During the first two years of the George H. W. Bush administration, the United States military and its leaders dominated the world’s attention to a degree not seen since the Vietnam War. Bob Woodward tells the behind-the-scenes story of how President Bush and his military high command made their decisions. In this account, we see the top leadership as never before, wrestling with the great questions of military and foreign policy in the closed meeting rooms and private offices of the Pentagon and the White House. This compelling group portrait takes us back to the beginning of the Bush administration, and through two years of conversations and policy choices that twice led the United States to war.
The Commanders is about the decision-makers. Their relationships with one another and their personal perspectives are chronicled in unprecedented detail. This is the human story behind the momentous choices that are defining a new era in international relations dominated by American military might.
“Bob Woodward’s The Commanders is his best work yet…the definitive work, I think, about the Gulf War.” -Larry King
“A lively behind-the-scenes docudrama…Filled with accounts of secret Pentagon meetings, political maneuvers, second guesses and roads not taken. The Commanders is a fascinating, accessible treatment of a story still coming to light.” -Caryn James, The New York Times
“Woodward’s glimpses of a tight White House inner circle…constitute a serious charge against the Bush administration…The Commanders may affect the political prospects of several national figures.” -Mel Small, Detroit Free Press
“Everything you would ever want to know—and maybe were afraid to ask—about the run-ups to these operations is here in complete detail…The accounts of these conversations, together with the frank—and at times scathing—characterizations of the players by other players, are going to cause a storm of a different kind in Washington.” -Clay Blair, The Washington Post Book World
“The Commanders will be a primary source when the real histories of the Gulf War are written.” -Joe Klein, New York Observer
“Woodward gets into the minds of [Washington’s] players to see how our leaders really think.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“As always, world-class reporter Woodward rewards his readers with the thrill of eavesdropping on the power elite…So much for Pentagon-White House communications…We meet here a president who is secretive even with his closest staff, dangerously vindictive…and dazzlingly arbitrary and impulsive” –Robert Sherrill, Miami Herald
“There is a sense of urgency that runs through these pages…Woodward had me burning the midnight oil and rising before dawn. Not by gimmicks or cliff-hanging endings, but pure journalistic reporting.” –Rick Tamble, Nashville Banner