The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006 — 2008
Bob Woodward. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. 468 pp. Notes. Illus. Index. $32.00
Reviewed by David Wood
In his fourth and final volume about George W. Bush's wartime presidency, journalist and Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward completes a detailed and accessible contemporary study of
leadership. Not surprisingly, he finds Bush coming up tragically short on almost every count. The sweep of this history is familiar, but as a portrait of leadership the book is worth an evening's pleasant read.
Much of it focuses on the critical period of June through December 2006, when the sporadic insurgency exploded into full-scale civil war. Dozens of bodies were turning up each morning on Baghdad streets, and militia street battles, suicide bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations were reaching grisly heights, along with American battle casualties. Many thought the war, and Iraq, were lost.