Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I am reading Bob Woodward's the War Within at the moment. This is the fourth of his Bush books and it is already the most critical. In many ways, the book's seem to capture the national mood about W, that is to say, an initial rallying and fascination with his direct approach, a move to concern that maybe a little nuance would be helpful, a further shift to incredulity and outrage followed by a final lurch into stunned disbelief.

His early books will probably fall into the books-Bob-Woodward-will-come-to-regret category, which may include Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom. The sentiment now is that Greenspan is in fact become Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds. His oddest book is Wired, The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi. That one is his only foray into the entertainment world. Given that one of his greatest strengths is uncovering incredible gossip from top sources, entertainment makes sense for him, but I am glad he stuck with politics afterward.

Speaking of gossip, there is an great section in the War Within which details Colin Powell's testimony. Apparently he went off talking about things were completely wrecked by Rumsfeld, how Rice was ineffectual and how no one listened. After all of it, Jim Baker noted that he would have a great book to write. Once he left Baker said something to the effect of there went the only person who could have stopped all this. Ouch!


Anonymous said...

I was stunned to read the Colin Powell section of this book too. And yet one wonders: could he have stopped it? At what cost?

Tripp said...

I think it was a stretch that he could. No matter what the arguments, Bush seems predisposed to it and Cheney was set upon it. He would have needed support from Rice or a change of mind by Rumsfeld. Or Tenet could have done something more I suppose.

Ian smith said...

The build-up for the release of the latest work by Bob Woodward, “The War Within”, was professional as always. The series of books by Woodward about the Bush Administration, the ‘war on terror’, and the Iraq War, are essential reads in my view to better understand the recent times we have lived, and the decision making process in the Bush White House.

Social Media Marketing

Tripp said...

You are right about the decision-making process. It also makes these jobs look incredibly stressful.