The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008
Thomas E. Ricks. New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2009. Illus. 394 pp. $27.95.
Reviewed by John R. Ballard
Those who have read Tom Ricks' earlier book on the Iraq War, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, will find this one very different. The Gamble is much more tightly focused, dealing principally with a two-year time-span, and its judgments are better informed by interviews with people who understood the ground truth in Iraq. And, happily, this book has no axe to grind, but instead tells the very valuable story of the crucial turning point in the war and the professionalism of Americans and Iraqis who persevered long enough to bring it about.