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Plan of Attack (Bush at War #2) – Hardcover
“Plan of Attack” is a definitive account of how & why President Geo W. Bush, his war council & allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein & occupy Iraq. Woodward’s latest account of Washington decisionmaking provides an original, authoritative narrative of behind-the-scenes maneuvering over two years, examining the causes & consequences of the most controversial war since Vietnam. Based on interviews with 75 key participants & over 3.5 hours of exclusive interviews with Bush, Plan of Attack is part presidential history charting the decisions made during 16 critical months; part military history revealing precise details & the evolution of the Top Secret war planning under the restricted codeword Polo Step; part a spy story as the CIA dispatches a covert paramilitary team into northern Iraq 6 months before the start of the war. This team recruited 87 Iraqi spies designated with the cryptonym DB/ROCKSTARS, one of whom turned over the personnel files of all 6000 men in Saddam Hussein’s personal security organization. What emerges are astonishingly intimate portraits: Bush in war cabinet meetings in the White House Situation Room & Oval Office, & in private conversation; Dick Cheney, the focused & driven vice president; Colin Powell, the conflicted & cautious secretary of state; Donald Rumsfeld, the controlling war technocrat; Geo Tenet, the activist CIA director; Tommy Franks, the profane & demanding general; Condoleezza Rice, the ever-present referee & national security adviser; Karl Rove, the hands-on political strategist; other key members of the White House staff & congressional leadership; & foreign leaders ranging from British Prime Minister Blair to Russian President Putin. Plan of Attack provides new details on the intelligence assessments of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction & the planning for the war’s aftermath.
Bob Woodward is an associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1971. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1973 for the coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second in 2003 as the lead reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He has authored or coauthored 18 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Twelve of those have been #1 national bestsellers. He has written books on eight of the most recent presidents, from Nixon to Obama.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News has said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”
In 2014, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said that he wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him...his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”
Gene Roberts, the former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate coverage, “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.” In listing the all-time 100 best non-fiction books, Time Magazine has called All the President’s Men, by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”
In 2018 David Von Drehle wrote, “What [Theodore] White did for presidential campaigns, Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward has done for multiple West Wing administrations – in addition to the Supreme Court, the Pentagon, the CIA and the Federal Reserve.”
Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the United States Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.