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Hardcover The Commanders Book

ISBN: 0671413678

ISBN13: 9780671413675

The Commanders

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

It is impossible to examine any part of the war on terrorism in the twenty-first century without seeing the hand of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell or one of their loyalists. The Commanders, an account of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


This book starts at the beginning of the GHW Bush Administration and goes through to the very beginning of the Gulf War. It's always a little difficult to know how accurate Woodward's recountings are of conversations and inner-thoughts of the most important people, but there are rarely serious complaints about the accuracy of his books - at least as far as I am aware. For the most part, the book comes from the perspective of Powell and Cheney, with important additions from other key folks at the Pentagon and White House. The beauty of reading about the GHW Bush Administration is that one also learns about the GW Bush Administration, for many of the key players came back for an encore. Woodward did a top notch job of discussing important issues in a way that appeals to the general reader. I hope he continues to do so with the GW Bush Administration; both "Bush at War" and "Plan of Attack" are fine books, but "The Commanders" is much better.

Very insightful

I found this book well worth the read. I quite honestly had forgotten many of the events surrounding the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War. This book brought it all back into perspective. Woodward's research and ability to tell the whole story gives you a "fly on the wall" status. He tries not to make any judgements either on the events themselves or the players involved. Woodward succeeds in laying it all out there for you. I will admit Woodward does seem to have a bias toward Powell, but not enough so that you think he is forcing him on you. He doesn't paint an overly rosy picture of Bush, often leaving you wondering about Bush's decision-making skills or intentions. This may only be because he was not able to personally use Bush as a source.

The Best on the Topic

I am a big fair of Woodward, so much so that I would even consider reading his shopping list. Overall this book gives the reader some very interesting stories about the military preparation and political decision making that led up to the Attack on Panama and the Gulf War. The book also gives you the details of the inner workings of the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I do not think there is a current writer / investigative reporter that has the ability to get the inside information Woodward always does, at time I wonder if he does not pay people to take tape recorders with them to meetings. He provides so much detail and very useful explanations of the process that you really feel that you are there. He always puts together a great book and he has done it here again. I also have the book by the 1st Bush "A World Transformed", and in the book he states that for the most part everything in this Woodward book is correct, I do not think you can get a better recommendation then that. You will defiantly enjoy this book.

Typical Woodward

Woodward's books are all the same. They are detailed, well researched and incredibly readable. Each one a treat. The most amusing aspect of them, (considering that he is co-author of the book that brought down Nixon) is the reverence with which he treats the establishment figures. Doubtless this is because they are his sources. If one keeps this bias in mind and reads between the lines a bit, you can generally get a good idea of who's who and what's what. This particular book is an examination of the military preparation and political decision making that led up to the Attack on Panama and The Gulf War. The insight into the military command structure and the perspectives of the men in the chain of command is excellent. It could also be viewed as a love letter to Colin Powell, doubtless it helped to establish the Generals reputation as a `great man'. Riveting and gripping, I recommend the book highly.

An excellent read

I bought this off the bargain list about a year ago but only recently picked it up to read. Frankly, I thought it was going to be a somewhat boring replay of the gulf war with some special attention paid to the inner workings of the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). I bought it to get some insight into the workings of the JCS. Yes, it was about those topics but boring - absolutely not. The other reviewers are not kidding when they refer to a 'fly on the wall'. I frequently read a line and found myself staring at the quotation marks and asking "How did Woodward get that quote?".
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