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Publisher's Summary

As violence in Iraq reaches unnerving levels in 2006, a second front in the war rages at the highest levels of the Bush administration.

With unparalleled intimacy and detail, Bob Woodward takes listeners deep inside the tensions, secret debates, unofficial back channels, distrust, and determination within the White House, Pentagon, State Department, intelligence agencies, and U.S. military headquarters in Iraq.

This gripping account of a president at war describes a period of distress and uncertainty within the U.S. government from 2006 through mid-2008. The White House launches a secret strategy review that excludes the military. On the verge of revolt, the Joint Chiefs of Staff also conduct a secret strategy review that goes nowhere, and they worry that the military will be blamed for a failure in Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strongly opposes a surge of additional U.S. forces and confronts the president, who replies that her suggestion would lead to failure. The president keeps his decision to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from Vice President Dick Cheney until two days before he announces it.

Woodward interviewed key players, obtained dozens of never-before published documents, and had nearly three hours of exclusive interviews with President Bush. A stunning, first-hand history of the years from mid-2006, when the White House realizes the Iraq strategy is not working, into mid-2008, when the war becomes a fault line in the presidential election, The War Within addresses head-on questions of leadership, not just in war but in how we are governed and the dangers of unwarranted secrecy.

©2008 Bob Woodward (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Too short the story...

Having listened to all unabridged Bush presidential stories by Woodward, I found this abridged version of his latest book wanting in the detail I'm accustomed to from him.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Shaun
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 05-18-09

Too condensed

Audio version too condensed/abridged.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • portland, OR, USA
  • 10-07-08

another disappointment

For the last 8 years, I have been waiting for Bob Woodward to once again do the courageous writing that he did back in the 1970's. I was beyond disappointed with his 'Bush At War' book because I thought he had sold his soul. He redeemed himself a bit with 'State of Denial' and so with great anticipation, I purchased 'The War Within'. Regrettably, I have to say that this book is another disappointment.

To be fair, it isn't biased like 'Bush At War' but it is drab, outdated and unimaginative. There are so many books that are much better, current and bold if you're looking for a book on the current situation in Iraq.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • Newington, CT, United States
  • 10-29-08

The only investigative reporter in DC

Provides a behind the scenes view of the Bush White House. Interesting to get first-hand reporting to learn how decisions are made. Not too surprising that the President failed to listen to his top advisers; refused to tell the truth to the public that his Iraq policy was a failure; and had a view of the war that is not is not based on reality. January 20, 2009 can't come soon enough.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lanlady
  • Woodbridge, VA USA
  • 10-04-08

Woodward promises more than he delivers

If you've followed Iraq War events to any extent in the past few years, I doubt you'll learn anything new or interesting in this book. It consists of snippets of conversations between generals and Bush officials but contains precious few revelations; this may have made for a decent magazine article, but the content doesn't, in my view, justify an entire book. By the way, the George Bush who appears in The War Within is articulate, forceful, and in command of his facts. Where the h*ll has that Bush been hiding for the past 8 years? It's as if Woodward was interviewing some kind of presidential alter ego, and not the petulant, swaggering, sentence-mangling, "Decider" we've all come to know.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 11-09-08

"Great read"

Woodward hits another homerun. Alot of insight into W's decision making process. I like W. I could picture W. wrecking his head trying to do what's right for freedom.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

War is bad. period

Woodward finally takes a stand - the right one - against the horror that Bush has unleashed on the world due to his infantile bully-boy immoral deluded mean-spirited intolerant and just plain stupid attitude toward life. Woodward's 4 books taken together are a fascinating look deep into the day-to-day workings of Bush's White House and often into his thinking (ahem). It's journalism, not literature. Good journalism. Highly recommended.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • Mesa, AZ, USA
  • 12-10-08

Says a lot

He covers a lot and uncovers even more, this adminstration should be erased from our history! Can there ever be a worst blight on our country.
Pretty good read.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful