Bob Woodward. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 464 pp. Illus. Gloss. Notes. Index. $30.
Reviewed by James Kitfield
With Obama’s Wars, Bob Woodward has again written a book that suggests a parallel universe, where reporters’ phone calls are always returned, and senior officials are willing to share their innermost thoughts about the messy sausage-making of governance, even in a time of war. Conjuring that universe is more difficult than Woodward makes it seem.
The trick lies in the author’s meticulous research and unmatched access to the top players themselves. Quite simply, senior government officials are by now afraid not to talk to Woodward for fear that their version of events will be omitted from what every few years now is Woodward’s much-anticipated first draft of history. Or, as President Barack Obama tells Woodward in a moment of candor, “Sounds like you have better sources than I do.”