afghanistan?

There are three problems with the book (as distinct from the history that it describes). The first is that while the politics is important, it could have been described in a long magazine length article. It does not need a whole book. Woodward goes through each meeting, formal and informal, in tedious detail. He claims in the introduction that he has not invented any words, personal reactions or comments by the principals, but that cannot possibly be true. At one point I began skipping whole chapters, only to find that the narrative had advanced only a day or two. It would appear that in order to come out with a book every 18 months, Woodward has to squeeze hundreds of pages out of a few paragraphs of information.

The second problem is that Woodward is way too impressed with himself. He makes himself part of the story, as if he was Robert Redford in All the President's Men. The reality is that he is adept at getting people to be disloyal -- leaking documents, divulging private conversations, etc. Quite discreditable behaviour on the part of his sources, but in this day and age hardly brilliant journalism on Woodward's part. (The constant lip-flap of his sources cannot be justified as whistle-blowers divulging necessary secrets, because the actual decisions and actions were all made public).

The third problem is that Woodward himself is just as beltway blind as the politicos and generals. He never comments on how bizarre it is for these people to think they can control a country without ever asking the people living there what they think about it. He never comments that the whole idea of soldiers and marines winning the hearts and minds of Afghani peasants is just absurd. Worse, he seems to think that the political (small p, and small minded) infighting is the real story, while telling us nothing about what was happening on the ground during the same period.

I don't know what happens in the final third of the book. I have lots of other great Audible books, and I will listen to one of them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Delicia
  • Upper marlboro, MD, United States
  • 10-21-12

couldn't get it to work

What disappointed you about Obama's Wars?

I couldn't get it to download and play so it wasn't the book it was this site

What could Bob Woodward have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

same as comment as above

How did the narrator detract from the book?

same comment as above

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Obama's Wars?

same comment as above

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

great service to the country

I'm an Army Chaplain, combat veteran, and just finished this book. I feel like I've been through a fourteen hour staff meeting. I agree that there are some mistakes in the performance, though few. I agree with other reviewers that there is a redundancy, but I am grateful for this. That's how staff meetings should be. The process of forming a strategy for the war must be messy, conflicted, and emotional. The fact that Woodward reflects this in his writing only reflects the difficulties inherent in making decisions at this level. Great job, though the listener will require patience. It's not a novel. It's the messy, real, candid view of who makes decisions and the process by which those decisions are made. Thank you, Mr. Woodward. And thank you, Mr. Obama, for taking the time to listen to each side and angle before making the tough decision.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • joseph
  • venice, ca, United States
  • 10-04-10

fascinating process to a difficult decision

a terrific and insightful listen. although obama made a thoughtful
and narrow choice, he acted rationally based upon the information available to him. regardless of his options and his ultimate choice, the jury will be out. let's hope for the best

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • JS
  • United States
  • 02-22-11

Not a thrilling book

This book is just like a notebook of minutes from endless meetings. As another reviewer said, everything is almost a repeat and the listener can get easily lost in the details. The structure of the book is not conducive for a convenient listening. If you plan to get your facts while driving or exercising, this book won’t do it. In fact, it is also minimally useful for any kind of reading/listening. The details are just overwhelming and make the reader yawn after a while. If you are news and politics junkie, perhaps you can find some merit. A reviewer said he or she read the book three times already. I am seriously doubt about the benefits of such a waste of time. I give two-stars for the sake of the effort spent on this book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful