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Publisher's Summary

In a riveting narrative, The Inheritance describes the huge costs of distraction and lost opportunities at home and abroad as Iraq soaked up manpower, money, and intelligence capabilities. The 2008 market collapse further undermined American leadership, leaving the new president with a set of challenges unparalleled since Franklin D. Roosevelt entered the Oval Office.

The Inheritance takes readers to Afghanistan, where Bush never delivered on his promises for a Marshall Plan to rebuild the country, paving the way for the Taliban's return. It examines the chilling calculus of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, who built actual weapons of mass destruction in the same months that the Bush administration pursued phantoms in Iraq, then sold his nuclear technology in the Middle East in an operation the American intelligence apparatus missed. And it explores how China became one of the real winners of the Iraq war, using the past eight years to expand its influence in Asia, and lock up oil supplies in Africa while Washington was bogged down in the Middle East. Yet Sanger, a former foreign correspondent in Asia, sees enormous potential for the next administration to forge a partnership with Beijing on energy and the environment.

At once a secret history of our foreign policy misadventures and a lucid explanation of the opportunities they create, The Inheritance is vital listening for anyone trying to understand the extraordinary challenges that lie ahead.

©2009 David Sanger; (P)2009 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Inheritance reaffirms Thomas Jefferson's belief that for the American democracy to work there must be an informed citizenry. David Sanger's book epitomizes the requirement....Sanger's telling is full of behind-the-door stories that read like Alan Furst spy novels. This is a superior work of journalism." (Jim Lehrer)
"One of the most important books of the year." (Bob Schieffer, CBS News)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Mirek
  • Lodz, Poland
  • 04-05-09

Gloom and Doom or Hope ...

Where is this world going ... ???

Reading "Inhertiance" by David Sanger is incredible experience. I suppose it is one of the best accounts about the global political, economical and security situation ever written. It is motivated by the drastic change in American policies expected with Obama presidency, by the dreadful facts about Iran nuclear program, Pakistan instability, North Korea convulsive attempts to drag world attention to them and their pigmy leader, terrorism and China's military programs.

The part of the book is about Bush and his misjudgments, but ultimately this is the book about the world as it is at the beginning of 2009. It shows how important are threats that we even 3-4 years ago did not even think of - like that of cyber-terrorism, or the real ability to smuggle atomic weapons to any peaceful country....

The actuality and accuracy of the book is clearly seen and heard in the recent Obama's Strasburg (April 2009) speach. He said something that plays well with the title of my review: "At the crossroads where we stand today, this shared history gives us hope - but it must not give us rest" ...

I'm sure that we mere mortals do not even think or feel how fragile is the world.

Lest we forget it - it will makes our daily steps a bit more careful and thoughtful....

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Beaumont, TX, United States
  • 02-20-09

Very informative.

This book brings the reader up to speed on the major issues facing the new president. I thought it would be a "lets bash Bush" book and there are sections which are critical. However, there is much here for those interested in our immediate future.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • B
  • 05-01-13

How Much Change did we get?

What did you like best about The Inheritance? What did you like least?

Sanger has some sources alright and he lays out a sound assessment of the major issues Obama was to face as he started his administration. This isn't masquerading as a dispassionate history but personally I believe David Sanger should have let the facts speak for themselves rather than take several jabs at the Bush administration throughout the book. Your a NY Times reporter we know you can't stand the Bush admin. Even though this book was aimed for consumption in the late 2008 time-frame, it is interesting to read it now and see where Obama has and hasn't diverged from the past admin. Overall a solid book that gives each issue its due voice.

  • Overall

What a load of crap!

This book was an utter waste of time. Mr. Sanger clearly hated George Bush, and couldn't be objective of anything President Bush did during his Presidency. President Bush could have invented perpetual motion, and Mr. Sanger would have something negative to say. A complete waste of money. I am sorry I purchased this book.

Ken Deupser

1 of 6 people found this review helpful